An Unexpected Party

Before the escalation of the hostilities in Zimbabwe, I worked as a Primary Development officer, building roads through the bush, laying out basic airstrips for the Flying Doctor, and building small dams to populate with fish providing the local villages with a source of protein.

Whilst travelling to visit one of my road gangs I saw a large group of people gathered around in one corner of the village I was passing. I went to investigate and found that it was a hut building party.

Apparently one of the villagers was getting married shortly and he wanted to build his new wife a hut of her own. The other villagers were there to drink his homebrewed beer and help lay bricks occasionally.

There was no relationship between the amount of beer drunk and the amount of bricks laid. If anything they seemed to be inversely proportional. One old guy stomped up, laid one brick then settled back to drink and later to quaff. Quaffing is when you spill more than you drink.

After I had laid a few rows they insisted that I sit down and a jug of brew was handed to me. It was a smooth light beer and I sipped it gratefully and sat back to watch the husband to be energetically laying bricks while the women sat weaving the thatched roof.

The rest of the afternoon became a bit confused and eventually I was helped into my landrover. I woke up the next morning nursing a blinding hangover, the landrover firmly jammed against a tree, with a herd of Wildebeest munching contentedly around me.


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