Friday 26th October

This was the final day of the build.  A few hours earlier we had all learnt a little more about GGA, the children, the volunteers and the builders and it made us feel a little uneasy.  But we had a deadline, and PR event and too much yet to do.  The frustrations came as a lack of tools and time crushed our final day into what seemed like a few hours.  Our bodies almost defeated by the night before, our souls scarred and our time together nearing the end.

It seems trivial to describe the challenges of the day.   More muck to mix, gaps to fill, doors to trim, locks to fit, lino to roll out and curtains to hang.  The beds arrived before anything was ready.  We plodded on with blunt tools and jostled for space in the new home to complete one task after another.

Heather brought a family of helpers and settled into the house, one room at a time dressed with the personal flourishes of a woman who rejoices in the detail while chaos lurks threateningly.  Then we had done enough.  It was time for the GGA PR machine to tip toe into the personal life of our beneficiary.  Speech, welcome, thank you, prayer, song, photo, group photo, tour, tears, goodbyes, tears and tears.  Who could not be moved by the change our constant host at the build site was to experience.  A weatherproof shell, beds on blocks, clean dry floors, doors to keep out unwanted visitors night or day.  The mother of three was instantly confident, proud and credible in the community.  Her children were timid and tense but soon those fears would fade as the reality of their new security settled into their lives.

We returned drained and drawn.  Barbecue beef and Boerewors, bonfire and bonhomie.  We scrubbed and dressed up.  Brendan, Heather’s son, directed the GGA bumbling into a slick organised and sparkling party.  Music, food, fantastic hosts.  Each one of us was scooped up and waited upon, entertained and paraded in the final social gathering of children, visitors, volunteers, staff and builders.  All friends together; and us, the visitors, the outsiders, the guests realising this had been a very special time that would be a part of us evermore.

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