Friday, March 9, 2012

Getting muddy

I've found myself playing in the mud a bit the past few days. And rainy season hasn't even started yet!  A few days ago I went out into the back yard to discover that a natural spring had developed in the yard. As this seemed highly unlikely I grabbed a hoe (they don’t really believe in shovels here) and discovered that a pipe that ran from the house to the outside tap had ruptured. I absolutely don’t understand the plumbing in this place because I assumed that the pipe was running from the water tank but after climbing the 13 feet up to turn all possible valves on the water tank there was still water spraying from the pipe. I then moved to the valve in the front of the house that has the water meter on it for all the city water coming into the house and closed it.  Still water spraying…. Hummm. Pondered for a bit but couldn’t stand all that good water spraying all over- what a waste. So I grabbed a spare bike tire inner tube and waded into the spray. Eventually I got the crack bound up and called a plumber. 

His first words when I showed him to my muddy hole? “You fixed it already!” He was serious. I explained this wasn’t exactly the caliber fix I was going for and was hoping he could do something better. Also explained to him that I didn’t know how to shut off the water to this particular pipe and he didn’t seem overly surprised and just stripped down before taking a hacksaw to the pipe to replace the bad section.
Out in Obule (the village I spend quite a bit of time in) there is an NGO, Water 4 All, helping people hand digging shallow wells for their homes and communities. There is a lot of comradely but also a bit of hard work. Ronnie and I (wife of Collin, the foreman of the project) took our turn pulling. Over and over again you lift the pipe and “drill bit” and slam it back down into the hole. We were at about 8 meters (or 26 feet) deep already. Water is used to create suction to draw out the dirt/rock/sand that is being cut into. Fascinating really. And this community really needs this well so it if fun to be a part of their excitement. 

I'm glad that not everyone working on this project gets quite this muddy!
The pulling isn't too bad until the pipe gets hung up and all 4 of us jerk forward  at the same time. 

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