We are thrilled to report that at last we are not struggling with the water leaks from the Restaurant and kitchen roofs! Actually, we did not know what we could do to overcome the embarrassment and challenge of the daily flooding in the makuti (thatch) large meeting hall/ restaurant that we call PAMOJA (Together) and also the kitchen. The October November December stretched out with alarming torrents of rainfall causing not only damage to the roofing but to the rooms underneath. The restaurant is one of the main sources of income for us with bookings for meetings and group meals.
We had many extra-early morning starts to mop up the floods inside before the visitors arrived. The Craft Room walls, units and electrics also were damaged and we closed it down until we could find the wherewithal to repair.
Then , a miracle happened! Ellie Wheeler came up with a brilliant idea of an online raffle which raised 1,700 pounds in the end, thanks to all the generosity of those who contributed. Her lively organisation of all of it was just superb, right down to the tense online draw. Congratulations to all the winners and thankyou everybody who “bought tickets”.
The total was spent on a double canvas roofing, stretched over metal hooping and finished with Kenyan roping. Isaac had gone to Nairobi to purchase the canvas direct and to do some good wheeling and dealing (the Kenyans are good at that). We needed a lot of new thatch pieces ( called “makuti” and made on the coast from coconut leaves). Isaac found that in Nairobi the pieces were pricey, so he biked to the coast to buy direct.
Unfortunately, his phone was stolen as he queued at a traffic light. He had just inserted it into his helmet to take a call…whoosh. However, he got a great deal with the thatch which arrived a few days later (and he saw the sea!).
We stripped and sorted re-useable pieces then our workers got to work on restructuring.
A few of our workers are mentally challenged . Benson, alias Sonko, has been with us throughout my time here and is quite famous with his double set of teeth.
We have a tiny forest where we plant our unsold tree seedlings so we got our frame posts there. It took several weeks because of applying wood preservative and metal supporters, then joining the canvas . At last, everything was mounted and we awaited the next downpour….
Wahome , our skilled fundi/ workman / mason/carpenter turned his attention to the small area of thatch at the entrance and he roped in the new makuti.
At last we were dry!
The kitchen roof got a similar treatment but here we used tin sheeting for good water run-off. Result = Cooks happy!
The repairs have uplifted our spirits and helped us to feel that , once again, the site in general looks attractive.
We are moved again by the real legacy of the special, wonderful Wheeler family. We miss Rob so much but just imagine, how proud and thrilled he would be to see what his family have continued to achieve here at Peacemakers. We look forward to welcoming everybody here at some time. We hope Ellie will also will make it soon to dedicate her balcony as “Wheelers’ Nest “.
THANKYOU ELLIE! THANKYOU EVERYBODY !