Tuesday, January 31, 2012


January 25, 2012

This morning we departed just after 9:30 and didn’t return till 5:30.  We went to Kakata, which is a long drive out of town.  These roads had been patched a lot, but still there were many potholes to try to avoid.  It is hotter there because it is more inland and not near the beach where we went yesterday.  We looked at more wells that we had completed three years ago, and checked out new sites for either latrines and/or wells. After so many hikes in the heat we became quite exhausted.  I have a lot of energy when it’s cool, but in the heat I trudge along like ‘the little old lady from Pasadena’.  Bundor’s car does have air conditioning, but in the back seat I don’t get the full benefit, but at least enough to keep me from becoming a puddle.  We were so happy when we finally returned. 

Going through the heart of town back to our hotel was excruciating, sometimes moving a few feet, stopping for a long time in between.  At least Jim thought the marketplace was entertaining.  I read a book to keep me from being so anxious to get back to the hotel.  As soon as I got back I gulped down a soda pop, normally my least favorite drink.  The dirt and filth of the day seemed to be stuck to my skin and glued with sweat even under my shirt, so the shower was ever more delicious to me.

The crazy marketplace.  As you can see, not all the trash lands in the dumpster.  Old habits of tossing your paper anywhere you want dies hard.

An interesting sidelight: I wish I could have gotten a picture of a billboard, but could not get it as we traveled along.  On the main road in the heart of the business area there is a billboard with the picture of a teenager on it—he is the ‘smartest’ kid in all the schools, or at least got the best grades.  And they put his handsome face on this very large billboard!  So interesting!

 Out in the villages you see nothing but waste products in a pile, close enough to where they are living that it is a wonder they don’t all die of typhoid and/or cholera.  They defecate into a plastic bag and throw it onto the rest of the garbage.  This spot was right behind a set of latrines they wanted us to replace, and where people were living.

They would like us to replace these latrines.  We told them if they got rid of this enormous pile of garbage, we’d give them new latrines.  Right next to this pile lives a family.  This little girl below was doing something to the cassava flour and the flies, who’d no doubt just visited the garbage pile, were crawling all over the flour.  It is a wonder any of them live past the age of a baby.

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