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Do you know what African Red Bull is?
Friday, 14 February 2014 Written by fra Ivica Perić

Do you know what African Red Bull isLife has taught us that everything, literally everything, can and must be used here. Nothing is ever thrown away... nothing is surplus.

We needed to cut down five eucalyptus trees on the grounds of our new school. They had grown too big and were threatening to fall down on nearby villagers’ houses. We organized a big work party and got to work with cutting down the trees...

When the trees were down, I thought about how to put them to best use...

Since we have a carpentry section in our Padri Vjeko VTC, the first thing I thought of was to use the trunks to make planks, which would in turn be made into furniture by our students’ for their practical lessons. It was a great idea, because we saved some money that way – you see, timber for our carpentry section is quite expensive.

Two villagers immediately got to work. One of them is the father of one of our teachers. Both of them are very experienced in woodworking, and very quickly they started to transform the cut-down trees into planks.

But it was by no means an easy task, since everything here is done by hand. They worked from dusk till dawn for ten days. Apart from the warm meals we brought to them, they had just one other request: to provide them every day with something that will give them strength to work the whole day. As they worked, each of them would drink 10 litres of cornmeal polenta diluted in water!!! I didn’t know that it gives one so much strength. Now we call it the “African Red Bull”!

From five cut eucalyptus trees we got 100 planks, each two metres in length. We carried them all to our school and now, they will be turned into furniture by our students. Of course, all the remaining bits – small branches and chunks of wood – will be used in the school kitchen as firewood, which is necessary to make 380 warm meals for our students every day. Nothing is wasted!

Translated by Branimir Mlakić
Edited by Valerie Kae Ken

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