Archive for March 2014

Fixing a Roof the African Way

Tuesday, 18. March 2014

Not only the roof of our home is leaking since a while. It got worse with the very wet summer this year and when we came home from our New Year trip we found mould all over in our cupboards. Bottom line lots of laundry, and some clothing to be thrown away.

Ever since we pushed the landlord for a solution, since you can imagine how one lives without wardrobes. But only to learn patience. It was not only the factor of “African Time”, but also the level to stick to commitments. We acknowledge the challenges due to almost constant rain over a couple of weeks, but everything done so far was just piecemeal without any betterment.

If we only knew what we have pushed for!

I worked from home yesterday, since IBM Park was closed. So I heard noise from the roof and went outside. Wow, there were beams and corrugated iron sheets. And the weather was nice since a couple of days.

I said to the landlord: “It seems bad weather has gone, so I hope you get to a resolution this time.” He replied: “We tried already last week, and had the roof tiles off, but then there was no power, so we had to close it again (this was last Thursday, when they caught nosy Hlozi under the roof). Actually the forecast indicates more rain for today, I hope we get the job done before.”

Short after midday there was thunder and lightning and the guys on the roof hit the road. Before I even did realize water was pouring from the ceiling, the light openings, along the walls in both Monique’s and my room. At this point I was sitting and working in the kitchen since 3G reception was better there, and when I wanted to fetch some stuff from my desk, water was flooding along the corridor.

I could not find enough buckets to collect the water, and damage was already done anyway. Luckily my instruments where in a dry spot, I just was able to save my amplifier. My bed and mattress already soaking wet. Luckily the downstream missed Monique’s bed, but instead hit the shelf containing most of our documents, and Monique’s nature guide training materials and books. I did mop up more than 20 liters just in her room.

The guys came back with a tarpaulin later, when the rain was gone.

The house is barely usable. Our living room already was an open wardrobe, my shirts and trouser hanging from the ceiling. Now there are stretched cords in addition to dry  documents. Floor and tables are covered with open books and folders. We are firing all heaters full volume to soak up humidity. And Monique was sitting until 3 am this morning trying to safe some books with the hairdryer.

Luckily IBM park was closed yesterday, so I was at home and could do some damage control, which she – dependent on her crutches – wouldn’t have been able to.