Roofing ceremony...

Everyone is helping to get everything clean...
Everyone is helping to get everything clean...

Roofing ceremony...


Today was our big day.
No one at the site knew except our comitee. At 7:15 am we already arrived at the construction site.  The chairs should already be delivered, but of course this was not the case.
So I had to do my all morning ritual: to make phone calls. In the meantime, we informed the workers that we will make a little party here today and.... that the great prominence and television and newspapers will be there. Suddenly everyone has begun to swirl around. The hall had to be cleaned and tidied up, others have started their work. It is fun to see everybody do their work like ants. It is 8:30 and the chairs arrive... dirt. So we had to clean them. The first guests were suppose to arrive at 10 o'clock... On the guest list there are the County Commissioner, Mrs Esther Maina, the Director of the Ministry of Land and Housing, the Chief and many, many more...

Slowly I become nervous. I'm reading through my text again. Our ceremony is supposed to start at 10:20 am, actually. Then I receive a call that the press is stuck in Embu. Ambassadors and diplomats arrived there surprisingly.
Which means for me: reschedule and start the ceremony without P+C...
P + C = press and celebrities ....
Then again I receive a call, they will still come, but only with a little delay... 2 policemen already arrived to secure the safety of Ms. Maina. As the convoy finally arrives, our workers are still working diligently on: plastering, covering the roof, installing the water, installing the electricity, putting up the doors and tiling... I hope I didn't forget anything. Now we have to quickly stop the work and clean up. We showed Mrs County Commissioner Esther Maina around and explained everything to her. The press is still not here. The sun is burning down in the hall now, so we have to change and put all the chairs and so on under the big mango tree. The County Commissioner explained that she has not much time because guests from Finland are waiting in her office for her, ambassadors and diplomats ...
I am thrilled that she still came to take a look at the half-finished building shell of Home of Smile. We want to start, but the press is still not here... No, I won't freak out, while constantly trying to reach the press people by phone, but without success. We start... First, a prayer of thanks and short speech of our Chairman Mr. Mutugi.
The press arrives... big grin on my face... Then it follows my short lecture why and how and ever I do this...
There is still someone missing... oh, the caterer hasn't arrived with the food and the drinks yet...
It follows a speech of the officials and the closing words of our vice president John Machari. The County Commissioner apologizes herself again that she can not stay longer, brief interview with the press, take a photo together and already she hurries to the next appointment.
Shortly thereafter, the caterer arrives and the battle at the buffet can begin.
In between Susan and I were allowed to give interviews.
The workers were totally thrilled and later went back to work with renewed vigor. They gave me a nickname: Ngugi, which means hard-working operator... I am honored and from tomorrow on they can call me Mister Ngugi instead of Mister Achim ....All in all a very successful day ends with a beer in the Isaac Walton beer garden, which I was invited by my friends Rita and Gerhard...
Tomorrow at noon we will be shown at 5 or 6 TV channels across the country and in the "Nation" and the "Standard" the Kenyans can read about Home of Smile on Monday.
Thanks to all of you, the workers who resisted almost 3 months with me the "Muzungu", the team of Home of Smile Kenya, and especially to Susan, who has done a fantastic job. Without them I would not have come so far.
And of course to all of you, you have supported me with feverish, awarded courage and did a great donation performance.
All of you are building a Home of Smile for children...
You are a gift to the world...
Thank you very much