Ahhh, the ubiquitous rice bag. With so much rice eaten in Liberia, the empty bag has developed a duct-tape-aura. Used as backpacks, hand bags, packaging for cooking charcoal and even twine when unwoven and tied end-to-end. I recently saw my favorite use…a bassinet. A section of the fabric bag is cut and nailed to a small wooden frame, creating a basic sling mattress for baby. No side rails or bumpers but usually a caretaker isn’t far away, whether it be the biological mother, village mother or a small girl passing by. Mothers just aren’t that clingy with their babies.
This morning Bill the plumber who agreed to arrive at 7am to fix the leaky water tank fittings so we could minimize the impact of being without water at the school and poultry, finally showed up at 8:30am (after I called and woke him at 7:30am). I’m hoping this is the last time I need to scale that steel-framed behemoth to help fix a leak. With Bill inside the tank, we went about repeating the procedure Lavela and I did about a week ago. This time, the solution involved more plumbing tape and more PVC cement: I told Bill I wouldn’t be paying him until we were leak free for several days. So far so good.
It was a very busy day so I’m too tired To keep the detailed monologue going. I’ll just hit the highlight which was the arrival of chicks Round 3!
The poultry staff will spend the next two week giving 24 hour care, rotating shifts among the three workers. The feed storage is stocked up to keep our birds in three different age groups happy. We now have a nominal 250 each of helpless babies, growing adolescents, and mature layers. Money from our egg sales paid for the new chicks and 18 bags of feed. The business machine is starting to function…now we just need to encourage the second flock to start laying so we can begin covering wage costs!
A second highlight was recording a beautiful customized song by Annie and Amelia that included every one of my family members’ names. That sat in the shade of a “queesaw” (that’s how it’s pronounced but it’s actually a cashew tree). The song is actually in honor of my son, Bryan, after whom the little boy in the photo is named (Amelia’s baby).
I ended the day around 7:00pm with a meeting of the security guards to review the freshly minted “job description and guidelines” which was prompted by a recent infraction on the job.
Tomorrow will be a special football game at 10:00am in honor of my departure. The bugs are heavy tonight – typically a sign of a rain front coming through pushing the insects ahead of it. At least that’s my bio-meteorologist interpretation.