The epic saga of work in village continues. Last year at this time I built a soak pit (small drain field) which epically failed, and so, not to be outdone by hardpan Malian clay, I soldiered on and built a much bigger, more expensive, "stick that in you pipe and smoke it" soak pit that is lined with bricks and is essentially way over done. I figured my work there was complete, but fate had another idea and decided to clog the pipe leading from the water source (a pump) to the pit with small bits of straw that are presently blowing all over village. My solution to this problem was to cover the inlet of the pipe with a wire screen... but it just got clogged with animal hair. Things at this point were starting to get a bit ridiculous.
So... my latest solution to the infiltration dilemma was to construct a settling chamber that would be all at once straw proof, animal hair proof, and child proof. In order to make such a chamber, I enlisted the help of the guy who is supposed to be in charge of the pump. On Friday I asked him what day we could do the improvements. He said, "Monday morning at 8 am". I said, "OK". Sunday night I double checked with him and confirmed Monday morning at 8 am. His reply was in the affirmative. Monday morning at 7:55 am I arrive at his house so we can get work started only to be informed that he had gone to Segou for the day. I don't know why I didn't just plan for this to happen because it seems to occur every time I try to schedule anything. I'm not so much mad at the guy as disappointed in myself for not having figured out this little Malian cultural quirk by now.