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Thursday, 10 December 2009

Final week ....

By this time next Thursday we hope to be sat on our flight home. Its been a long twelve weeks, though we have all seen places and met people that have made it more enjoyable. In fact we can say that we have made quite a few friends here. There is also a sense of unreality in some of the things we have seen and done - like having to evict a nest of puppies from under one of our units before we set fire to it.

These are the one's who haven't been quietly "adopted" by the students, workers and farmers round here, there were originally twelve of them....

Another indicator I guess of the different approach to life is the builder's accomodation on building sites and the training centre is no exception. I have no doubt that this is the same as it was in the time of Darius or even probably Cyrus. The first thing to happen on any site is the building, with mud bricks and scraps of iron, timber and roofing sheets, of a simple "house" divided into several small rooms all accessed from outside. A small enclosure on one end provides an ablution space (Bucket of water that can be poured over you in the privacy of the enclosure) and cooking is done on an open fire or a small portable stove in front of this in fine weather or indoors in wet and cold. Furniture seems to be optional and usually homemade or salvaged. When the work is completed, the bricks are taken down and carted off to the next site ...

Having one of these next to our burn units has been educational. Here we are furnishing rooms that are better built and better furnished than our builders enjoy - and then we burn them. On a couple of occassions some of "our" furniture has vanished overnight. Yes, its annoying, but we can hardly begrudge its use (most of it is pretty awful anyway) to a bunch of guys who have nothing and little hope of improving their lot.

Living here and observing the lives of such a broad range of people and their hopes, fears and ambitions certainly gives a wider perspective to the Biblical story that we mark at this season.

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