Never a Dull Moment... in Jamaica
Life in Jamaica consists of dealing with a never-ending stream of surprises, catastrophes and even horrors.
Recently, the tropical depresson and precursor to Hurricane Wilma that terrorized South Florida dumped 10 days straight of rain on Kingston. Things not only got wet, but they started to slip and slide, and that included a good part of my parent's back yard.
We got a call when we were away in the country from our frantic neighbour to tell us that the backyward was being sucked away into the gully.
Apparently, a hole had developed at the base that allowed the hole to develop, taking with it about 10% of the backyard dirt. It was a scary sight to see, and to contemplate that the edge of the hole was only 10 feet or so away from the foundation of the house.
A full week later, and after several promises fromt the "govament" there was a short burst of rain that lasted about an hour. My parents said they heard a wooshing sound.
When they looked out the window, they realized that not only was the hole bigger, but that their 10 ft wall had collapsed. Also, the gully wall had also disappeared into the gully. They now had a unique view of the gully itself, the other side of the gully and back of the houses on the other side.
It was quite an improved view, actually, and perhaps they stood for a moment wondering what it would be like to keep such a nice vista, and the slight breeze that could now be felt. Perhaps when they recovered, they realized that the hole was now a mere 3 ft from the edge of the gully.
When the news came that a tropical storm was making its way from Barbados, they started to panic.
Evantually, several phone calls to evey contact they could think of yielded some action, and 5 men showed up to pack sandbags to fortify the breach, and smoke some strong ganja. They loaded up 400 bags and packed them in.
Luckily, the rains never came.
Two weeks later, they finally showed up to fix the gully, the wall and to restore the soil, we hope. Maybe they'll even fix the wall, we think. To be sure, they are well armed with a front-end lifter, and bulldozer, 20 men and enough ganja to keep both them and us intoxicated for days.
Incidentally, my wife is just getting used to the fact that the smell of ganja in the air is not only to be widely expected, but is our decisive answer to poor customer service. After all, with a good dose of God's ital gift to man, it's easy to experience life as having "No Problem." In the meantime, however, my wife continues to make a remark whenever she smells the nation's number one cash crop at work. At some point, she'll stop pointing it out, but hopefully the laid-back Jamaican vibe won't stop.
In the meantime, we are carefully watching the 20 workers and the "extra" 5-10 fellows hanging around making themselves available in case of a sudden manpower shortage. The whole affair might take 3 weeks or more, and I'd bet on the "more" if I had to. Maybe, it will be done by Christmas? In either case, we can probably count on something interesting happening between now and then that's worth blogging, if I can only shake off that giddy feeling I get when I come to inspect the recent progress.