The saga continues… On 22 - 29 February, a high level Fieldbase delegation - consisting of Rhys, Simon, and me (Christiane) - visited three project groups to get first hand insights into how they are doing and what they do (à The Loop).
After experiencing Charlie 2's busy village life, entering Echo 4’s camp site was like arriving to an oasis of peace and tranquility. The beautiful palm tree forest, only surrounded by banana and tea plantations, provides for a spectacular view on the most beautiful starry night sky, which can be enjoyed with a glass of light Kattan Chai prepared by the lovely family next door. The Echo 4 venturers seem to genuinely love their work, being very possessive of their worksite holes "Holey Cow" [sic! Get the wordplay here!?] and "Route 66", but I let the group speak for themselves in the form of some guest blogging:
|The group and their neighbours.|
- The six feet hole required for the first unit is finished, with much hardcore digging having taken place, particularly from Kris Clayton, whose Hulk-like strength has been invaluable (Editor’s note: It says “Group blog”, but I have the feeling this entry was written by Kris.), in spite of his regression to an almost Neanderthal sensibility - “My hole!”
- PM Jenna enjoyed a short dip in the pool of cow dung behind the cowshed, releasing the worst smell of all time into the air and our nostrils. Some days later, it was Jude’s turn, whilst PM Sammy succeeded in splashing some of it on her face.
- One of the main jobs – transporting materials from the drop-off point to the worksite (we are too remote for vans) – has been rather tedious and exhausting. To have our minds elsewhere, we decided to liven things up with rousing renditions of Disney songs and other classics; a fresh delivery of lyrics just came in today: We are prepared for more.
|Posing at Holey Cow|
|Under the sea... Under the sea... Darlin’, it’s better down where it’s wetter... Take it from me|
- Supplies from the village have spiced up our menus, culminating in a delicious chicken, curry, and rice dinner – including cake for dessert – on day 6.
- There has been an outbreak of severe addiction to “Parle G” biscuits and “Milk Maid”, with Kris being the worst affected.
- Only one of the bashas has collapsed!
- On 19 February, we joined the community for a lovely but rather long church service. The carpet was rough on our bare feet and every song seemed to have the same tune. However, the friendly and welcoming locals compensated for the slight feeling of monotony.
- It is now so cold in the morning; it feels like waking up in the UK. Well, until you gaze upon the stunning jungle and tea plantations.
- An ominous shed of snake skin was found by the path today – A sign of things to come? (Why does it always have to be snakes?!)
- The post of entertainment officer has gotten off to a great start with a riveting game of mafia, Jude’s intense thumb war tournament (with Dan emerging victorious), Dan and Dom’s quiz in the style of British TV game shows (with the Led Zep Dogs emerging victorious), and Joel’s D-I-S-C-O (with good music emerging victorious).
|Magnificent campsite "Bashers and Bangers"|
|View from the "Crèche" (imagine at night with Pink Floyd's "Wish you were here" playing)|
|Just like during that one summer at Kellerman's.|
|Dom being eaten alive by local kids after questionable Cricket decision|
|Not a snake, but a scary spider called "Germany" (E4 has has an above average proportion of Dutch team members...)|