Sunday, May 14, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Samuel Samba, our well contractor spoke with his building supplier and the building
supplier agreed to lower his prices so the project is going to begin today. We gave
Samuel 10,000,000 Leones out of our working fund for him to get started. He had his
supplier deliver a load of materials this morning and the 2 crews of 12 men each, began
work. Don and I wanted to be there at the beginning of this project. So we worked in
the office this morning and this afternoon we found a woman selling big donut balls for
500 Leones each. We bought 40 donuts and headed out to the sites. The first site we
visited was the hand-dug well at Boundary 1. They are not working on that yet. That
will be started next Monday. Don wanted to see how much water was coming out of
the mountain during the dry season. There was quite a bit and a hand-dug well will
work well in this area. This site is about 50 yards from the Boundary 1 Level 1 site. At
this site, 8 men were working on removing huge rocks and preparing the ground. At
Boundary 1 level 2 the other 4 men were working on breaking out an old spring box
which both Don and Samuel were appalled at how poorly it had been constructed.
Level 2 is about 30 yards from level 1 if you can go straight to it. The terrain from
where we had to park at the top of the mountain down to level 2 is only about 1/2 mile
but the last quarter mile is very steep and rocky. You don't get there very fast. And
the terrain from the well site to level 1 and from level 1 to level 2 is the same - steep
and rocky with many boulders. All the men were very hot and sweating bullets. They
thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the donuts. Food is something they don't get a lot
On the way back up the mountain we stopped under a big shade tree to rest. We only
had about 100 yards left to go and there is a small ocata path for them to tote people
up and down the mountain but it is limited to how far they can go and the ride is
treacherous. I know! As we were resting, an ocata came by and Don hailed him. He
stopped and Don asked him to take me up to the truck. He gave the man 10,000
Leones and the man was more than overjoyed. He would have been lucky to have
gotten 200 leones. Don instructed him to "NOT" fall over with me. He guaranteed he
would stay upright. The grade was so steep and with my weight the ocata was
struggling to keep its front wheel on the ground. The path between the rocks and
boulders we had to go through was so narrow that the motorcycle tire barely fit. If you
didn't hit the opening just right, you were done. When we got about 60 yards up, the
path took a sweeping curve to the left. When we rounded the corner a howl and
laughter ascended into the air. There were about a dozen or so men breaking rock and
when they saw their friend with a white woman on the back of his bike they thought
that was just the best thing ever. They were speaking timni so I did not understand
them but they were all making happy remarks. As this was going on the driver was
trying desperately to not fall over and we came close a few times. He was
concentrating so hard on staying upright I could hear him saying "be careful" over and
over. After he dropped me off at the truck and I got off his bike, he laughed so hard. A
few minutes later, Don, Samuel and Brother Thomas (our site monitor) arrived at the
truck. As we were starting to pull away, a face appeared in my window and it was the
ocata driver. He was smiling from ear to ear and thanking me for a sweet experience.
From here we went to Hill Top where the second crew of 12 men are working. The
grade on this mountain is steeper than the one at boundary 1 and it has a lot of loose
gravel. Keeping from falling was a chore. Don always walks in front of me and I hold on
to the strap of his fanny pack to keep stable. At one point on the way down, my feet
slid out from under me and somehow I slid around Don and landed in front of him
facing him still upright and still holding on to his belt. It was so odd. We looked at each
other and began laughing. How did that happen!? We were almost to the site and
Don's feet slid out from under him and I tried to keep him from falling but the angle
was to odd and he did fall to the ground. This crew of men were working hard at
breaking rock out of the site. They too, enjoyed and appreciated the donuts.

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