This morning, we marveled at a team of men, armed with pangas (long metal machetes) and walking sticks, cutting the grass across the street from ours.
I felt a little sour about it, not only because Adam was sick or because of our intervening BS, but because the grass had offered us a great obfuscation from neighbour’s ogling.
Regardless, all of the tall grass across the street was shorn close and neat, and I inquired later in the day about it to Polycarpe.
“They’re widening to road, to ease the way of trucks,“ he said.
I laughed, without even wondering if it would be misinterpreted, and quickly said, ”But there is only ONE truck in Aketi! It is the only truck or car here!“
Polycarpe laughed and said, ”Yes, yes it is the only one!“
Adam said, in English, with my translation, ”Where does the road go?“
”To the beach,“ replied Polycarpe.
Adam continued, ”So the one vehicle in all of Aketi will go to the beach, and come back, and for that they are widening the road?“
We all laughed. Polycarpe, wise and older in age than most of the other project staff, really *gets* it -- he can sometimes be riled up and frustrated by Congo’s xenophobia. But he also gets the absolute ridiculousness of hiring 5 men to widen the road to aide one truck. We all laughed for a long time about it -- I think it was needed, after the last two days.
Tomorrow, after Cleve arrives sometime today from Buta, we thought about talking of renting a different house.
Until then, we shall continue watching them enlarge our road!