Volunteer work teams from around the United States have been in Rus Rus almost non-stop since October making tremendous progress with key infrastructure upgrades. In fact, almost the entire list of 2011 projects has been completed!
In September and October (2011), the old spliced-together overhead electrical lines (that actually crossed the end of the airstrip) were removed. They were replaced with brand-new underground lines in conduit. A 3 foot-deep by 400 foot-long trench had to be dug. Painting of the hospital exterior was completed and a new windsock for the airstrip was also installed.
In January 2012 an electrical team arrived to replace and upgrade the entire electrical service on both the hospital and generator "ends" of the new underground line. Team members, and donated electrical components, came together from from North Carolina, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Florida. This was a true team effort, a lot of work, and a wonderful job done by all involved!
In February 2012, a team from West Church, in Haverhill, MA arrived to install a new suspended ceiling in the hospital, complete interior painting, and construct a concrete "deck" as a new outdoor waiting area at the front of the hospital. This will eventually be covered by a roof, but simply having people able to wait on cement (rather than mud) is a big improvement – especially evident during large medical brigades when hundreds of people per day are waiting to receive medical care.
Perhaps the biggest impact this team had on the village, however, came as the ladies on the team took several afternoons off from "construction" and opened up a makeshift beauty salon. "Extreme Makeover Jungle Edition" brought a dimension of love and compassion directly to the women of the village that none had ever experienced in their normally very hard lives. Way to go West Church ladies!
Work teams are needed for 2012 to complete a number of additional projects that are critical to the Rus Rus mission base and hospital. Several existing building need new roofs – including the main generator shed and the inpatient ward. Please contact MAG if you can help!