A Hard Rain

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It is, after all, the rainy season. But somehow it seems rainier than any of us remember. Two years ago, people were complaining that it was hardly raining. After a five hour torrential downpour yesterday, no such worries. We put out two buckets under the roof line, and when one gets full we empty it into a bigger barrel, and by the time we get back the other bucket’s full. And on and on until the bigger barrel is full.

We ran out of water yesterday when mixing cement for the latrine platform floor. But that was because we only had one barrel. What to do? Take the wheelbarrow down to the stream and fill up 20 liter containers to wheel back to the barrel. We filled up the barrel so we could continue pouring the cement for the three by five meter (approximately) slab.

When I say “we” I really mean David, the young man who showed up with his friend Dominique to help the pour. Thank goodness. He wasn’t the only village contributor. Celestine came by with two baskets of food that the church women gave to us – peanuts, bananas, pineapples and the atangas, Gabon’s purple sour “plums”. And wonderfully, so have many others, dropping by to give us bananas or ????

We did finish the pour, an exhausting stretch of eight hours, and by we, I mean Drew and our two local hires, Nico and Pacom. Not one hour after finishing, yes, another extended rainstorm.

In fact, there’s one right now as I write, and we barely got our clean clothes off the line in time.

And here comes Virginie with her truck and hopefully the four stranded colleagues.

Below are Drew and Pacom. Behind the tin wall is the school’s current open air latrine.


3 thoughts on “A Hard Rain

    Duncan RyanMann said:
    March 15, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Wow, that looks like a very large amount of concrete to pour! Particularly by wheelbarrowful! Hopefully, it set up enough before it rained again!
    The fruit will keep everyone healthy!

    John Atkinson said:
    March 15, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    You can’t imagine how it warms my heart to read these posts.

    Henry Schmald said:
    March 18, 2018 at 1:15 am

    Hi Encore de la Paix,

    Who is writing these reports? I am posting them on the Peace Corps Gabon facebook page and also on Gabon I list serve. I would like to give the author credit. Folks are really enjoying reading about what you guys are up to! The photos are great too!

    Thanks, Henry

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