Fourth Day of Camping

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Day 4 – 12/12
We slept better in our slightly softer bed, but it still wasn't as soft as we'd have liked. The guys came again to finish their clearing job. The jungle was beginning to look a little less dense. We weren't having them do any major clearing, just enough for us to see where the outlines of our land are and get an idea of where we might be able to plant and build. 

We decided to head to Laurel's place for a visit. Every other time we'd seen her we were on our way to or from someplace and we wanted to get to know our closest neighbor better. She and her grand-daughter are very sweet people and it turns out we have a lot in common. Great news as they are so close to us, only about a 5-10 minute walk. She told us a bit more about the area and community, and some good places to forage for food nearby. We also found out she has a boat and she offered to take us out in it sometime. Can't wait! 

After our chat we went out to find some food. We found some green bananas, and bele leaves, and cassava. We tried pulling up some cassava root but didn't find any under the plants we tried. We made a mental note to ask Lewai how to tell when they're ready. We went back to camp and found that the guys were finished with the clearing. 

Joelli went around the borders of our property with us to show us what they'd done and we were surprised at how big our block is. We'd moved slowly when we saw it the first time so we hadn't noticed! Earlier when we'd tried showing Lewai we'd stopped too soon, which is why we'd had trouble finding the borders. The clearing was subtle, it still looks like a jungle, but things are more clear now. 

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I was upset to see that a “se se” birds' nest (kingfishers make nests inside of termite mounds on the trees) had been disturbed!  One of the young boys had cut the nest open, exposing the babies. Joelli told us he'd stopped him from doing more damage but we were worried that the babies would have trouble being so exposed. 

We took a better look at the spot we'd been considering for planting and building and decided it needed more clearing, it was still pretty over-grown. So we asked Joelli and crew to come back one more day and get that area more thoroughly. 

That night is rained really hard. We sat under our covered camp area and watched buckets of water flowing from the tarp. We also realized that our plan of cooking with a campfire had a major flaw, you can't make a fire when gallons of water are falling from the sky! So, we grudgingly ate some crackers and canned fish. Looks like we'll need a camp stove after all. We were feeling a little nervous as the rain poured down but everything stayed dry. I got a little work done in the dark under the rain but wasn't feeling too inspired. We went to bed and listened to the heavy rain hoping that we wouldn't get flooded. Good thing we dug a trench around camp and have a good pile of cut grass to absorb the water as it rolls down the hill. 

-Samantha

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Samantha Chappell