Dec 23, 2015

Week 1 - Heat, Bugs, and Awesomeness

...and a cheer rose from the crowd as a small cloud passed in front of the sun!!!

Category:Zimbabwe 2015 
Posted by: Rome

Wow is it hot here. Even at nighttime.

So far we have had a few days of afternoon rains, with the fattest drops I’ve ever seen actually, but mostly it’s just blazing. We’ve changed our work schedule to give us midday out of the sun and that is helping.

Besides the crazy heat, some of the more interesting encounters this Week 1 Team has had have been with the “wild life”. Lots of bats-cute furry faces hanging upside from the eaves….until they bare their teeth and show the red inside. Biting ants, flies, giant flying beetles, spiders and mosquitos round out our daily ‘swipe at something’ routine.

Cute bats







Then there was the 4:30 am meeting I had with a snake. It was the day we were pouring the concrete footing and we still needed to tie some anchor bolts into the rebar. Thought I’d get an extra early start, so with headlamp on, carrying 2 flashlights, I carefully made my way to the site. Not a star in the sky.

I unlocked the container and started to set out the things we would need. Then I saw a stick in the way, thought I’d move it, oops, it moved. Realized it was a snake, which we had been warned about. I picked up a (bigger) stick and killed it. Now I wanted to know what kind it was. Small cobra was the answer from the hospital staff. Whew!

That night, while sleeping, somehow the string on my PJ’s flipped onto my arm and I tried to kill it…..LOL

Language translation here has been easy, as most of the local volunteers understand the basics. One day however, their leader asked me if he could have my "revolver". I was confused, said I don’t have a gun… He repeated himself several times, finally picking up the thing he wanted: a walkie talkie. He was saying he wanted my “over, over”.

Despite the heat and critters, the Week 1 Team has been completely stellar! They are hysterical, hard working and brilliant - constantly problem solving and finding efficient ways to get difficult things done. We are delightfully ahead of schedule, and the local volunteers have joined us in silliness and in the hard work… really great people.

Yours in sticky sunblock and heat rash,


(See more project photos on Facebook)

Mixing Concrete

Truss Raising Crew