Crocodiles Lurking

 

A missionary who served in Africa tells of the region in Malawi (just Northwest of Zimbabwe) where the women go to the river for water. Every once and a while one of them will get swept into the water by a big crocodile never to be seen again.

River crocodiles can be enormous creatures, 1,000 lbs. and up to 20 feet long. They can run faster than a man, and if they go for someone standing next to the river there is no defense short of a person with a big gun who can shoot well. They clamp onto a leg or arm and drag the person off to drown and be consumed at leisure. They are especially aggressive in Malawi and prey on large animals also. A walk along the river there is not a good idea.

Everyone who lives around Malawi rivers knows two or three women who lost their lives this way. A few people who were attacked survived with significant injuries such as a lost arm.

Nobody thought to do things any differently until people from a non-governmental organization showed up and dug wells for water away from the river. Not only was this safe from crocs but it was cleaner water with no danger of contamination from sewage.

Nevertheless, some women continue to get water from the river. It may seem astonishing that when provided a safe source of water some people prefer to go on braving the danger, but they have their reasons. The well may be too far from where they live, it’s harder to fetch water out of a well, or perhaps they don’t trust the well. Perhaps they heard of someone drowning in a well.

There is the danger of the river, which is significant, but there is also the danger of the well, which is unknown. The unknown danger can loom larger in the mind even if on serious reflection it’s likely to be small.

So each person has to make a choice. And so it is with any number of things we face in modern life. The Toyota Supra is a fun car to drive. The Volvo is safer but boring. Skydiving is tremendous fun. Tennis is a lot safer but not as thrilling. Learning to fly a glider would be a great adventure but with some risk. Flying a flight simulator eliminates risk but it’s not really flying. A big steak would be great for dinner. A salad would be healthier but not as savory.

The crocodiles are lurking. Some people are comfortable with having them around. Others want them at a great distance. There is a price to be paid either way.

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  1. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    So, vax or no vax, mask or no mask?

    • #1
  2. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    And this reminds me of the tale Louis Armstrong used to tell. 

    He said when he was a boy, his mother told him to go down to the bayou to get a pale of water. He said he wasn’t going to go cause there was a big old gator down there. His mother told him that the gator was as scared of him as he was of the gator. He said, if that was the case, that water wasn’t fit to drink.

    Too bad the NGO didn’t put in a pipeline to take the water into the villages.

    • #2
  3. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Republicans are evil because they refuse to eliminate all risks and replace them with guarantees. 

    • #3
  4. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    I often think of a year in which two people died in a single season at snow skiing facilities near where I then lived. One was a skier who crashed into a tree. Ooh, risky behavior. The other death was a bus driver who suffered a heart attack while sitting in the cafe. Sitting. A supposedly “safe” activity. Whatever choice someone makes, there will be risks involved. 

    • #4
  5. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    So, vax or no vax, mask or no mask?

    Vax, no mask.

    • #5
  6. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    So, vax or no vax, mask or no mask?

    I think he’s saying they’re a “croc”.

    • #6
  7. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    WI Con (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    So, vax or no vax, mask or no mask?

    I think he’s saying they’re a “croc”.

    Per the O/P

    The crocodiles are lurking.   Some people are comfortable with having them around.  Others want them at a great distance.  There is a price to be paid either way. 

    • #7
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I can’t resist.

    Is the Vulvo a new Swedish feminist car?

    • #8
  9. JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery Thatcher
    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery
    @JosePluma

    I’ve seen alligators in the wild.  They’re kinda cute.  You need to be careful around them, of course, the same way you need to be careful around squirrels or raccoons.

    The Albuquerque zoo got a croc a couple of years ago.  I went to see it, and those things are eldritch horrors:

    I was ten feet above that thing and behind a railing.  It was still scary.

    • #9
  10. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    And, in the meantime, many fewer villagers there are dying of River Blindness.  The reason?  Ivermectin, a legal, cheap, generic medicine to treat it.

    • #10
  11. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Too bad the NGO didn’t put in a pipeline to take the water into the villages.

    that would require electricity, a pump, plumbing in the village, some method to turn pump on and off remotely for each draw of water.  and someone to maintain the systems  and replace the burned out pump when someone left it on after they or their water. 

    We forget how primitive their existence is, and how blessed and modern our is by comparison. 

     

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Too bad the NGO didn’t put in a pipeline to take the water into the villages.

    that would require electricity, a pump, plumbing in the village, some method to turn pump on and off remotely for each draw of water. and someone to maintain the systems and replace the burned out pump when someone left it on after they or their water.

    We forget how primitive their existence is, and how blessed and modern our is by comparison.

     

    Once there’s water lines, a pressurized tank and a pressure switch for the pump takes care of it.  No remote switching needed.

    Solar panels could handle the electric part.

    Although one should never underestimate the chances that someone would take the panels to put on their own hut…  Or to sell for the metal…

    • #12
  13. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Too bad the NGO didn’t put in a pipeline to take the water into the villages.

    that would require electricity, a pump, plumbing in the village, some method to turn pump on and off remotely for each draw of water. and someone to maintain the systems and replace the burned out pump when someone left it on after they or their water.

    We forget how primitive their existence is, and how blessed and modern our is by comparison.

     

    I realize that. But that is one very good use for solar power. And it’s not like there can’t be training. The other thing is that the women in village were responsible for getting water. They are the ones who should be put in charge of maintaining the system. Been there. 

    • #13
  14. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    When I was nine, my uncle took me fishing on the Port St. Lucy River—way before that part of FL got built up. Being an annoyingly nerdy kid I asked why there were logs in the water since there were no trees in the swamps and grasslands.

    Uncle Bill laughed, make a hard left with the motor and then smacked the water with a paddle not far from a large log which then opened its mouth, snapped and swam away. I have since had enormous respect for the entire Crocodilia Order and never forgot that my observation and inference skills, however seemingly impressive in the moment, can still be substantially deficient.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    On the other hand, Chocodiles are delicious!

    • #15
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