Friday, December 2, 2011

Another day in...

Folks are probably wondering what all we do in Kololo when we are not swinging pickaxes or bashing boulders.  

 Well the day I wrote this, Phill would sweetly sing, “…another day in paradise”. I am swinging away, though presently in my hammock, reading In the Defense of Food (on my new kindle, a gift from Liz) enjoying my day off for the week. Our Sundays are usually split between basking  in the sun and shade on the mouth of our waterfall infinity pool, and relaxed in our hammocks.  Yes, Daniel and I both brought one.  The rest of our schedules, well it's fairly repetitive.

 Monday through Saturday wake up at 6:45.  Eat bananas, bread, and peanut butter, and wash it down with a large tea.  All the while, going over wacky Larium (our anti-malarial meds) induced dreams, and discuss the days work plans. I then do a my calisthenics and stretches to get the muscles.  Once the boots are laced up, we grab the solar equipment, a few hand tools and head down the hill.

Daniel working with Tamesgen leveling the first row
Our house is a 3 minute walk to the jobsite, it's also next to one of the local church (with a boisterous and song happy congregation), a slightly annoying highlight of our Sunday swinging.

Ijigu usually gets to the jobsite 20 minutes early and barks out the days work plans; how many people and of course who's working. I arrive, set up the solar, and Ijigu and I finalize these work orders, and off we all go.  The first 20 minutes is all quality control. Checking in with the 12 to 35 people working, making sure they understand their specific tasks, and more importantly why the tasks are there in the first place. A lot o times I need to pull in Ijigu to help with the explanations of why, but the extra energy expelled is worth it, when you see in the workers now understand why "we do not want air pockets in the retaining walls cement back fill." I then join the ranks.

Usually Daniel, myself, and any highly experienced villager, take the most skill based position for the first couple days of the activity.  In effort to share knowledge,  we work with interested members of the workforce to educate them on, cement work, framing, ect. This week was the final week of retaining wall work.  At this point two assistant managers have been trained in and have fully taken over the stone breaking and laying.  They are doing a excellent job… its always great watching the community fish.

The rock perimeter sits 35 centimeters in the soil.  When compacted, it acts
as a foundation for the retaining wall.
We have yet to have any morning rains, so outside of material deliveries (lots of wood, rock, and sand), morning work goes on unimpeded until 12 o’clock lunch. We count the tools and a few materials, gather up the solar and head off. The remainder of my hour is then split in to 20 minutes of chowing down on avocados bread and peanut butter while trouble shooting the days work with Ijigu, and 20 minutes of hammock and reading. The hammocks are a very important facet of daily routines.

With solar panels and one fresh battery in hand, we then head back down for a blistering afternoon. Because of the heat, we take a 10 minute break at 3pm and a few scheduled water breaks. We have had a couple sun showers that have stopped labor for upwards of 20 minutes, other than those deliveries, we rarely have any other type of work stoppage. At 5 I hell out Sat Goffe (times finished in Hidea), folks gather, Ijigu and I say our thank yous, the community helps collect tools and solar, count materials. When everything is accounted for, we all head up to the house to store everything for the night.

Then, the highlight of my day. Bathing time.

Ijigu, Daniel and I promptly change into shorts and for about 10 minutes follow along jungle paths through backyards, farm field shortcuts, and over the large hill to our infinity pool perched at the top of the two large waterfalls in the community. For 30 or so minutes we relax in the cool rushing waters, take in the view, and do our best to make light the numerous onlookers.  Fresh and clean with the sun setting over our right shoulders, we saunter back with dinner on our minds. It's dark by 7, so by the time we return and change we are relegated to our mud hut for the evening. Every night is roughly the same. Chat for a bit, discussing the following workday long term project plans, and a few absurdities.  We eat, and then retire to our bug nets. The 9 or so hours on our feet and in the equatorial sun really suck it out of you.   In a depleated haze, I manage 20 or so minutes of reading before easing off into a slumber littered with building go-carts with ex landlords.  

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