During July 2017 at the invitation of the Carr Foundation, Bret Berger and I traveled to Gorongosa National Park in west-central Mozambique. Our primary goal was to assist with the construction of a small playground at a primary school in Vinho, a small community located near the Park.
We brought the hard to find swing set parts with us from Utah. In advance of our arrival, personnel purchased the steel pipe needed to complete the swing set installation. The Park is in a very isolated location, so these advanced preparations were critical.
The actual assembly, construction, and installation of the playground equipment was accomplished by the metal shop at the National Park. The swing set was, for the most part, assembled on site. To get to Vinho, the parts were transported to a nearby river by John Deere tractor and wagon, taken across the river on a small boat (which functions as a ferry), and manhandled to the schoolyard.
At the school, park employees assembled the swing set, dug the holes for the legs, and placed the concrete. Unfortunately we couldn’t let the children swing until the concrete hardened. So we returned the next day and attached the 4 swing seats. The swing set was an instant hit with the local children.
We provided the shop with plans for a climbing tower (with a fire pole down the center). This they worked on for a couple of days but weren’t able to complete before we left. But it was later installed by Park employees.
During the periods when we weren’t needed to assist on playground equipment, we went on game drives. Gorongosa National Park has a nice variety of animals. All four excursions we went on were enjoyable, with entertaining and knowledgeable guides.
Mozambique is the 7th country where my family, friends, and I have installed playground equipment, and the 3rd country in Africa. The other African countries are Ethiopia and Uganda.