Saturday, June 8, 2013

A day with Professor "Elder Gates"

Today I had the opportunity to be with Ed on his job all day and see him in action.  He leaves about 7 :00 and drives in horrendous traffic.  The job he has been on since we have been here takes about 45 minutes travel time.    He started teaching on his own on Monday.  However, due to a serious “dropping of the ball” by someone in the Church Construction office… his students didn’t know to switch locations and show up on his training site.  Today has been the first day that they all arrived.  (Most of them have been doing an internship for a non-member contractor for the past 3 months.)

We started with training in the chapel that is next door.  Usually we only spend 60-90 minutes inside with classroom training, but today we had sharing time.  Everyone has now had the opportunity to introduce themselves and tell us a bit of their “histoire”… and some of their stories are amazing.   

After sharing time he reviewed the facts of the next 3 months.   He asked them what hours they have been working on the previous job where they were doing their internships.  They said their contract they signed with the school said they would work 8 hour days.  They start at 8:00 and end at 15:00 (3:00) and they take 1 ½ hours off for lunch.  You can imagine the apoplexy he had.  Yes, folks, do the math.  They have been working 5 ½  hour days. 

He explained that we would now work from 8:00 to 16:00.  They will quit at 15:30-15:45 to put away all the equipment… and they will have exactly one hour for lunch.   They talked about the program being inspired by the Lord, because he wants them to be successful and learn a way to provide for their families.  He was great and it was fun to see them get on board with his proposals.   

After lunch they hit the job hard and accomplished lots.  One group worked on building a column.  This is Ed teaching them how to lay it out.  His interpreter, whose name is Daddy, is the one hanging over him and reiterating every word in French. 

Another group worked on making bricks for their new building.  They make the bricks one at a time.  Schola, our only girl student is the fastest block maker and she was the instructor today.

After a full afternoon of good labor, we cleaned up the job and got ready to go home.  We loaded up the truck with 8 students.  Ed tried to start the loaner truck we had for the day (ours was in the repair shop for oil maintenance).  It wouldn't start.  Most of the guys got out and started to push.  There was one of the men that didn't push but sat and gave orders.  You can imagine how funny it was when Ed jumped out of the truck and started to mimic the guy giving the orders.  They all laughed so hard, I thought they might fall on the ground.

Then Ed said "Let's Go" and they pushed him until he could start the car.  It was another great day in the Congo!


  1. I'm totally crying. These are wonderful pictures. And what a wonderful account of what your days account of. Mom, what do you do? People ask me, and I don't know what to tell them.

    Daddy, I'm so proud of you. You look so amazing and so happy. I just cried at these sweet pictures.

  2. Ryan is getting mad that dad isn't wearing his hard hat! He says Dad needs to also teach safety to these Africans! He also says dad has had too many injuries to his head! Hard hat dad! :)

  3. I can totally picture dad teasing the bossy guy not helping out!
    Hilarious!!! We love the posts mom! Thank you!!
    Cole is practicing his reading with them. It is awesome!