Our Jungle Home - Day 3

Our jungle home 12/11
We had a marginally better nights sleep, it was a bit softer but still too sloped. I spent the morning gathering more grass and trying to make the bed level while Mike finally got some practice in and had a great idea for a Christmas song called “Island Christmas”. We had a small crew of guys come out to begin thinning the undergrowth from our block. It's impossible to get the sense for what we're looking at as we tromp through the property because the vines and brush are so thick. As Mike played his guitar we could hear occasional singing and laughing as the guys worked off in the jungle. 

We had asked a friend to help us get a few things in on the ferry the day before. We were still much in need of some supplies and tools to make out water tank actually catch water, and the forecast was calling for rain. We can't miss the chance to get some water in the tank. We got a call letting us know that the things had arrived so we headed down to the more populated area of Waisali Village to pick them up at the work site of Arthur and Marian.


When we got there Nathan, who had helped us get the stuff wasn't there, but several other guys were working. One of them told us that cobra was up on the hill. We both gasped in shock, we had heard there were no venomous snakes on the island! The guys got quite a kick out of the looks on our faces and told us that Cobra was the nickname of one of the workers. 

We tried calling Nathan but couldn't get through so we went to visit Neil and Hwei Ying. They have a really cool house. They built the place themselves and it has an amazing view of the ocean. Their deck doesn't have railings and Neil explained that once they had a very annoying visitor who said they wouldn't come back until some were put up. “They saved me a lot of money, because that decided me on not doing it”, he joked. 

We finally tracked down Nathan and he told us that our stuff was at another house, where Arthur and Marian were staying. A phone call to them let us know that they would be back in around 30 minutes, but it's “island time”, so after a couple of hours of hanging around and swatting mosquitoes, we had our stuff and headed back to camp. 

The sun was going down as we got there and Mike climbed onto the roof to put some caps on the sides of the gutter. I was afraid he was going to fall and kill himself as he tried to repair the gutters. It was so terribly raggedly cut that it was nearly impossible to get them on with the limited tools we have, but by jerry-rigging with plastic sheeting and duct tape, he made it work.


We were both a bit grumpy about the crappy job they'd done and extra work they'd left us with, not to mention the cost, which seems completely unjustified considering the salvaged parts and support posts cut from green timber in the forest -and of course the fact that we'd paid months in advance so we'd have water waiting for us and they only put it together the day that we arrived here. We didn't have time to make a fire so we quickly gobbled some blucky canned meat and crackers and fell into bed.


Samantha Chappell