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November 2011

Now that the fundis were gone, it was only up to the Musafirs to make magic happen.

The mataruma (ribs) for the boat is the most difficult material to gather, especially for a boat the size of the Musafir. To make easier, the fundis had shaped four metal bars that show the shape of the boat in a right angle. These bars are taken to the forest and used to figure out which tree has the right shape and size. One of the Musafirs went to the forest with the help of the locals looking the right trees.

In the neighbour's farm, many trees had already been cut for clearing an area or for selling timber. The branches of those trees were still around and they offered a great opportunity for the Musafir to use this left over material. Of course not all of the cut wood was suitable for boat building and the Musafir would need the best material to make it fit for the adventures ahead. The job was quite stressful due to some poor organization and reliability issues with some of the locals. But slowly slowly the material was found, cut and transported back to the banda (boatyard), allowing work on the boat to start and keep going for a while.

Because the Musafir were inexperienced in collecting the material, there was a lot of tension inside them because they were not sure whether they had cut the right wood. The fundis came back after 6 weeks and luckily all of the pieces brought to the banda fit very well,

While some of the Musafirs in the farms around the bordering forest looking for more material, the others were improving the condition of the banda in a way to accommodate more people. Another loft was built on the other side of the banda as well as room on the roof top called the Bird's Nest. It offers a majestic view of the river and the local fauna living in it: hippos, crocodiles and large variety of different sorts of birds.

The relations with the villagers is getting better and better the more time goes by. Children are around every day spending some time with the Musafir. Chai and local pastries are often shared with them.

Since the number of the Musafir - now at seven - was growing, it was time to make the Musafir work already for it is being built for: to exchange, to grow and to share. In Kipini there are many children who are spread throughout the village playing around. The idea had been thought of for a long time but now was the moment to start the work on building a playground for the children and relaxing area for the elders. A clean and smart place where people can interact and children can play.