Scene 1: Another Day, Another Design


After a flurry of meetings last week, we were eager to continue making progress on the crèche and playground. Adi had agreed to update the design and we were meeting with him in Flamingo to discuss final changes to the design. Terrence had agreed to gather tires for the playground. For the last few weeks, every time we try to start building anything we make another plan to start the next day. Again, we were almost sure we would be able to start building first thing next week, but we ran into more speed bumps along the way which would delay construction for at least one more day.


Cast of Characters

The WPI Flamingo Team – Jacquelyne, Malina, Andres, Justin, Kristin

Community Member – Mark

Advisors – Scott and Steve

ISN – Terrence and Melanie

CORC – Adi and Sizwe



Flamingo Crescent Informal Settlement

Centre for Early Childhood Development



The previous evening, we had received an email from Levona Powell about providing Terrence with a truck to transport the tires for the playground sometime in the future. Any hope of having tires first thing in the morning was not going to work out. We arrived in Flamingo Crescent at 9:00am unsure of what we were going to do today if we were not going to be building benches with Marky. We wanted to check in with Terrence to see if the lot had been cleared so the foundation could be poured later in the week. Terrence could not be found, but we walked in right as the final gumpoles were moved out of the space. The city was making a lot of progress towards installing electricity in Flamingo Crescent! We called Terrence and he said he would be able to meet with us in twenty minutes, but instead we decided to meet up with Terrence at 11am and went to regroup at the CECD and plan something else for the day.

After discussing our options at the CECD, we decided to take some action of our own. We went back to Flamingo Crescent and asked Marky to take us to some nearby hardware stores to get quotes for paint and pallets. We talked to a business across the street that has given Mark pallets for free in the past. Andres talked to one of the workers at the plant and after seeing our brochure about the Flamingo Crescent project they told us they would call if they had any extra pallets. Afterwards, we headed to the hardware store to get a quote on paint. We found out that we could get a huge bucket of white paint along with some cheaper tints instead of having to buy a lot of a bunch of different colors. The clerk was even nice enough to give us a ten percent discount for Flamingo.


Andres Attempting to Get Pallets Donated for the Playground

When we got back to Flamingo we met up with Terrence and he mentioned we were heading to the store. We thought he was taking us to the hardware store, but as it turns out we went to a nearby convenience store and he bought everyone granadilla popsicles. It was an incredibly nice gesture.

At 1pm we met with Adi, Scott, Steve, and Sizwe. Adi had updated the drawings over the weekend as promised and the crèche was looking nearly finished. During the meeting, we changed the interior layout so .the toilets and kitchen would be placed on the left wall facing the road for easier access to the plumbing. When Scott and Steve arrived they helped clear up how materials would be bought and who would front the cash in the beginning of the project. Overall it was a very productive day. However further action still has to be taken to finalize the design.


Adi, Terrence, Community Leaders, WPI Team, and Advisors Collaboratively Discussing Design Specifics



After every meeting we are always excited because it feels like progress is happening. However, the next day the project still feels like it is at a standstill. Although we are meeting with many different people to get their input on the design, we wish we could just begin building. As a team we have realized that instead of waiting for another meeting, there are actions we can take as a team that advance different aspects and later stages of the design and construction process for the crèche. It’s also important for us to remember we can always be working on getting materials for the playground. Something as simple as walking to a hardware store can really get the ball rolling for our project.