Eager to start the day, we gathered our equipment and headed out to Malongane. Faithful to his word, Ronaldo met us at the site again to give us a hand today.
We made contact with the neighbouring homesteads and introduced ourselves (most of them spoke a little English, and those who did not, Fifi translated). They all were aware that the ground belongs to the Baptist church and we explained our plans to them.
At present, the locals were using a foot path that ran right through the middle of the property to get to the village. With the fence erected, they will not be able to do this anymore. So, with the assistance of one of the neighbours and 2 other helpers, we cleared two foot paths through the dense bush on either side of the property, from the top right down to the bottom to allow the locals to still walk to the bottom without having to go around the entire area. This was done as a courtesy to the locals. We also cleared where the fence needs to go at the bottom of the property.
All kinds of creatures made their presence known whilst we were clearing bushes. This giant snail stuck its head out to see what we were up to.
Today we had an extra helper, brother Joaquim, a fellow brother at FBCPDO came along to help us plant the poles that were delivered yesterday afternoon.
As soon as we arrived on site, Derick, Fifi, Ronaldo and Joaquim started mixing the cement for the poles. This proved to be a little more difficult than anticipated. Water……. The cement mix needs water. Although there is a borehole at the bottom of the property, it has no pump and no means of getting the water out. So we decided to ask some of the neighbouring homesteads for water for our mix. Just our luck, there was no electricity in the area and none of the boreholes functioned. This posed a bit of a problem for us as without water we cannot mix the cement. We are only around for a few more days and much needed to be done in that time. Kathy and Ronaldo got into the Ford to go water hunting. Soon enough, not far down the road, a local had a tank on a stand which meant no electricity needed to get water. Our problem solved. In no time the two of them returned with 3 x 25lt buckets of water and the mixing started. The ball was on the roll and everyone in good spirit.
The sun was beating down on us but it did not dampen the mood. Spades were swinging, poles were painted with creosote and bushes were flying.
What a productive day. What great teamwork! 26 gum poles painted with creosote, planted and cemented in. The entire Northern perimeter planted with poles.
Covered in creosote, sweat and dust, the workforce returned home for the night to rest the weary muscles.