The Chronicles V – The Brickmaker

Mexican Horse Thief-Amanzimtoti19

During this time I got very sick, I think it was malaria again, I was so sick I could not even drink! My bed was just my sleeping bag on a bare concrete floor, not too comfortable. Cindna came in a few times a day, bringing me iced water and trying to get me to eat some food. After about four days I could eat a little and that afternoon I had a few beers with Emilia. I was definitely on the mend. I am sitting under the one mango tree in the yard, it is just after 9am and I estimate the temperature to be about 28C already. The vegetable market arrives!

One woman with a HUGE sack on her head, a baby tied to her waist and with two small kids in tow. The smaller kids are carrying buckets and the girl child too has a sack on her head. Another man arrived at the same time and started digging a deep whole in the middle of the garden. Meanwhile business is being conducted with that funny lettuce stuff, tomatoes and onions. Other than in the Shoprite, a South African style store and Vaughn’s house I had yet to see a potato in Mozambique.

The man is now using the sand he has dug out to make cement, he has brought a cast to make airbricks! He does this with alarming speed and in this heat; he is not a young man either. He is producing about 2 a minute. The brickman has been busy the whole time, no food and I did not see him drink anything. He has made 110 bricks from 2 bags of cement, in 4 hours. For this he got paid 100 Metica. That is about R35. Not much by anyone’s standards. He washes himself and his equipment, sits and chats with Emilia for a while, then loads his spade and brick making machine into his wheel barrow. He buys a beer at the Shebeen next door that is 20 of his Metica gone.

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