I know you are probably sick to death of me ranting about bus rides — but this one was special. The A32 from Jaffna to Mannar. What a road. 140 kilometres took the bus more than 6 hours. A causeway over the Jaffna lagoon where the water was mere inches from the road. Half the road was actually underwater, so much so that I had to take my bag off the floor because the bus was flooding. And, again, no seat. I was lucky though, the bus driver took a liking to me and cleared the place above the gear-box for me to sit cross-legged on. Yippee!
A couple of hours of deal legs and bruised everything later, and after we had to jump out of the bus so it could ford an especially treacherous looking river (where soldiers waded into the water to bodily mark the edge of the “road”).
But when I got to Mannar, there was a surprise waiting for me that made the schleppe of a journey worth it — the Rice Mill had started construction!
Straight away, I was off, in a trishaw, to the field – to Nedunkandal Village. When I arrived, I was greeted by the local OfERR staff, and by a surveyor, who was working with the RDS (that supplied the volunteers which helped out that day) members to mark the edges of where the foundation was to be poured.
Countless measurements. Constant adjustment. Staking the ground and connecting the dots with green strings, precisely the border of our rice-mill to be. Construction Day 1!
The rain did stop the foundation from actually being dug, but that didn’t dampen (excuse the pun) my joy at the rice mill being built! From here, it is (weather permitting) easy street!
After checking out the building progress and working with my old mates from the RDS on marking the outlines, we were back off to Mannar town, to rest up for the busy day ahead — the progress update on our Mannar Region projects!