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Published: August 16th 2008
Working on the machessa
Tucker shows his stuff.
Today was fairly uneventful. More of the same, really. In the morning we worked on a machessa, and in the afternoon we did some work and played with orphans at the Dondo orphanage where we’ve spent time several times before.
At the machessa we tied grass into long bundles that will go on the roof. There were a lot of villagers who showed up, which is a really good thing. The more they put into it, the better it is for them. If it’s just white people showing up and doing stuff for them, there’s little or no long-term benefit. The downside of having so many villagers there was that there were kind of too many people for what needed to be done, so we didn’t have a full morning of work. Which was okay, but I had to guide Tucker to seek out additional work to keep him busy.
At the village today there was a little bar (small concrete shack maybe 10x10 and two vinyl tables out back). It had a stereo and a blown-out speaker playing very loud, very repetitive African pop music nonstop. I’m telling you, if I lived in that village he or
Which one's smarter? Better looking? You be the judge.
I would die in a duel. On the side of his bar was painted “What could be better than this life?” Um, how about this life without his stereo?
The village had a nice government-installed well. I took a video of the women pumping water and showed it to them. They reacted like everyone does here, which is to laugh and point and exclaim in amazement. I bought some tangerines at the village and also shared them with the women. One of the families in town had two adult dogs and five puppies. A swarm of flies followed one of the adult dogs around. I’m not sure why the dog isn’t insane as they constantly land on his head. Nor am I sure why the flies liked that dog so much. Most importantly, I am not sure why they haven’t sent that dog to heaven. That family also had a monkey tied up to a post with a rag rope about three feet long. They said that the got him in the jungle some years ago, and they feed him bread or rice or whatever they have. Sucks for the monkey.
One of us brought some power tools
This is some high-tech stuff in Moz.
to the village today. One of the things he brought was a sawsall, which the villagers were quite impressed with. It did save a lot of time cutting wood for the machessa, too.
The team leader says that each of us has to tie a quilt and sew the edges. I’ve been kind of avoiding it since I obviously have no quilting skills and I think it’s retarded to have to do that. But my quilt is still sitting there, so today I started it by pinning it. Not so bad, actually. But then one of the girls offered to do mine for 10 bucks. Done and done! I’m sure the team leader will be annoyed at me for doing that deal. Just add it to the list of my character flaws, please.
The septic tank here where we’re staying is overflowing and our yard smells like poo. Not good. Glad I’m not the team leader who has to deal with that issue! At the Dondo orphanage I helped some little kids make toolboxes and kicked the soccer ball around. I also watched Howard fix one of about 20 water-damaged ceiling tiles in the orphanage.
Toolboxes, cars, what more could an orphan want?
ate out at a pretty nice restaurant and bar here in town. Like last week, it’s nothing that I even knew existed here. I had some pretty decent pasta. Since it’s the weekend, we were riding in the back of Care for Life’s covered pickup—10 of us on two benches, facing each other with knees knocking. One of the things I did to pass the time was teach the girls how to play hammer-scissors-rock and the winner gets to use two spit-covered fingers to slap the loser’s forearm, till someone wants to quit. I put several pretty nice welts on one girl’s forearm, but she wouldn’t quit. Finally everyone was saying we should quit and I said we should. She said she’d only quit if she won. I told her she could win, and we quit. I’m not sure how long she would have gone. She was winning more than I was, but she didn’t know how to administer a mean forearm spit-slap.
Well, tomorrow it’s church. I’m going to try to do family photos for the members there, and I’m also going to press for a tour of Beira during the afternoon. It’s the least we can do,
Stupid defective hammer
Brad's still working on use of such complicated tools.
see what’s in the city. We’ll see.
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