12 days into the project and we've not only impressed the principal and teachers of Dhauladhar Convent School (DCS), but I'm pretty sure we've all impressed ourselves. Monday morning; we were all relieved to see the water tank hole being covered up by the contractors with wood, steel poles, and cement; meaning the main water hole has now fully been built (!!!). Though the water tank hole had to be left untouched overnight to allow for the cement to harden, thereby meaning there would be less construction work over the next few days, we were assured that plumbers will be coming into the school soon to further direct us on where to dig trenches for the water pipes. The blisters on our hands have started to heal and I think we've all missed the therapeutic side effect of digging, so we're looking forward to having more hard work thrown at us soon.
For the time being, on Monday and Tuesday, we enjoyed having more relaxed working days; continuing both with our teaching of English classes, and after school clubs of maths and sports. After being told that the walls of class 1 and class 4, respectively, had clean wall spaces for painting- we decided to get stuck in with that. First sandpapering, second applying a white base layer, and thirdly another white layer; we were soon able to start painting shapes onto the wall of class 1, as well as planning the wall design of class 4. For class 4's wall mural, part of our preparation involved stencilling the outline of our handprints- which Lily had covered. Meanwhile, Rachel and I had started on painting the doors: first a pink primer, then a dark brown. We really have started making the school look more colourful and neat. Rebecca, Rachel and Jen went into town after school, coincidentally arriving in town as heavy rain began. Though the other six of us were clearly glad to have missed that fiasco, I think we all wished we saw Rebecca chasing after her flip flop downhill as a flood of rainwater washed over the three of them. I probably don't need to mention that Rebecca was later handed the spoon for it.
Despite waking up 08:00 sharp on Wednesday for breggfast (which you'd realise is a very accurate term for our 19th day running of breakfast eggs), we were told that a nationwide strike meant we wouldn't be heading into DCS today. Though it seems some schools remained open, no transport was available for the commute, which is usually 30 minutes in a taxi- so, of course, we had no choice but to have a day of rest. Most of the team sat outside in the sun whilst reading books all morning, followed by a game of cards and a trip into town. Thankfully, it stayed sunny and warm all day as we had lunch and also managed to witness a group of locals marching through town for the strike. After walking home, and a discussion of travel plans in our last week in India, the whole team seems to be healthy, well rested, and excited to get back to DCS tomorrow to see what the remainder of our project will bring.