Andrew Murray says goodbye to South Africa after spending the last month helping to build a shelter for children orphaned by AIDs.
Tuesday, 11 April
The concrete foundation strips were poured in the valley by Mehul, Owen, Robin and Andrew while the rest of us assist with further food-drops to Kwaxinba and Swayimane.
Swayimane is where GGA are intending to build a new crèche. We've decided to allocate some of the money that we have raised in excess of the cost of building materials towards the crèche.
After pouring the footings, the four guys head into Pietermaritzburgh with Stuart to browse a hardware stores for tools. We have allocated some of the additional money towards new tools for GGA's building team because of the difficulties that we have experienced.
Wednesday, 12 April
We brought gifts of toys, colouring books, pencils and soccer balls from the UK and this morning I delivered them to Myrtle so that she can hand them to the children.
Peatrice takes us to visit a pre-school and then to ‘the farm' where GGA's outreach program is run from. We hear about the long term programme to develop the communities in the valleys through educating the children and training older people in personal health care, arts and crafts, cooking and how to look after their earnings.
Mehul and David go with Brahm and Klinklu to the valley to lay the blockwork on the concrete footings at the ‘house of hope'; the rest of the team return to GGA to work on the accommodation building. In the evening we share dinner with the children and listen to a local choir that has recently returned from a tour of Germany.
Thursday 13, April
Coco and Nick stay at GGA to work on the accommodation building installing mosaic floor tiles in the showers and painting. The rest of us load the lorry at 6:30am to go to the valley to pour the concrete slab at the ‘house of hope'. It's a hot day and hard work back-filling the plot before mixing the concrete, delivering it with wheelbarrows and levelling it.
Friday, 14 April
We all have a well-earned sleep-in before saying our farewells and departing GGA and KwaZulu Natal. At Durban we hit the beach, go for a swim and buy souvenirs.
Saturday, 15 April
On the flight back to the UK, we were able to reflect on our time in Africa. It was an extremely rewarding experience and I know that we have contributed to the wellbeing and livelihoods of some truly amazing people.
The God's Golden Acre Building supervisor was hugely appreciative of the work we completed during the visit and was impressed by how we were able to apply more advanced techniques than he had expected. He was also pleased to see that everyone in our party was prepared to get their hands dirty. We now look forward to other Multiplex graduates tackling even more complex builds in the region.