Sitting on the porch of my host family’s home one Sunday afternoon during my recent trip to Hagley Gap, I glanced up from my computer. I was distracted from my work by a group of boys playing with their toy cars. They were in the midst of repairing a car that had lost a wheel and discussing the quality of the repair underway.

The toys were marvels of inventiveness and scavenging.  Large plastic bottles had been chosen for color and shape. Sturdy bamboo pieces served as axels and anything round of an appropriate size became wheels. The boys were justly proud of their creations as they posed for pictures.

Later in the afternoon I was distracted again. This time by a parade of women and children dressed in their Sunday best returning from Sunday church. The women were adorned beautifully in colorful and classy dresses and fancy hats. They carried themselves with pride as they shepherded their children home while stopping occasionally to share the latest gossip with friends.

As I walked up the hill to the square that morning to buy some phone minutes I saw that there had been a small collapse of the hillside onto the road. This had probably been caused by the heavy rain the day before. A group of men were working with a small bulldozer borrowed from a local company to clear the road. They had already made good progress and my Sunday work was again distracted later in the day by the noise of the ‘dozer making its way back to its home base leaving behind a job well done.

Inventiveness, pride in self and family, a community working together – these are the people with whom and for whom the Blue Mountain Project is working.  A worthy cause, I believe. For further information please check out