The Trash Man Cometh; or fun with home maintenance

Today was supposed to be a work day, as I intended to get a bunch of file uploading and quiz questions set up for my online class. But about 9:00, people started showing up to fix my house.

First was the plumber, a return visit after not being able to get the hot water working last night. He had put in a new thermostat into the water heater and verified that it was actually heating water, but nothing was coming out. This morning, he unhooked pipes and tried to figure out where the blockage was, ultimately with success. At least for now. I’m looking forward to a hot shower in a few minutes after I finish writing this.

Next was M. Sawadogo, the university administrator, who brought with him a different electrician to see why the air conditioners weren’t working. He managed to get the ones in the spare bedrooms working, and one of the two in the salon now puts out air though I’m not sure if it is any cooler than it was before. Anyway, I closed up the salon and I guess it did get cooler for a while. Until the power cut out.

While the power was out, Omar the trash man showed up. Here, like a lot of places, there isn’t any municipal collection of trash. You pay somebody to come take your stuff away, and they also make a little money by recycling your metal and plastic bottles and what have you. So Omar, neatly dressed I might add in a nice sweater and jeans with sunglasses, stopped by to get rid of my garbage. We agreed on a price – about $5.50 – and he took two cartloads of stuff, mostly stuff that the gardener had cleared out earlier, away. I got a picture of him as he headed out with the last load:

Omar the trash man 1

His donkey is named Zizi. He looked pretty well-fed and healthy. Maybe Zizi got to eat all the leaves.

Afterwards, I walked down to the Telmob office, a distance of about 4 km round-trip, to get my new phone’s mobile data turned on. It seems to be working though the GPS is not in order yet. I left it outside to try to get all the satellites acquired but no luck. Anyway, it works as a phone. This was my longest sortie without Djibi. The weather was nice, next time I’m bringing a water bottle with me, though.

And some people from the embassy came by to install a water distiller in my kitchen. This is good support from the embassy – I was a little surprised they even picked me up at the airport. So far, the distiller has made a few drops of water. I guess I have to wait until tomorrow to drink…I finally did get a good bit of work done for the class once I figured out how to get electricity back.


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