14 July 2009

Femur or Stick?

In preparation for a construction project at my office compound, the lovely palm trees were chopped down and the courtyard has been dug up. Resting on the pile of dirt this afternoon after the workers left is something that looks like a long bone. Cow leg? Human femur? Or maybe just a suspiciously shaped stick? There are some ropes up and I can’t get close enough to take a better look in my skirt and nice office shoes. I’m awfully tempted though. This is the kind of place were it could conceivably be a femur. There are some chips and shards laying around it that look like the same substance, whatever it is. If it is a human femur, would the workers just have left it? Possibly.

What if they disturbed an ancient Indian burial ground causing my office to be haunted with evil spirits? So far nothing evil has happened, but shortly after I noticed the femur I did have some chatty folks pop in for a tad longer than I would have liked them to stay. It didn’t even register as mildly annoying, but maybe the spirits are just warming up.

Despite the sadness of chopping down such nice palm trees, it was a pretty cool scene to watch. It took about a week for the trees to come down. A guy would spend a day at the top of one, whacking off palm fronds with a machete. Then some guys started chopping at the trunk, with machetes as well. When the first tree came down it landed just inches from my office door, smashing a concrete drainage trench that’s going to be replaced anyway. For the second tree, I guess they decided against possible building damage (the second tree was much larger) and they used Burundian Rope Technology to control the fall. They tied a rope to the top of the tree and sent one guy about halfway up it to start chopping (avec un machete, bien sur). The other ten guys stood by the end of the rope on the ground and when the tree started to fall they yanked it in the most convenient direction. They then spent a day digging the stump out of the ground.

It’s been fun having something to watch outside my office window, even though a nice courtyard is being replaced by a concrete building. In these quiet moments at the end of the day I can contemplate femurs.


Nick said...

New game of one-upmanship...the port authority here "beached" a derelict old vessel (too big to be a boat)...apparently beaching technology hasn't evolved past the point where the ship "un-beaches" itself and runs aground in the AMB backyard...8 months & counting...top it!

Mike said...

That's so African, you need to hire Executive Outcomes to resolve the issue.


Related Posts with Thumbnails