I walked the path to Deanville today, past the palms and post-season mangoes trees, past the cashew trees (below), past the now functioning hand pump well (thanks Becky and Dave), and up the hill to Deanville proper. On my left was a crowd of people including a man, Flomo, who has worked on the school buildings for years. He was hauling sand in a bucket and told me they were casting the concrete grave for his Auntie. This is apparently the grandmother of a girl, Surprise, from our K1 class. The grave was aligned with several others that I’ve seen before. I’m not sure what qualifies a person to be buried in such a way within the boundaries of the community because there certainly are not enough graves or markers for all those who have passed. Perhaps just seniority as respect for a community elder.
After church I wandered to the front of Deanville to catch a ride to Passion Hotel for my fried chicken dinner when I came upon another gathering under a shade structure made of wooden poles and palm branches (much the same as when Moses’ grandmother died). I thought it was part of Flomo’s Auntie’s burial. Unfortunately, it was not. Yesterday afternoon around 2:00 the wife of one of our workers, Roland Sackie (the guy on the roof helping with the solar panels), died from an illness. She leaves Sackie with three children ages 4-months to four-years. Very sad. Sumo told me this was another case where the family didn’t feel this was a “hospital sickness” and just treated her at home. Not sure how Sackie will deal with this since single fatherhood isn’t really something you can juggle well here, especially as an illiterate day laborer with no domestic skills.
These two Deanville deaths followed the automobile accident late last week that killed the son of our mechanic, Kortuma. He called Friday imploring me to loan him money so he could have a burial for his son. He would pay me back through truck repairs at his shop. I met him in Gbarnga yesterday and gave him the $100 loan. He looked depressed.
Well, on a lighter note…Henry the sign painter came today and painted a sign and our logo on the end of the school building.
I tried the solar in Sumo’s office by plugging my laptop in and showing some of my videos of people in Deanville to Moses’ grandfather, Sibley (who also came to visit asking for money). All seems to be working and tonight we have the security lights running on the school. The guards love it.
Many people are making charcoal before the heavy rains come so the daytime air has a twinge of smoke everywhere you go. At night when a rain passes through, the air has a lingering doused campfire smell which I’ve never liked. Tomorrow is Unification Day so it’s a national holiday. School is not in session but we have a special PTA meeting for families with children who will graduate and be attending our first grade class next year. Tomorrow is my deadline for paying BRAC for our first chicks…then we’re committed!