Fr. Stanislav and I got a late start down due to car troubles, yet was able to visit one school and three very needy families the first day. The first school was that of the north, Al Arabia, which is near the frontier not far from where we enter. This school we helped recently by enlarging the kitchen and separating it from the children's bathrooms. We were pleased with the work.
Yet we found that the roof of the children's bathrooms was penetrated with water. We took pictures of it. Sabah had shown it to our architect and he said that it needs to be removed and be replaced with one with a slant, so the water will run off. Fr. Stan was in agreement of this need and solution. We need to get an estimate of the cost.
Bro. Lorenzo had been down for a visit earlier in the months and he saw with Sabah the three homes which we also visited. The three families which we visited are in different stages of having their homes renewed. As we arrived at the first home the man to put in new windows and doors was present and was measuring the places for the windows and doors. Sabah discussed with him the project, our driver, who is an honest man has begun to help her to close good materials and to bargon for the prices with her.
The second home had a kitchen built which had to be built outside the main building. It was built one meter smaller than we stipulated. Sabah was very upset with this and contacted the entrepreneur about it. This home will also get a cover over the area between the main building and the kitchen and the bathroom as a protection from the rain and cold. The entrance which is sand for flooring to the bathroom needs to be covered as well as cover a hole which is dangerous to all those coming and going.
The third home of 11 people has had the pipes put in for the bathroom and kitchen and the walls done. It looks great. They still need the sinks and toilets installed. The floor was not included in this renovation, yet we see that it is critical for the family as it is sand and cement which is crisscrossed with of pipes running to the kitchen and to the bathroom. It will cost an added 1,000 shekels which we must find.
The two schools which we visited the second day were in the Middle Camps south of Gaza City. Hannan's School is the one we had hoped could have a second floor added to be able to include more children. Sabah had the entrepreneur study it and he said that the building is too old to add a floor. He suggested that they add a class in front of the building in the play yard. We had provided last year the flooring for it, so it only needs one full wall, one half wall and two doors and two windows to create a nice classroom. We must find the funding for this added room as the children are very crowed in their present classrooms. Old tables can have new Formica tops put on them for this room as their metal legs are still in good condition.
Visiting these homes put us in direct contact with families that had nothing, and we could see that they had very little food and were hungry. The Missionaries of Charity said that daily people were coming to them too for food. With the deterioration of the general situation there we must find money to feed the very needy again. did write one organization for funding.
We had to leave early the second day as the price of gasoline went up causing the prices of taking taxis to rise. The taxis all protested this change by striking for two hours.