Friday, January 23, 2009

Getting ready for the hospital dedication

The hospital dedication is only 7 days away and the project has a ways to go before it is done. While the Heduru construction guys have been busy working on getting everything inside the hospital done, Bill has taken on the tasks of getting the outside of the hospital "presentable," and of cleaning the wards. It is a big job, and not one that Bill can do alone, so lots of folks have been helping. The guys on the work site have been encouraged to have Bill working with them, and seem to work a lot better when he is present. This past weekend, his dad, Grandpa "Big Al" McCoy arrived and has been a blessing to have around. The Mount Vernon college students who are here on the "J term" are also helping out when they have free time. OPD this week, especially these past 2 days have been slow, so I have been able to get out to the site 4 out of 5 afternoons this week, and Andy and Becky have joined us the past 2 days also. Bill acts as our foreman and directs us to the tasks that need done. Yesterday, Becky and I joined Bill, his dad, some of the Mt. Vernon students, and the work guys on site doing landscaping and moving of dirt. We got quite a lot done. We started with planting flowers along the sides of the wards. The McCoys and Dan were shoveling good topsoil as Becky, Paige, and I planted the flowers. Initially, a lot of the PNG workers were just standing around watching us as we worked. At times, they tried to give us suggestions as to how to plant the flowers better, and then one by one they started to help us as we finished planting the flowers. By the end of that project, they were on board with the work we were doing and were ready to help us do whatever was next. After planting all those flowers, I wasn't really sure what to do, but I knew I needed to find us another project as we now had a whole bunch of guys working and needed to maximize our efforts. I directed us to another area of the project by the pediatric ward to plant more flowers, only to find they had been planted already. We were debating what to do, move topsoil or plant flowers in another location. I had the guys going back and forth from one place to another before I finally found Bill and got the go ahead to keep on planting. So we planted a bunch more flowers and had a bunch of guys bringing us topsoil. Nathan, Joe, James, Samuel, Peter, Thomas, and Steven were some of those helping us. After planting flowers, Bill moved us to another location to move dirt. Shoveling dirt tends to be the activity that is needed done the most, but isn't always the most enjoyable for everyone to do. Andy had joined us at this time, and so we had a bunch of us working. We had a system of shovelers, drivers (wheel barrowers), and ground levelers. It worked quite well until Bill and his dad left so Bill could go on call. When they departed, the production of the workers greatly decreased. We still moved some dirt, but not as well as we did just moments before. We shared some good laughs as we worked together. There is still more to do, but a lot has been done in this last week. We got flowers planted between all the wards, landscaping done out front, and initial cleaning and mopping of most of the wards. It has really been fun to get out and work on the site. The new hospital has been in the building phase for the whole time I have been here, but now I actually get to be a part of it. This has made it more meaningful. It has also been fun to work alongside the construction guys, the college students, Bill's dad, Andy, Becky, and Bill in an environment outside the hospital. We still have more dirt to move and more cleaning before our dedication on the 30th, but I look forward to it.