Scene 6: “To my new family!”



With the new play structure installed the team planned to begin building the other structures that would be in the recreational area. All the while, the construction of the crèche was continuing and things were finally starting to fall in place.


Cast of Characters

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

Community Members – Mark, Shakeel, Elizabeth, Crèche Construction Team

ISN – Terrence



Flamingo Crescent Informal Settlement



As we got out of the van we were anxious in anticipation of seeing the condition of the previously installed playground structure. We knew that including this structure would be a risky move, but at the same time knew it would bring so much life to the playground. As we rounded the corner to the playground area, we saw the structure was intact with multiple kids playing on it. Some of the community members told us how happy the kids were and how much they enjoyed the structure already. With this information we all felt a sense of relief and shifted our focus to constructing other playground components. Once the top of the tire structure was finally put together we got back in the van to visit a local nursery hoping to get some tree stumps donated for the seating area.

After a short ride, we arrived at the Stodels nursery. We were greeted by one of the workers and asked to speak with the manager. We gave the manager a quick summary of what we have accomplished so far in Flamingo and proceeded by asking if Stodels could donate some tree stumps. The store manager seemed really intrigued about our project and willing to help, so he took us to the store’s disposal area where we found one tree stump. Unfortunately, after this whole ordeal, it turned out that he couldn’t donate the stump so we left with only contact information to email later that day.

We got back on the van and went to look for more tires to complete the tire structures. The owner of the last place that gave us tires was not there, so we drove around until we came across another tire store. Once we explained our project to the store manager, he was more than happy to contribute with some of the tires they had in their back room. We were lucky to find a huge tractor tire along with enough smaller tires to complete the remaining structures. We made two trips back and forth loading the van with tires and decided it was best the group split up at this point in order to get everything done.

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Left: The Team Collecting Tires Right: The Van Piled High with the Tires

The first group went to the hardware store to pick up nuts and bolts to keep the tire together while the other group stopped at a local restaurant and picked up sandwiches for everyone that has been helping us out to show our appreciation. Once we were all back at Flamingo, we gathered everyone into the crèche for a lunch break. They really appreciated it and we were able to sit down and take a step back to look at all the progress that we had made. As we were wrapping up, Terrance stopped us all to propose a toast to his new family.


Terrence, the WPI Team, and Crèche Construction Team Enjoying a Lunch Break

After lunch it was time to get back to work. With the tires assembled it was time to paint them to give the park some nice color. We used white paint mixed with different tints to make a variety of different colors. The kids were really excited to see it and wanted to help. Unfortunately they are a little too rambunctious so we had to find small tasks that they could do to avoid any mishaps while the tires dried. While this was happening Andres assembled a tire bench using two stacks of tires with wood laid across the top of them. After we had finished a lot of the painting for the park we moved to painting a white base coat on the front of the crèche in preparation for the mural we wanted to paint.



This past week the team and the community have been working extra hard to make sure all of the goals that we set out to finish get accomplished. Everyone wants to finish as much as possible while we are still here and it’s been inspiring to see the dedication from everyone. Today we chose to get food for everyone that has been working hard for us, including Terrence, the community leaders, the community members working on the crèche, as well as our bus driver Lance. We wanted to show everyone how much we appreciate their dedication and efforts to make this project successful. There are so many people invested in this project and it has been amazing to witness the strides that have been taken in such a short period of time. We wanted the lunch to show everyone that we are acknowledging all the work they are doing. Hearing Terrence refer to us as part of his new family was a defining moment, showing us just how far we’ve come. It became clear to us that through our involvement in this process that we’ve become part of this community in a unique way we didn’t initially see as possible.

We’re finally seeing that the little changes we’ve assisted with in the community are starting to affect everyone. In the past week the children have been playing on the new playground equipment and trying to help out in little ways. The parents have been sitting in the recreational space and there is a buzz of excitement about the construction happening. We’re beginning to realize that this project is much bigger than we ever expected. The outcome isn’t just a physical building and playground, but rather it encompasses a positive vibe sweeping through the community that will hopefully continue with the completion of the crèche. As we approach our final week we hope to keep this positive momentum going by working with them to leave as many positive outcomes as possible.