Sunday, July 8, 2012

Water is life...and death

The joy of rain after 10 days of no water,
The threat,
The assault,
The retaliation,
And another welcomed assault,
The update: Nanna came to visit for 3 weeks and is here presently.
We have 3 new family members. I have long searched for chek chek chickens. We have only seen them in one place and the owners have not wanted to sell them. Everywhere we go I would tell the kids to be on the lookout and for the first time ever I did not get mad when the kids started yelling in the car. The announcement was music to my ears. We hit a jackpot of sorts and there were several to choose from. Rita and Nina were the obvious choice We named Nina after Nanna since she was with us when we got her. When Levi was small he could not say Nanna and instead would say Nina and so it stuck for a while. They are so awesome! In case you don't know about chek chek's they have they wildest feathers. They curl out and up instead of laying flat. Ours have a zebra print feather on most of their bodies and light brownish orange on their chest and poofy little chicken booties. I adore them and am so happy to be re-filling our coop.
The other family member came from Uncle Michael. He brought Levi a chameleon for his birthday. We had made a cage for him for his birthday to keep just such a possession so it was perfect timing. Levi named him Gary.
Slash that. 4 new family members. It is taking me weeks to upload, type and publish this blog so in between writings we added one. Albert is now the caretaker of a strange pigeon that decided to stay with us. We were on the porch talking with Morlai when there was a commotion in the razorwire of his wall. He came down and got a stick to help it out and he flew strait over to ours. Albert climbed the wall and got him down. It was a little strange but the bird just let him pick it up. He has been tucked under Alberts arm or waddling all around the compound all day today. He has made a spot in one of the cubes in the chicken coop. I am hoping that they are kind with it. We shall see in the morning how he faired. The Sierra Leonians have a saying something like 'water is life'. From the time we moved here January 18th until just a month or so ago there was not one drop of rain. The dry season can be very difficult for the people because all the water dries up and it is difficult to get clean water to drink, cook with or clean anything including yourself. So water is in fact life. Unfortunately, water is also death. We stand in awe of the rains that have been happening lately and we have only seen the beginning. It rained for 2 days and one night strait. Most of the people here build their homes of tin or mud that they bake into bricks. Neither of which are very sturdy. We have heard stories about those people having to stay up all night with buckets scooping water out of their homes. They build their beds on stilts so that when the floods enter they can put the few belongings inside up on the bed. I haven't seen it for myself yet so I can't give any more detail than that. I can only imagine that it would be exhausting if not terrifying. Especially if you have children. So during the downpour that happened a few nights ago four people from one family died when their mud hut collapsed under the weight of the rain and an elderly woman who lived on a slope from what I understand was washed away as well. Andrew and I stood on our porch feeling terrible for those people who suffer in this way and pray that there would be a remedy.

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