I stepped across the slippery wet stepping-stones, gingerly watching my feet as I crossed the river. The penultimate stone was submerged and I slipped and fell straight in, soaked at the river’s edge. I put my shoes back on, and walked up the hill to meet the beneficiaries of some of the shelters we have built. It was a supremely hot day, and before long I had dried off completely.
We were greeted at the first house we approached by the owner, a woman who had only just had her shelter completed. She was delighted: ‘now I have a new home, I have somewhere to put my furniture and make it my own’.
Further up the hill we met her aunt, a small, slight, elderly lady resting in the shade outside her house. She smiled as we approached and told us how pleased she was with her new home and the coolness of the structure, compared to the tarpaulin which had provided her with shelter before. ‘It used to be so hot I couldn’t sleep’ she said, ‘now it is cool and I can sleep all day in peace’. Inside was proof of this new-found tranquillity; one of her grandchildren fast asleep on the floor.
Back down to the river, but this time I fell in at the first stone, gave up and waded across, refreshed by the cool water. The journey had been worth it this time.