I am thrilled to share with you that the security wall is complete! Thank you to everyone who generously contributed to this crucial first step towards completing the ecoVillage. The wall surrounds the land where we will build the girls’ homes, the multi-purpose complex and the ecoLodge. It is 9 feet tall, 2,800 feet in length and includes 2 gates and night watchman shelters.
Now that the wall is complete, we are beginning the construction of our multi-purpose complex. It will house the kitchen, dining hall, offices and clinic & preschool. Most importantly, it will be home to the Enterprise Learning Center, which will provide the girls with the continuing education and entrepreneurial training they need to become independent.
It is exciting to see so much progress happening, and I know we couldn’t do it without so many generous donors and volunteers. We were blessed to have one of those wonderful volunteers visit us recently. Dr. Joe Linder, an 80-year-old, retired dentist was travelling through our area and offered to do dental checks on some of our girls. The girls did great, and it was nice to see an old friend!
Life here isn’t without its challenges. We had 3 cows die unexpectedly. As these were our main milk producers, the girls are left without milk until we are able to replace the cows, which will cost $6,000 – $8,000. Purchasing milk is not an option because it is incredibly expensive here, and not always safe or of good quality. Fortunately, the ecoFarm is otherwise doing well and providing other protein sources, including 10 new piglets!
There are always things to be thankful for, and I am finding joy in the little things so often taken for granted in the west. In addition to celebrating Jesus’ resurrection at church, we had the girls’ first Easter Egg hunt. They each decorated an egg which was hidden for them to find. Imagine how confusing that tradition must be to someone who has never seen it before! Why would someone hide their breakfast? But the girls learned quickly, and thoroughly enjoyed the event. I enjoyed it, too.