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Success on a project like building a school relies as much on who-you-know as what-you-know. Which certainly came in handy when we went looking for bricks in the middle of the rainy season. The bricks—made one at a time from mud by hand—are left out to dry in the sun and then fired outdoors by creating a bonfire inside a huge pile of bricks. Of course this is not possibly in the rainy season, which was a problem I had not anticipated. Many people had unfired bricks in their homes ready for the rains to end, but unsuitable for building.

Eventually Vitalis asked a friend who asked a friend who knew someone who just might have the five thousand bricks we needed. And so it was. The lady bargained hard but I was glad to hand over the cash as it looked like she could use it.

Then we had the small problem of shifting the bricks seven miles down the road. Another friend of a friend knew someone with a tractor, and the job was soon done.

Now we just need someone to go to the river for sand.