Wednesday, August 17, 1977, 8:00 pm, Day 568I am still here in Jagbwema, I am sorry to say. Yesterday, after quite a bit of waiting, they were only able to come up with 7 communal laborers. They talked me into giving them another chance, and I agreed. I also stipulated that I expected to see rice chop and a bucket of water waiting for me when I returned that day, and also that I wanted to see 15 people outside my door at 8:00 AM the next day, ready to go to work, or by 8:30 I would be moving out.
With only 7 communal labor to work with, I stayed close to the town and surveyed from the tank site down to a few possible well sites, so that I could prepare designs for both gravity-feed and well/pump and compare the two.
After work, I found the rice chop waiting for me, and also one water bucket, without the water. At least they tried. I was able to grab one bobo and sent him off for water, so I didn't do too bad yesterday.
This morning, after much running around (like with their heads cut off) all of the town elders trying to round up workers, we were able to go to work brush clearing on the supply line with about 20 to 30 people. It was a hassle. With that many people I expected that we should get alot done today. Instead, we didn't get much done. In going along, it takes about two people to break a trace through the brush ahead. The others should then stretch out behind, each taking a section and widen it and clear it out overhead. That is what they should have done. Instead, they split up into two groups, those that went ahead and those that stayed behind. Those that went ahead stood in line and moved ahead with the two people in front that were brushing. All of the others did nothing much but watch and then move ahead with the rest, leaving an awful lot of work left undone behind them. Those that stayed behind were forced to do all of the work that the other group left, and so went very slowly. They all wanted to go before and work with the other group, and it was all that we could do to keep people working in the behind group. Work was very chaotic and disorganized, and the situation wasn't helped any by the communal labor often refusing to work when and where you told them to.
After work, upon returning to Jagbwema, we found rice waiting for us. It was cold, and had probably been brought just after we left this morning. Cold rice just doesn't make it, but we managed with it, as we had no way of heating it, and our person to complain to is never around anyway. as for water, we found another kid and sent him off with the bucket to get some. He never came back! These things sure don't help to improve my thoughts about jagbwema any.
Tomorrow, Moiba and I will do the town survey of Gbetema, the village that we want to include in the gravity-feed design. After that, we will go, leaving the survey to the source undone because I refuse to hassle with it any more. I will have enough information to complete the design for the system, which I will do, but as for my ever coming back to work in Jagbwema, I would say that the chance is very slight.
Friday, August 19, 1977, 9:00 pm, Day 570I had a tough day with the Honda today. It started this morning when I left Jagbwema and headed for Sefadu. I knew that I was low on fuel, but I was sure that I could make it. I went a few miles and then it stopped on me. I could still see petrol in the tank, so I figured it must be dirty fuel, so I checked a few of the places. I found some dirt which I cleaned out, and after a bit I was able to start it and get going again. Another mile down the road and it stopped again. I checked again for dirt but it was clean. I figured that it must just be bad petrol then because it was the last of what I had sitting around up in kamiendor, and so I figured it must have water or soap or something in it. After many tries at starting I was able to go again. It went another mile and then stopped again. This went on for about 6 or 7 times, with the motorcycle stopping after about a mile and then finally starting again after 50 to 60 tries. I finally ended up walking the last 1.5 miles into Koidu, and once I got petrol it worked fine.
Coming back up to Kamiendor I was going good until I hit one of the worst spots on the road. at this spot, the whole area was muddy and the place to cross was the tracks left by the lorries. I put the motorcycle in one track and started along, and was almost through it when it became bogged down by the body of the motorcycle touching the ground at the sides, due to the track being so deep. The engine stalled and I was forever trying to get it started again. Finally it agreed, and so I continued on, and I wanted to keep going and not stop because it was so hard to start again.
About 12 miles from Kamiendor I came to a place where they had just cut the road. I think they are repairing a stream crossing, and at the moment there is a section of road missing. I had to stop the motorcycle because it had to wait until I could fix up a way for it to cross over. It was raining heavily at this time. A villager and I managed to walk the motorcycle across the stream. Once across, I tried to start it, but it wouldn't start for nothing. A village was just a ways up the road, so I walked the motorcycle up there in the rain to find some dry spot to work on my motorcycle. For an hour or two I was there, first trying my spark plug and then trying my contact breaker, and then trying to start the motorcycle and then trying everything again.
It was frustrating work, but finally it did start one time. I had to shut it off again, though, because I was all unpacked at the moment. I figured that since it had started that once, then it would start another time, so I packed everything up and started trying the motorcycle, and must have tried about 300 times before it would start again. I was then quickly back on the road and on my way to Kamiendor. I didn't want to make any stops. It was dark then, and the road was very bad, so that my maximum speed was 16 mph, and it probably took me close to an hour to cover those last 12 miles, but finally I did make it. Later, tomorrow I plan to give the motorcycle a complete going over, with the hope of getting it to start first time, every time.
Tuesday, August 23, 1977, 8:00 pm, Day 574This afternoon I finally got around to doing some maintenance on my motorcycle. I was very uncertain and concerned about it, and if it was going to want to start again. I checked the spark plug and luckily I found a big spark there, so I know that the plug is okay. I also checked the old spark plug. I couldn't get it to spark at all, so I know that I need another spare. I then checked the contact points. I couldn't find a spark there, but it is hard to see, and I hoped that since I was getting a spark at the spark plug, then that would also mean that the entire electrical system is okay, including the contact points. This is what the maintenence book infers, but I am not quite sure about it. I then adjusted the timing and the tappets, cleaned the air filter, and tightened the spokes. I then tried to start it. No Luck! After a goodly number of attempts, I just parked it and packed everything up. I wasn't in any mood to try and fiddle with it any more at the moment.
This evening I went back out and took another look at my motorcycle. Since I wasn't sure about the contact points, that was the part that I wanted to look at. I figured that at night was the best time to fiddle with contact points because the spark would be easier to see in the dark. I found that the only way I could see a spark was to look while I kick-started the motorcycle. The book says that I should see a spark just by turning on the key and then opening the contact points by hand.
Finally, after a few more tries at kick starting, it started. I let it warm up a bit and then I shut it off. I then tried to start it again, and this time it started on about the second try. I shut the engine off and then started it again a few more times just to make sure. It seems to be okay now. I am still a bit wearie, though, because of the thought of going out on that roadagain and then have the motor start acting up again. I am sure that getting the engine coated with a layer of mud doesn't do it any good. I think that the mud might cause the engine to heat up more because it is air-cooled and the mud blocks up the way. Also, I don't think that the motorcycle likes riding in the rain.