The roadworks outside the compound continue and the workmen are making steady progress. This is an encouraging piece of news generally speaking and there is every indication that this time the Peninsular Road will be laid and tarred before the onset of the rainy season. There is however one side effect of the works that has given rise to some challenges for the occupants of this compound. The other day one of the foremen came to us as we were getting into our jeep.

He told us that when we returned we would have to park on the other side of the road because they were about to dig up the small pathway that they had left for us to give us access to the compound. OK so far so good, the only thing was that Alieu and Christine were already out and about on their way to Kent Beach.

The first drama was when they returned. By now the path way had been well and truly removed by an effective combination of explosives and a mechanical digger, see the picture above. Alieu worked out that he would have to park opposite but even he was a bit phased by the question of how to get into the compound. (The wooden bridge in the pictures above had not yet been put in place). He and Christine stood on the roadside outside the compound and tried to figure out how they would cross. Then a very simple solution was offered by the driver of the mechanical digger. he drove near to them and lower the bucket of his big machine to the ground in front of them. he shouted at the two of them to jump inside and he proceeded to lift them gently and gracefully inside the bucket over the yawning chasm and he landed them inside the compound.

JB and Jane were the next to venture out. They were perhaps a little adventurous (or should it be foolhardy?) in deciding to go to Paddy’s night club that night. Jane is afraid of heights and the bridge which by now was in place did not look to reassuring to her vertigo. Bravely she ventured forth and with the help of JB she managed to cross successfully and without any embarrassing incidents,e.g. falling in the hole. Coming back was a different matter. After all they had been in Paddy’s. With nearly a full bottle of wine inside Jane the return crossing was a bit more of a problem. Jane wobbled, in fact it is true to say she was precarious on her feet even on the solid ground, weaving is a good way to describe her gait. JB tried manfully to effect the crossing with her in tow but once on the little wooden bridge her wobbles were emphasised and picked up by the unsteadiness of the actual bridge. She was swaying from side to side alarmingly and her holding onto JB’s hand was threatening to send JB toppling into the large trench. JB decided they both had to return to the roadside in the interest of safety. He phoned Alieu to come to his assistance and Alieu agreed to get out of his bed and come down to help. Just then a passing staranger offered to help as well so JB led the way, Jane followed and the passing stranger followed behind. Jane held one hand out in front for JB to hold and the helpful stranger held onto one hand behind her back and together they guided her over the bridge where Alieu had arrived to help. She then promptly fell down three times onto her hands whilst greeting her dogs and puppies!

The next day JB said “enough is enough” and he went to ask one of the foremen to widen the bridge. To be fair they did this with immediate effect to the great relief of all the less sure footed people on this side of the roadworks. See below.

 So that is how you do it.