The Challenges of Life in the Jungle

It's been a huge learning experience out here. Every day there's so much new to learn. Probably the biggest challenge is that we've been spending so much time trying to make our camp more comfortable that we've had relatively little time to spend on the permanent spaces. That should be changing now aside from some stuff like erosion control our camp is done. We spent the last week completing the stove area, we've put a thatched roof over it to keep the sun and rain off of us while we cook. I wish we had done it previously because I got a shallow yet horrible sunburn after about twenty minutes tending the fire without my shirt on. So, when people tell you the solar radiation is high here they aren't kidding. 

Probably next time we'll do an accounting of how much time we spend on different things like tending the fire and figure out how to spend less time working on various chores.

We tried to get the hang of weaving the thatch but Lewai is so much faster at it that us that he ended up grabbing the fronds from us and insisting that he do it. He put in a couple of additional benches under the shelter as well. It's a decent little hang out, that's where we are now, writing this journal. 

It takes proper machete, knife handling techniques to avoid injury and out this far the clinic isn't an easy trip. I got a nice deep cut on my finger from a slight oversight while processing wood for the fire.  It probably could have used a stitch but our first aid kit was satisfactory and it's healing fine. Lesson learned. 

Getting stuff done around here requires a lot of improvisation. I'm amazed at how often we use the maul that I first made when we came to camp. How many times a day do you have to pound something? Out here, many times. How do we get by without a fridge? How do most people in the world do it? A hole in the ground and not having left-overs. 

We've actually been having some of the most tasty meals we've ever had out here, and with mostly foraged food. Maybe we'll do a camp cooking show, we'll call it camp cooking with Julia Childs, I mean Samantha.

Samantha Chappell