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How To Build a literacy & translation building in Ten Easy Steps!

June 9, 2014

Step One: Determine, “Do I need a literacy & translation building?” There are a few answers. If you do not have a literacy or translation building, then you just might need a building. If your literacy building is very old, and the termites have been busy eating the building, then, “Yes, I need a new literacy building!” This was the answer of the Onobasulu language program. A literacy office and classroom had been built about 2000. However, the bush materials building had greatly deteriorated as well as having severe termite damage.

Here is what that building looks like. Also, Hauwo Sebo had fallen in March of this year while carrying materials down the stairs from the office on the upper floor. He has gotten better, but still struggles with some side effects of the fall and resulting concussion.

Here is the building site, the red cleared spot in the foreground.

Step Two: Preparing for building.

We had the building on the schedule of our construction department for last year. So, I had to get back to Papua New Guinea for the construction work to happen. Not that I’d be doing real construction work, but it seemed wisest that I be there on the ground.

Preparation went on in both Ukarumpa and Walagu. There was a period of time when it seemed that the plans changed every day. These changes were stressful, as each change precipitated other changes.

During February at Walagu, the major work was to cut timber for the building. Kesken and Michael came out to Walagu to run a portable sawmill. The Onobasulu people had cut many logs. We wanted to transition from timber to useable lumber.

Kesken was our expert for the portable sawmill. He did great at also teaching the Onobasulu people how to use the sawmill. Kesken is on the back side of the sawmill, and Yobe Maibi is on the front side.

Of course, we had to get the logs to the sawmill.

And other days it was get the sawmill to the logs.

Step Three: Getting people & materials to Walagu

Because the Walagu airstrip is closed, we had to travel into Walagu via helicopter. The Kodiak airplane took cargo to a nearby airstrip. The helicopter took us people into Walagu, and then did cargo shuttles.

Sawmill arrives at Walagu.

And safely land the sling load.

So, today we began our journey. More steps tomorrow.

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