Into the Bush


12/09 Koro Island, Camping on Our Land - Day 1 
This journey is not my journey alone. My wife Samantha and I travel this road together, and this is really our story, so at this point Samantha and I will write this journal together and the narrative voice will shift back and forth. This is great because the journaling process is quite time consuming, and Samantha has a unique point of view and a better memory. 

We planned to make an early start of it and get to our block before 10am so we could get a lot of work done. It was obvious from the start that it was going to take a bit longer than that to get ready so we asked Samu to pick us up at 11am. We rushed to get everything packed and all of our electronics charged and were almost ready at about noon. Unfortunately, the electricity wasn't on at the workstation spot, but we wanted to get going anyway, so we sat tight waiting for Samu. By 1pm we went looking for him at the resort. As soon as we got there we were told that he was waiting for us back at the bure. Haha! Finally we were off to our land, with a half charged phone, running about 4 hours late and hoping that we could make camp before nightfall. 

The first order of business was getting a dry space together for all of our stuff, so we spent a couple of hours putting tarps up around the water catchment tank. It was a tiring job in the hot sun. We got everything semi-organized and pitched our tent. About that time we heard some voices shouting from the road. It was Laurel and Lillie bringing us some pineapples from their garden. As we chatted with them we heard a truck coming. It was Samu bringing us a small tank of water that we had arranged to get earlier. We stood around watching the tank fill for about an hour. It was late by the time that was finished so we headed back to start a fire and cook a late dinner. 

Mike had gathered some wood earlier, but a lot of it was pretty green and he hadn't had the time to prepare kindling and tinder. It took constant care to keep the fire going and get enough coals to cook with. As the sun was going down we looked up and saw a sky filled with big bats. 
We were too busy to watch them for long but made a mental note to admire them more the next day. By about 10:30pm we finally had enough coals to cook some food. We had a meal half foraged from the island, a stew made from green mangoes from the trees around our bure, some edible ferns picked from our block, and some dried yellow peas.  It was late and we were exhausted by the time we finished, but it turned out to be the tastiest meal we've had in quite a while! We fell into bed hoping that tomorrow would be better planned and executed.


Samantha Chappell