May 6, 2007

It rained last night.


So much so that the thatched roof on the bar began to leak. Enough droplets dripped right onto the wires that powered the amplifier, shorting out the music. I had just changed the playlist of shitty R&B to a mix of classic rock, some Ramones and Sex Pistols for good measure, and new stuff like The Kooks, The Fratellis, G Love, Dispatch, and The Avalanches.

Right in the middle of Boston’s Peace of Mind, the tunes cut out. By the time I rounded into the bar, the wires were in a puddle. I picked them up to try and shake them off, but mid shake, the InMo shows up, drunk off his ass.

“Dude. Wires and water = not cool! By the way, have you seen my buddy? His name is Jack Daniels. I haven’t seen him in a while. Oh!”

What could I do to keep the evening going for my clients? I decided to get the guitars. Coveralls, a South African Pilot also plays and has a beautiful full bodied Yamaha with a clean tone and great action. Thunder clapped and lighting silhouetted palm trees black against the sky painted purple. The hard alluvial clay resisted the water pounding against it, leaving most of the compound flooded. We jammed out, enjoyed our cold pilsners, our brandy and cokes. Coveralls would just play some chords and I’d noodle a solo over it.

It was a great a night.

This morning I had planned to lock myself in the office and tear through some paper work that had been piling up. However, a documentary crew trying to make a chartered flight was being hassled by local police (and some of my security staff) for their photography permits. Oh, and I had to host the Acting Deputy Governor and Police Commissioner for breakfast with Ambassadors from England and Australia to try and save a local expat friend. That and my driver was in Wau so we couldn’t drive to the trash dump to preempt tomorrow’s inspection.

So much for breakfast.

I rocked the office for the next few hours, lamenting silently my last day off back in January, but only until the AC fan whirred to silence and the lights flickered off. The power indicator at the top right hand corner of my screen flashed black and began its slow countdown. I sighed audibly.

As I walked to find the source of the power outage, the termites were out. A few weeks ago in Juba, about a day after a big rain, termites flew all over the place. Big ass termitesThey were inescapable as they cavorted about candles and lights. Late in the night, they had commandeered an ablution block, their wings stuck thick to the floor, and hundreds of them crowded in the sinks.

It was revolting.

Tonight, however, the termites were little. The setting sun cast a flaxen refulgence across the thirsty land that had already consumed the previous evening’s deluge. The ephemeral fluttering wings of the insects flushed with a brilliant luminescence, quite reminiscent of the fireflies of the hot Pennsylvania summers I used to know. Walking past the bar, cheers and applause erupted as locals and expats alike congregated for the preeminent religion of the area: Premier League Football.

The serenity of the sunset didn’t change the fact that the 200 KVA FG Wilson generator’s fan block double bearing had ground to a halt. With no one in Nairobi on a Sunday, the order won’t be received until Monday morning, and I’ll renounce any disbelief in an omnipotent deity if it arrives by Wednesday. So for the foreseeable future, we’ll be running one generator for 24 hours with no back up.

So, if anyone can send the part pictured below to me in Rumbek, Sudan by the afternoon of Monday, May the seventh, 2007, I’ll buy you a beer.

Fan block double bearing

Actually forget the beer.

I’ll buy you a Ferrari.