Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Water in a Pink Bucket

SOLD

It is not often that I paint smaller works in oils, so this was a good change for me. I purposefully went for a more painterly feel in this one, and I enjoyed it immensely. I was able to complete this in two sessions, which was nice, since I did not have to wait for weeks until I could enjoy the finished work.

Maun can be a terrible place to live in, if you want a reliable source of running water. The town’s water utilities have now set up a couple of watering points, these consist of large green tanks, which water trucks top up when empty. There is always regular activity found at these watering points. As people come and go, some carry the water back home in buckets balanced on their heads, while others use donkey carts, or wheelbarrows. It was at one of these watering points that I saw these two sisters, the older one with a pink bucket of water on her head.

Fortunately we are living on the banks of the Thamalakane river, and we pump water directly from the river so are not affected by the lack of water as others are. However that does not mean we do not have our own water problems. We are using an electric water pump, which works very well. But the filter on the end of the pipe, which is situated about 20 meters from the shoreline sometimes gets blocked with water lily stems, and other aquatic vegetation. The pipe is very heavy and cannot be pulled out easily, which means someone has to wade in, and manually unblock the filter. My brother normally does this bit (I mean what younger brothers are for?)However, at the time he was in another town.

Now normally I do not mind swimming in rivers, or dams, in fact I love swimming. However, there were a couple of things on my mind when I went in to unblock the pipe. My first thought was Crocodiles! It had only been a month ago, that a crocodile had killed some dogs, not far from where I was now busy splashing about. My second thought was Hippos, a large Hippo had visited the very spot where the pipe ended only a few days before while munching water lilies, was he still around?






I must have been dreaming when I thought that I would wade in, fix the filter and be out in 5 minutes. Therefore, it was a little alarming when the water started lapping around my neck and I had still not reached the end of the pipe. I also discovered that there was enough aquatic vegetation beneath the surface to feed Ten Hippos, which I wondered why they had not eaten more of, as I was, became hopelessly tangled in the stuff. Anyway, after much wrestling with the heavy pipe, while trying to stay afloat, and scanning for crocodiles all at the same time, I was able to bring the end of the pipe to the shore. I then spent the next 15 minutes shivering while I cleaned the filter and unblocked the valve, which was blocked full of weeds. It took another 5 minutes to take the pipe back into the river, after that it was simply a matter of priming the pump and switching it on. Therefore, it was music to my ears when I finally heard the water cascading into our tank, bringing with it the realization that I did not have to re-enter the river and do it all over again, well at least not for today. The things we do for water!





14 comments:

Stephanie Berry said...

Wow, what we take for granted here. I hope you won't have to do that again! Nice painting Roger.

Roger Brown My Botswana Art said...

Thanks Stephanie!We have planned to put the end of the pipe into a large metal drum,punched with lots of holes,this will act as a large filter and will prevent the weeds from being sucked into the valve.

archi said...

Nice painting Rog. What size is it?

Roger Brown My Botswana Art said...

Its 12x10 inches or 30x25 cm.Really nice size to paint on.

Kathleen said...

Now that I've discovered you, I know I will spend a lot of time browsing back through your blog. I want to see and read everything! Thank you for sharing your incredible artwork and your interesting life.

Roger Brown My Botswana Art said...

Thanks very much Kathleen,I hope you will enjoy the older posts as well as future ones.

Cathy Gatland said...

Your work is so beautiful Roger, I especially love the people you paint. Glad the crocs and hippos kept away - stay safe!

toñi said...

Thanks Rogerfor sharing your interesting life. Your artwork is incredible and beautiful. Regards from Spain.

Unai said...

Thanks for sharing, I think very nice experience.

irene david said...

That is one gorgeous art work. I'm amaze that you've finished it in just two sessions. That's an accomplishment. Well done.
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Yvonne said...

love the colours you have used Roger. Also I am sure Gareth is pleased you have made a plan with the pipe!!

Yvonne said...

love the colours you have used Roger. Also I am sure Gareth is pleased you have made a plan with the pipe!!

Roger Brown My Botswana Art said...

Thank you all for visiting and commenting. Thanks Yvonne,look forward to seeing Malcolm soon.Got the local newspaper today and found out that they have caught the crocodile that has been in our area,although it has already eaten 5 dogs.It has now been relocated somewhere in the Okavango.

Dave Casey said...

Roger, you need a small rowboat to get out to the pipe. A float with a rope or chain attached to the end of the pipe and you could just pull it up to the surface and clean it and drop it back down. We don't want to hear about you losing an arm to a croc. That would make being an artist a little more difficult.