Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sprinkler system installed in African time

I have 8-10 guys digging in my yard for a week now. It looks like there has been a bomb exploded! Around the whole perimeter of the yard, that is in the back, in the front, on the side everywhere these giant mole hills.

Why, you think; because the owner decided he wants an automated sprinkler system in our garden. Yes, we thought that is actually a great idea!
Although I was a bit worried that Bethias our gardener/house boy would be out of a job, luckily that is not the case. We still need him at least once a week, to clean up the yard, weed and do other chores like washing my car. Isn't it nice to live in a country like SA? Well, not always, when you see this mess!

So the head of the team told me it would take a day or 4 to get this sprinkler system working.
They have been here now a week, and the end is still not in sight....or maybe almost.
So when they came the first day, I didn't see that they brought any lunch, but the head guy gave them instructions and left, came only back at 5pm. So these guys were digging and digging in this heat!! So I felt sorry for them, and started making them lunch and provided drinks, cookies and cake.
I thought they would be here for just 4-5 days, I could handle that. And they came only with 6 the first day.....little did I know they would turn up everyday with more people, so in the end I was making lunch for 10 guys!!

And then in the meantime I felt sorry for my maid Khetho and her sister so I added them to the list as well... and then we had the guys who came to my house one day this week to hang up the new ordered blinds and I felt sorry for them as well, seeing all these other people eating...I made them lunch as well.

I was so busy cooking lunch for all these people. Felt I was back in my old profession as a chef ;-)

Digging like this is hard work, all done by hand, with poor quality tools (that's how it goes in Africa) so I couldn't just give them a light lunch...I made pasta bolognese with ground beef AND bacon....amounts of beef and 3 bags of 500gr of pasta and not one little penne was left! On the side foccacia...

I bet these guys never had such a lunch, so of course everyday more and more guys showed up! And the 4-5 days were over and the guys still weren't finished!

Then Dirk stepped in and said NO MORE cooking for these guys, they never end working at our house! So they are back with bringing their own loaf of white bread..that's all they eat for lunch. I tried to make a different dish everyday like pasta, pizza, noodle soups, whole roasted chickens with potato and macaroni salads. And in the afternoon lemonade with cakes and cookies.

I felt for these skinny guys who need to dig so deep and work so hard in this excrutiating heat, but they are back eating their own lunch now. However, I still give them lemonade, cake and cookies ;-)

I bet they think I am this crazy foreigner who doesn't know the local rules (and indeed I don't know the rules yet) and they are taking advantage of it. But hey, they had a good week working here digging mole hills and soon I have my automated sprinkler system. Who cares about a kilo or 5 of pasta!

Dirk mentioned that because they had such a good lunch, they probably were sleepy in the afternoon and that's why it took them longer than planned. And indeed, as you can see I took some pictures from the second level, and I saw that they were taking turn to have a little nap now and then. They thought I didn't see that, but I did ;-O

Another lesson learned: don't feed your work crew; they never leave! One luck, they don't get paid by the hour, but per job!

Have a good one!

1 comment:

Jen and Jeff said...

LOL! You are too cute. I got a chuckle out of you feeding them so well that they brought in more workers. You were probably the talk to the town that week! Good for you. Even though you had to stop so that the work got done, how nice for those guys to have your home cooked meals for a week! :-)


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