My big project, Finishing the Ward 4 AMICAALL/Nhlangano Town Council Social Center, the PCPP


Peace Corps Partnership Proposal (PCPP) with the Nhlangano Town Council (NTC)

First application draft submitted Feb, 2011
Approved & Funding Begins on PC website May 17th
Construction started on Oct 24th.
All exterior construction done by Dec 20th.
Grand Opening Jan 5th, 2012
Round 2 of the Funding arrives in early January.
Interior Only Construction Restarts Jan 16th.
Construction all done Feb 16th (minus a million tiny To Do's)
Project Officially Closed May 4th, 2012

Let the children play, learn & be safe.

As of Aug 25th, 2012, I am no longer a PCV, I am now RPCV (Return Peace Corps Volunteer). This blog is my experience in Swaziland between June of 2010 & Aug of 2012. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Art Classes & Painting Part 10 (Day 2, Ward 2 Sunday July 8th, 2012)

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Monday morning rolls around an interesting mix show up to work continue painting the Ward 2 building. The mix of Thebo, Obed, Senzo, Khetsewi, Sambulo & I are the painting crew.

But let’s go back.

It’s now Sunday morning and the students all arrive right on time and I throw paint rollers & brushes into their hands send 5 to another Center to paint their art & Ward 2 & 5 begin their massive make over.

Let’s go back again to about a week before Saturday.

In town, Dulux Paint has a specialist I had lots of interaction & spent a bunch of money with him for Ward 4, so I had asked him to come Sunday before church at 9:00am to talk to the students about his profession, he assured me he would, multiple times during the week I visited asking if there were any conflicts, he assured me each time, so I included him in the schedule, well the last disappointment of Friday was his last minute cancellation. Which left an hour opening in the Sunday schedule. Since Nelly was supposed to run an HIV session that was also canceled leaving more time open in the schedule. The original schedule had the students starting painting the building at 10:00am after official general building painting session & an HIV session. When the students arrived Sunday morning the schedule was a mess. So I became the general building painting instructor, now I am no expert but in Nov-Feb I had just painted the exact same design of a building myself with 3 others, so I/we broke out the rollers on sticks & brushes and began painting the interior of the classroom.

But the rest of the day went true to its original the design, hence the crucial need of a vehicle, where 5 students every for 2 ½ hours would be working with Joseph over at Titi’s Social Center Ward 5 putting up their artwork.

Yes, the above pictures are the same room the students where learning in the day before.

Dennis takes away the 5 students, so I basically know very little of what is happening at Ward 5, Senzo & Sambulo are included in the first group. The Pastor Valley group of 4 got the room painting lessons and rocked it out, but they had all painted before so they looked like the pros they were. They were in the second group to go to Ward 4, I walked around pointing where to paint how not to do things, throwing out the little advice I knew, painting is not rocket science but it does require being detailed. The Mathendele Boys where in the last group to go and also did a really good job painting the rooms even though the goofed off the whole time.

Even Dennis' son came to help.

This is pretty much the only picture taken of me over the entire weekend, yes that is a giant fork with a paint roller on the end, yes, I was tired, my stomach & insides were not good that day, so multiple trips to the port o potty outside were needed. Also, it was Valdez taking the picture.

After hanging out with Obed & Thebo, I realized that they deserved to have some of their work put up on the Ward 2 Center, so I contracted both of them to draw one animal each. So we discussed a design of a Leopard chasing an Antelope, Obed did the Antelope, Thabo got to do the Leopard. I call it The Chase.

I got very lucky a town council employee came over to help paint the Center, so he basically did the entire exterior first coat of the building. The students rocked on the day painting 3 medium rooms, the main classroom with its own skirting, 2 bathrooms that don’t work plus they got to watch live sketching/painting of The Chase as Obed & Thebo painted the Leopard & Antelope chase scene.

So during the day Sambulo & Senzo after returning from the painting seemed to both be very hard workers, very little goofing off like the Mathendele Boys were doing. I wasn’t really surprised by Senzo but I was then told Sambulo’s story by Khateswi, apparently he was abandoned as just a young child & has kind of bounced around the different homesteads in the area. This is one of huge problems the high HIV infection rate is causing. Well, at 16 with little schooling, no one to pay his school fees only a few people supporting him. I realized that this was one of those opportunities, where I could do what I said I wanted to do when I came over here which is help a couple of people. So I spent time talking to him with my slowed down English, since Khatsewi said he understood English. A very pleasant boy, who just seemed to have no opportunities was having a great time learning a new skill, his artwork wasn’t the greatest, but unlike Valdez, who is over flowing with drawing talent, a very supportive Mom and lots of energy & just an outgoing personality, so he goofs off all the time. So I told him he could come back tomorrow to help with the obvious need for more painting the building was going to need.

So Sunday also ended at Ward 2 extremely well for all the students. But every student went home with new supplies, a Bristol board painted with oil paints of their own design & their own artwork on a building. I know they all gained new knowledge with the general painting skills, since I was demonstrating & working with them.

Here are a few:

And Obed & Thebo finished The Chase.

Joseph joined us with the last students, the Mathendele Boys didn’t return since Ward 5 is short walk to their/my place. The Pastor Valley’s students went back & the event was over. We forgot to take a group photo as well as individual ones with the students & their artwork. Dennis gave us a ride home. Since the artists were staying at my place. We settled in tried. They wanted to play cards the only game I knew that they knew was crazy 8’s, but the American with a Mexican name version that has been sitting on my table collecting dust was brought out. Hint (#1, Uno). We played & laughed for hours into the night.

1 comment:

  1. People not showing up or doing what they had promised allowed you to show that you had the key word of Peace Corps "Flexibility". Change things around to get the job done. You had some great helpers there, included ons who just showed up to assist. "The Chase" looks fantastic!