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Getting closer......


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I went to northern Senegal last week to see my friend, Candler, from Georgia. He is over here twice a year to support his charitable projects and brought a buncha stuff for me, including the pumps for the well. It was a rough trip on the bike with about 60 km of mud/potholes and rain. Same coming back. Road looked like the Plain of Jars after an Arclight mission!

Then I missed the last ferry to Banjul and slept in a fleabag hotel in Barra overnight. C'est la vie in Africa.

Monday, five of us worked our bippys off getting the pump installed. Marong Kunda now has running water!!! This is a major milestone. It has taken me two days to recover from the effort, though.

The last window shutters were installed this morning and the last interior door is supposed to come in the morning tomorrow. Once that is done and the handles and locks are installed in the doors Awa and I will move in. Hopefully, next week. It has been a LONG haul.

The house stays cool when it is hot outside and there always seems to be a nice breeze. The tomato plants are setting fruit nicely and Malang has planted cantaloupe, watermelons and cucumbers. I already have Swiss chard (badly chewed by grasshopples), eggplant, and two kinds of chilies going. The chilies are struggling but everything else is doing well.

Essa told me that before we move in there has to be a ceremony to ask the land-spirits on the property to allow us to live there and to help and protect us. It is apparently a traditional Mandinka thing with Islamic elelments stuck in.

Today, Aug. 29

Awa and friends and I worked too late doing the cooking and rose at 6AM. Family arrived yesterday afternoon. It is always delightful to see them. Yesterday, brother Abdoulie had prepared some specially selected five verses from the Qu'ran that are protective; each written on a separate slip of paper. He folded them up and one was buried at each corner of the house and then the fifth one cemented into the wall above the front door. Today friends, family and most of the people who had worked on the construction gathered and Abdoulie led prayers and read from the Qu'ran.

Then lots of food and people hung around for awhile.

We all headed home before the afternoon storm broke. All the Banjul family went home.

We hope to move in some time later this week.I'm just hoping I can control the number of visitors who come, especially Awa's family and friends........and family and friends of friends........and.............

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