Thursday, July 22, 2010

What A Day!?!?

Brian always has the best stories and since he won't blog tonight about his day, I am going to share his story. Disclaimer: We have learned that all the plans we make are plans that will be changed by something unplanned.

The day began like this: Brian met Louie to unmold the bricks. They quickly saw that the bricks were not yet ready so they left to come back later in the day.

Brian goes to Phillip V. office to get his signature on a bank paper so he can make a change on one of RHI's accounts.

Brian then went to the bank to give the letter to RHI's business banker only to be informed that the letter doesn't have a key phrase that it should have. So, Brian decided to take care of some additional business at the bank and goes to the teller to get two bank guaranteed checks for the municipality to start the rezoning process for our property. The teller informs Brian that he must have 2 signatures for bank guaranteed checks. So, Brian calls Louie and gets him to come and sign a slip. Finally with the bank checks he leaves the bank.

Brian then goes to get another letter signed by Phillip with the additional phrase included. No time to go back to the bank at this point however.

Brian is now at the property and the city workers are there to install our water meter. Hooray-they dug the hole like 2 weeks ago.

(video of the hole being dug)

The delay has occurred because the city doesn't have all the materials needed to install the water meter. The city can't go out and purchase the necessary materials because they haven't paid their bill to the supplier. The city workers arrived with what they thought were the right materials. When Brian arrived he saw the materials they were using and told them that was not going to work. The head guy came to look at the progress and also said, as soon as the water is turned back on the water pressure will blow that pipe. So the workers left to find something different. They came back with a new water meter. We were required to purchase a 50mm (2 inch) water meter. However, because they are short on the correct piping they decided to give us an 80mm water meter because they had the correct materials. When Brian came back to check on their progress he saw how they were going to install the water meter and he said, no no that will not work. They had decided to go right through the fence and then leave it there. They said we could notch out the cement fence around the meter. No no this will not work. Then the workers demanded Coke and Chips (french fries) and took a break. ((Brian bought them a Coke, no chips))

(this is how they wanted to install the meter. What were they thinking?)

During this time Brian also had a side converstaion with one of the city workers. This guy told Brian that he was 37 yrs old but looks really young, Brian agreed with that statement. This guy continued to say that he can tell 13 yr old girls that he is 17 yrs old and the girls believe him and sleep with him. He said he has to be careful and not get caught or he could go to jail for statutory rape. ((What a crazy conversation. And why tell this to a person you don't know? And how sad and disgusting is this? But this is reality in South Africa))

Back to the water meter. Because Brian won't let them go through the fence they had to leave to find different materials. They finally came back with a different water meter again. The water meter size is now 100mm (big enough to hook up a fire hydrant) all because they don't have 50mm piping for the water meter we purchased. So the city is giving us a water meter that has a capacity of putting out fires for the same price as a regular residential meter.

Brian said the materials they came up with are still not completely correct but he thinks it will work. The new pipe is being held together with wire and rocks. The workers quickly did it like that and covered it up with dirt. So time will tell if it holds or if we have leaks but we now have a water meter! If it leaks it will be on the city side of the meter and not ours.

In the mean time, Brian had to make two more visits to the bank to get the changes to the account complete. The bank is never an easy place to get things done. By the end of the day he did accomplish that task also.

Just another day in Africa...

1 comment:

Bob said...

When we were in Niger, West Africa, one of the missionaries who had lived there for many years had an expression he used whenever crazy things happened. It was, "West Africa wins again!"

Now, I know that God always wins, but from a human perspective it was an interesting way to express his frustration with the immediate situation.