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The Batwa Build a Bridge

We got the bridge finished today: our first project from the RSF Batwa Artisan Co-op funds! We built a bridge across the Munyaga River, so kids and adults alike don't have to wade across. The kids sometimes come to my house, which is just across the river from Karehe village on the mountain, soaked up to their necks... it's about a foot deep NOW, and in the rainy season gets much deeper. This is a safety issue, and a convenience issue. There's another way down the hill and across the river with a bridge, but it's about a half-mile across Karehe village. We started Monday, working with one carpenter and the entire Batwa village. Even the women helped carry the logs and the timber. (We plan to plant new trees to replace the ones we harvested). I am truly proud of this community coming together to work on this bridge, as many have said the Karehe Batwa dont work together, they drink too much, they have too many issues. I believe in them, and they are believing in themselves, and hopefully seeing that working together can bear much fruit.

Before the bridge

TThe river as it looked before we added the bridge, with beautiful red flowers.

The men of Karehe work on the bridge's construction

The TThe Batwa and our carpenter Bunani get started on the bridge.

Even the women helped out

TThe Batwa women helped carry logs for the bridge, as well! This is Jacklin, Peninah, and Allen in the foreground. Wilson is on the other side with the beanie next to his father Jackson.

Carpenter Jackson helps direct the Batwa men how to build

TThe Batwa men hold up the log, along with carpenter Bunani.

I got some play time with the Batwa kiddos, including the "face" of RSF - Beckham
Everyone carried the heavy logs to the site, even after they first thought they couldnt!
After! This is almost complete - the final images coming soon.

The almost-completed bridge! It actually is completed, but I will have to post a photo of it soon.

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