Sunday, August 5, 2018

Long Overdue Update--Exciting Video Footage

As anticipated, we've been a little quiet over the (Western Hemisphere) summer.  Madlen had to spend a few months in Europe attending to personal issues.  The work that could continue during her absence did continue. But mostly, we were in a holding pattern awaiting her return.

The latest video update, created by master cinematographer Dean Lindstrom, gives a clear insight into what is happening and what still, in an ideal world, might happen next. Dean created four brief clips that I compiled into 6:45 of fun.  It's not meant as an overview of the whole two-year-long project, but it does give those of you who have invested thought, emotion, or money into this project a nice view of the current situation on the ground.

In overall summary, we have raised essentially the full $62,000 needed to accomplished what we'd dream of accomplishing, plus a bit more. A reminder of what your compassion and cash have accomplished:

  • Two brand new, clean, bright, airy bedrooms with toilets and showers, which allowed the ~80 children at Foyer House to sleep in four rooms instead of two.
  • The paving of a dirt walkway that had been responsible for infesting the bare feet of the kids with truly horrid mango worms.
  • The creation of an expansive patio area in front of the building (which plays home to Kimbondo's first cement ping pong table!).
  • The destruction of arguably Sub-Sahara Africa's most odiferous and least functional communal bathroom and its replacement with clean, bright, sanitary toilets and showers.
  • The major overhaul of the two aging bedrooms including the construction of lofts in each room. (Note: the second bedroom should be completed by the end of August.)
  • A complete renovation of the hallways and the common area--light, bright, clean, lovely.
  • With special help from our friends at Cinnamon Path Productions and Theater, the kids and staff now have a brand new industrial strength washing machine and are no longer washing 80 sets of clothes by hand.  (The washing machine is housed in a purpose-built additional room.)
I regret that I'm not able to see it in person, having moved on to Bolivia.  But Dean's video updates and the regular slew of photos that Madlen send makes the difference clear.  I'm proud of them, proud of the workers, proud of myself, and proud of all of you for transforming the living experience of dozens of lives--a number that will surely grow into the hundreds as the years go past.

At this point, I feel like I've asked for a lot from others and am willing and able to fund the remaining touches (highlighted in the video) myself.  That said, if anyone out there has wanted to donate and not done so or feels compelled to contribute a bit more, Lantern Projects can still accept your tax deductible donations and get that cash to Kinshasa.

A final update should come in the next couple of months when the work is 100% completed.

You rule, kids.

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