Now the bridge is finished Ben has been trying to work on the other side – the road. To do the road he needed an excavator. We don’t have an excavator. He was wanting to contract one and there was one nearby – but not immediately nearby. The other complicating issues were that the rains have been waiting just at the door – ready to burst in, and also that our project was just not that big. We wanted to spend about $5000 to repair the road, build up the dam walls (I think that is what it was) and to dig a swimming pool (yes!). All together it wasn’t a huge project – especially as Ben wanted to just do key bad spots in the road and not a major road build. His friends who own all the necessary equipment were just next door – about 10km away but they were waiting for the rain so that they had an excuse to say no. It rained last Saturday – and so Ben got a call soon after saying, sorry, but he couldn’t come.
So no contractors. No excavator. No good road – this year at least. The next idea is to get piles of river gravel. Then to pile them at the bad spots. Then to make ruts and fill the ruts in with the gravel. That should work, you think? Also on the plan now is to buy a winch.
The rains last Saturday made this next little project fun. Ben has been collecting wood over the last few years. Any downed or dead tree he has found, he has had sawed up and the boards stored under our house or in our yard. Not all the trees obviously but lots. Enough for a truckload of wood to fit into a large truck. One of our friends has one of these large many-wheeled-drive trucks with a huge winch. He wasn’t too worried about the trip. On Tuesday, they loaded the truck up with all the spare wood, one of the sheds that we had in our yard taken apart (for easy reassembling on site so that Ben will have a tool shed right away), and some tin we had purchased a while back. On Wednesday, he left early in the morning. Things were fine to the village but by the river, the Saturday rains and the heavy load finally took its toll and the river banks were soft! Only by 7pm had they unloaded the truck (at about 3 locations – to lighten the load to get out of bogs), and were back at the village and could finally eat (lunch or dinner). They all were very tired and I think the guy will think twice before helping us again!
So now Ben has his wood. He is planning on building the first building which will be temporary accommodation for us and anyone helping out. We probably can’t move our house out there until the dry season.