For the last two or more years we have been using a small temple as the grounds for serving our Sunday picnics for Pratyasha Foundation. It really is just a tiny place but I am so thankful for it because it gives us a consistent place to meet every week. Ever since I can remember, the roof of the temple has been rusted through in many places. We have many incidences where water, trash, leafs, and other unmentionable things have dropped down through the rusty holes and onto us or the food as we are serving it. Before I left for Jordan, we talked to the temple care taker about helping them to replace the roof and finally last week we were able to get it all done!
After meeting with several roofing companies we decided to go for an aluminium roof which should last the life time of the temple. On Thursday morning we hired a carpenter and headed down to Lakhtokia to get rid of the rusty roof!
(the kids approve of our roof choice)
(out with the old!)
(goodbye rotting wood)
(goodbye rusty sheeting!)
The new roofing had to be delivered by a man-pulled cart. We had called for the delivery around 1145am and it made it to us around 4 or 430... it was a long wait in Lakhtokia for it. At one point the volunteer that was there with me had to actually go and look for the man who was delivering the roof. When they finally arrived I couldn't believe that this thin, ageing man had pulled the sheets so far in the crazy heat. Cart delivery is very common here but boy did I feel guilty. Once it was finally here, the new roofing was placed within an hour! Our carpenter was very efficient and thoughtful. There was so much excitement during this time. Families were coming by and giving their thoughts and opinions on wether the roofing was good (a resounding yes) and how it should be placed, what else should be done for the temple, etc. There was so much positive energy!
As the main source of economy in the slum is a recycling business, the old roof was weighed and sent for recycling right away. The money they receive for the old roof will go into new paint for the temple!
(3 sheet, 4!)
(a shiny new roof!)
The best part for me was just taking the time to spend almost the whole day with the kids. We had tickle fights, wiggled loose teeth, played games, chit chatted about school, cuddled babies, looked through old photos and one of the girls had a very in depth question and answer session. Her questions were so cute.
"Why are your eyes a different color than ours?"
"Is your nose stud gold?"
"What is that on your face?" (the answer is acne, adult acne my friends)
"What do you eat"
"Where is Hannah/Olivia/Lis/Rosie?"
"Sister, why have you become so thin? You used to be healthy!"
The last one killed me because, I was sick for a few months and lost a lot of weight. I never would have really guessed that they would notice but they did. She was genuinely concerned as she placed her hands on my wrists and arms. When we had satisfied with our answers, she ran off home and slowly all the families came to check out what we had been up to that day.