If you thought (as we did) that emptying some water and organic matter from the bottom of a big, open hole would be quite a straightforward thing to do, you were mistaken. If we had a tank truck in our use and wide, durable roads for it to drive on, things would be different but as we don't, several measures have been taken before the actual emptying work which is due to happen next week.
Holes have been made to the separating walls of the three containers for the water to flow to one end better. The mud and the vegetation seem to block the holes every now and then, so the workers have had to jump into the pit to clean away some of the most solid matter.
Some thirty truck loads of sand has now been poured into the pit to replace some of the water and facilitate its flow through the holes towards our old friend, the pump, that had been running for the past weeks. All the matter that's left will be loaded to trucks so the water needs to be pumped out first. Otherwise all the unimaginable things that come out of an open sewer of ten years would spill along the way which is obviously something we want to avoid. The mounds of sand will also be the base on which the excavator can eventually work to finish the emptying process.
For us the slow pace of the sand trucks has been quite frustrating but for the children of the community it has all been another opportunity for play. Hanging from huge leaves of the palm tree, they jump into the sand, roll down, climb up, slide down and do it all over again. They have also made beautiful whistles or horns out of the palm leaves which, unfortunately, make an incredibly loud noise.