11/5/18 Motorbikes & Pipe Fittings

  • 11/05/18
  • Early morning back into the pool, someone’s been busy, the pool floor has been vacuumed and some of the detritus gathered up. I had mentioned that it was  obviously some time since it had been cleaned. 30 minutes then back to the room prior to joining Tom for breakfast. Sliced mango, apple juice, cornflakes with a jug of hot milk (very odd, we’ll speak with Malaca) fried egg and bread.
  • Breakfast complete we walked across to the hospital school, meeting up with Sam who had his tools and a hired stepladder. The plan, to remove old guttering that had been poorly fitted and to reuse on another building to supply water for the hand wash tank.
  • Sam has received a call to advise that the guttering is enroute from Nairobi and should be with us around midday. We hope to persuade the driver to drive up to Otange leave their gutters, down pipes, wash stand and tank, drinking water tanks and all the associated clips and fittings.
  • We are part way through removing the guttering when another call advises that our anticipated delivery is near. We pack away, the tools and steps in the care of the teachers and walk down to Ndhiwa. Whilst waiting at a small roadside shop, I talk with the young Kenyan woman she tells me she is a primary teacher but that because her area are on strike she has come home to her fathers house and is working in his shop until the strike is over. The strike is for more money, a primary school teacher is paid around k$20,000 per month, approx £40:00 per week. She is undertaking further training at the university to gain secondary teaching qualifications, secondary teachers are paid much more and then lecturers more still.
  • The lorry arrives and after some haggling Sam secures a deal, there is no room for any of us on the lorry, so we will travel the 10k as pillion passengers on motorbikes (boda bodas) a very interesting experience, not one I’ve had before, but I can see it won’t be the last time. The majority of that distance on a dirt road. We arrive ahead of the lorry and arriving at the school we’re again mobbed by excited children, rescued by the head teacher I explain that the truck is following and should arrive shortly. We are sat in the shade and the children return to their classes.
  • Minutes later the truck comes into sight and we walk down to the road to watch the way as it traverses the ditch. That was not to be, this driver with his two staff is not going to leave the road and the supplies for the school will be left roadside.  Tom asks if I could speak with the headteacher to arrange for some of the older children to assist in carrying the supplies back up to the school
  • The headteacher is happy to oblige and minutes latter I have a large group of older children following me down the pathway. Incredibly the driver had not even managed to untie the tarpaulin to start unloading. Eventually the truck team started moving and dropped the lower section of the tailgate.  The driver in with the load and one other checking the stock as it slowly appeared. Tom had out his master chart and was calling for sections of 4″, 3″ pipe, guttering, elbows, clips, drinking water tanks and the wash stand and tank. Eventually offloaded, the children made short work of carrying the supplies away. I thanked the headteacher and we prepared for our return journey back to Ndhiwa, it had been hoped that the truck would make a 2nd, time very minor detour to the hospital school with their supplies. No way we’re we getting any further cooperation and all the supplies were off loaded within the hotel compound. There I assisted in sorting everything in 3 groups, ready for the tractor and trailer Sam had arranged for.
  • In fact the headteacher from the hospital school arranged for a group of pupils to walk across and carry all their supplies away. Some delay for a few of the pupils as a welder had now turned up to weld steel straps across the hand wash tanks onto the steel stands, concerns that these valuable assets may disappear from outside the school buildings. These would then be concreted into place at each of the schools.
  • Evening meal for us tonight around 17:30, we’re managing to push the time back, braised tilapia, rice and ogalie (boiled maize flour) delicious.
  • Around 19:00 the tractor arrived, thankfully with some assistance in tow. Two 8000lt tanks along with all the other supplies for Sangore. Lining the trailer bed were 400 hand made bricks. The tanks supplied were shorter and much wider than those originally specified, but with the supplies coming from Narobi, it was easier to arrange for a mason to come in and to widen the already prepared bases.
  • Struggling to secure the load it was interesting to watch the faces of the Kenyans as Tom produced a couple of ratchet straps from his knapsack. The load was secured, but they’d not paid attention to how to release the ratchets. Tom took a panic call from Sam who had accompanied the load at around 21:00 to get instructions, so that they could get the supplies unloaded.
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