Sunday, April 1, 2012

Grow Dirt: $800; Competent Truck Driver: Priceless!

It seem such a simple thing: just deliver ten loads of "grow dirt" to the village. We needed some good top soil in order to begin some serious vegetable gardens. The village is situated on a sand hill, and that stuff will hardly grow anything! We have NEVER had so many crop failures as since we came to Liberia! As farmers, it has been a bit demoralizing. And quite humbling! We needed some good soil.

So a dump truck was hired to bring in the dirt.

At 4:30 pm, after the ninth load, the driver got in a hurry. He left his dump box up as he started to leave the village to get load number ten. And he snagged the electrical lines overhead. As cables do not stretch, this small little error resulted in six electrical poles being pulled over, and one pole snapped off at the base. And of course, no power for the village! The truck driver hopped out of his cab and walked up to Dave. "Bad luck, bad luck," he kept saying. That was not really what was going through Dave's mind right then!

For the next five hours, Dave pulled electrical poles up straight with the Land Cruiser and propped them with boards. In the dark night, he climbed ladders, untangled cables, and spliced wires. He managed to restore power to the dining hall/kitchen at 9:30pm. The frozen fish in the freezer spurred him on!

Two days later, he was able to restore power to the cottages. The mamas thanked him that their ceiling fans worked again. Dave is officially the village hero!