A lot has been going on with the house the last few days. It all seems to be coming together
and I should be able to be in it in the next few days (hopefully). At this time I do not have
internet access however since my ticket (for time) seems to have expired before it should
have. There is none available here just now. I will pick up some tomorrow on the way back
from Lusaka. I have to go again(!) to swap a plumbing part for my water tank and pick up some other materials.
On Wednesday a representative out of South Africa is coming to Eagle’s Rest to talk to them
about a satellite internet system. I am told they do for households as well so I am going to
meet with him and see what a system would be for my house. If it is comparable to I-Connect
then I will probably go with it since satellite would be faster and more dependable. We’ll see…
One thing that Charles and I will have to begin working on is organizing Simalundu Mission in
order to have it recognized by the government. We should be able to obtain a VAT exemption
for goods purchased by the mission for the work, especially with wells. If you do not know
VAT is a ‘value added tax.’ It is used in lieu of income tax. There is no income tax in
Zambia. Of course there is every other kind of fee but no income tax. The rate here is 16%
on goods purchased. When you purchase $10,000 or $15,000 in well equipment or services it can
really amount to savings. It could be enough to repair two wells so it is really helpful.
We have begun to put in the ceilings in the house. They did one room on Saturday and I expect
another today. The first of the air conditions is being installed. I learned that the rack
for the outside of the house is not part of the unit so we have engaged a welder to make
them. The air conditions used most often here are split units. The fan etc. is up high on
the inside and the compressor sits on the wall outside. The welder is fast and the first
should be ready today to finish installing. The electrician has advised since there will be 6
units that a separate electric line be put in just for the a/c’s. That is some of the material we are getting later today.
I know it sounds tedious and repetitive but the traffic in Lusaka has to be seen to believe.
On many streets the sidewalk is now covered with makeshift shops and on some streets they have
spilled into one lane of traffic. This has pushed a good deal of foot traffic into or very
near the road. Then large trucks (semis) are all through traffic so it is not just cars.
Often you will see traffic crawling only to arrive and find a truck that has broken down or
simply stopped and (more or less) parked. I can drive in it but do not like to do it.
It’s been several days since I last worked on this. Still working on the house and it is just
not moving like I would like or need. It is going to have to slow considerably since I am
nearly out of funds. Except for labor costs most of the materials are present for the walls etc.
We got a call three days ago from the village of Matinangala that their well had stopped
pumping water. It is not far from Siavonga but still in the bush. It is only 800 meters from
the lake. But the crocodiles are more numerous especially this time of the year. There are a
number of crocodile farms nearby and during mating season (now) crocodiles in the lake in
larger numbers are drawn to this area. Going to the lake is dangerous normally but it seems
in this area much more dangerous. The village population is known at about 1200.
Charles has a number of old pipes from other wells at this house so we loaded some of them up
and went to the well. The cylinder needed rubber gaskets which we have so we were able to
contribute those. To help with the older pipes we used plumbers tape to help with the threads.
We talked with them about putting a fence around the well and extending the drainage several
meters further from the well to prevent a “swampy” area from occurring. There is a tree
nearby that has some of its tiny roots in the well so that will need to be removed to prevent further problems. We will talk with them later so encourage this to be done.
We repaired the well and got the water going again. Everyone was happy. Since I did not
expect to be doing a well I did not take my camera so there are no pictures, sorry.
I am having a problem sending e-mail using my e-mail software. I can receive it just fine but
when I try to send I get and alert. I contacted Innernet and was told it has to do with what
is called a live blackout. It is due to a great deal of spam being sent from a particular
area (I do not know if that is the term) so as long as that is happening I cannot post from my
software. It requires me to go onto their webpage and use the web mail. I was told it is
lifted when it stops so we will see…I never heard of it before but don’t know how long it might last.