Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wind and Water

We’re at the turn of the seasons here at Ciyanjano. The weather has been changing from cold nights and warm afternoons to cool nights and very hot days. The temperature’s been climbing into the 90s most days and the wind and blowing dust is enough to make us dream of cold and foggy Bellingham, the changing leaves and rain squalls over the bay. The weather this year has been particularly tough on Ciyanjano.

 In the first place, the poor turnout of last year’s rainy season coupled with our busiest year of bookings for camps and groups in Teamhouse has led to regular water shortages. It seems the ancient well (borehole here in Zambia) that supplies the Ripley Center is drying out and our efforts to clean it out through blowing compressed air into it to blow out built-up silt and sand was of no real help. Our second step was to reduce the pump size in order to draw water more slowly and let the well fill back up. This has been at least a bit helpful but does not solve the problem over the long run. The real problem is that although a generous gift has been given to drill a new borehole, the chances of getting more water than we’re getting at the current borehole is slim. On top of that our second borehole had been running dirty with silt and sand even after blowing it clean with compressed air. All over Lusaka people are experiencing dried out boreholes and the city is failing to meet the water needs of the growing compounds. Pray for a good rainy season this year with early and long-lasting rains to replenish the groundwater throughout the city. Pray for our water situation at Ciyanjano as we continue to grow and increase our demand but possibly unable to increase our supply. Pray for wisdom.
Blowing compressed air into borehole #2

The IndoAfro Water King


The hot and windy weather has also been creating some wild dust devils. For you Pacific North Westers, imagine a very small tornado full of dust and rubbish getting sucked up into a spinning, hot updraft. Usually they’re pretty small and if you get stuck in one you just try to close your mouth and eyes as tight as possible and enjoy your dust bath. But last week we had a huge one roared through Ciyanjano on a quiet Thursday afternoon. It hit the first chalet and pulled the roof up off the frame and pulled all the nails out the frame and broke the timbers loose from the cement at the top of the roof. It hit the second chalet from a different angle and tore the steel sheets and the timber frame of half the roof and tossed it more than a hundred feet up in the air like a piece of paper and blew it all over the camp until it came to a crash landing near the toilet and shower block more than 150 ft from where it came off. One of our cleaning ladies was in the chalet when the roof came off but her quick thinking led her to jump under the built-in bunk beds where she was safe. It was really God’s hand that kept everyone safe since we had just been out touring the camp 30 minutes earlier that day and we’ve been booked solid with groups including a huge AWANA day camp. The power of those spinning sheets could have easily cut someone in two. So while we could be complaining about the $500 in damages, we are thanking God that no one was injured and that the damages were so small. Just another day at Ciyanjano.
Pulled the roof right off!

Not the kind of skylight I like.

You can see how far away it landed - and it took 4 guys to carry it!




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