January is Pongal (harvest) festival time in South India. Every year, thousands of people travel to watch the Jallikuttu bull fighting festival in Alanganallur, not far from Shalom. It's a very dangerous time with lots of drinking and many serious and sometimes fatal injuries. The festival days halted our construction work for a few days but now everything is back on track. The roof slab has cured and most of the brick work for the stairs and parapet walls is finished. This week the electrical conduits are being laid and next on the list is the rendering and plumbing of the new bathroom. Thanks to a generous gift from a local Pastor and his family, we now have a water purifier to filter the bore water. This will reduce the risk of any contamination to the drinking water after heavy rains. You can see Israel standing alongside the new filter in the photo below. I've also posted a photo of preparing the reinforcing rods for the roof slab, and some from the day the roof slab was poured. The slab pouring took all day and was very labour intensive with buckets of concrete needing to be passed by hand up the wooden ladder at the front of the building. On the same day ladies from the village were busy transplanting our rice seedlings onto 4 acres of the land. During December and January we've been able to employ between 50 and 60 people from our village on building and farming work.