Archive for August, 2011
August 24th, 2011
These past three to four weeks have been the most exhausting and exhilarating since we embarked on Edenhope…..
We’ve made three trips to the bush, each of them lasting two to five days. On the first day of the second trip, John Patrick not only ‘turned over’ the road to us, but mounted the ‘Cat’ loader and pushed it up the more than eight kms of new road to fulfill one last request: clear a pathway into the center of the construction site. That’s where all our materiel will be deposited; and also, on its far side, where our office-dispensary-warehouse will be located [a structure 11m square].
This site is just behind a bluff on the far-side of the entry circle [the terminus of the road]. We’ve been considering a ‘declaration’ on timber announcing ones’ arrival at Edenhope, since there’s little but forest to see wherever you look. So there’s this small road/trail off the circle to take one around and behind the bluff. To describe the building site of the little village, it stretches in an arc around this central point for half a kilometer or so, where down below the river and natural terraces above it follow the same arc from NE to SE, before stretching deeper – and higher – into the mountains to the East. +
For three days of the second trip this month, the construction crew [fifteen men] established and built a temporary campsite [dormitory and kitchen] about one km away from ours on village land. Theirs is adjacent to a spring-fed stream, and only fifty meters from the River Pan where they will bathe. Meanwhile, we worked with our west coast neighbors to clear enough of the site to establish where each of the seven bungalows would be built. And, of course, spent the nights we were there in hammocks under a tarpaulin. We started to add in some flowers here and there, all under the canopy, so it really is going to be a forest garden with all the new learning experience that entails.
We had already decided our own campsite could accommodate the two [temporary] screened bush cabins that were intended. These would serve us [and any invited guests] over the next seven months until the construction phase was complete. They will continue to be useful even after that. Thus, when we returned for the third trip, the roof cover was just being put on the first of the two cabins ….and we had brought furniture with us to install this new phase of our life here, sleeping on a comfortable double bed in quite protected forest-splendor.
Not only was the sound of the river comforting, but spirit voices in the trees at night were added enchantment ….oh so sweet. And that’s just how we were initiated into the life we had for so long sought…. Edenhope, far from ready yet, has nonetheless become our principal home. Of course we will still commute to ensure all the materiel required is where it needs to be ….and when. The construction contract is for labor only since we previously obtained so much of the building materials, like timber [hardwood] and wall coverings [bamboo exterior and fine cane-rattan interior].
The trip back that last week as a visitor to Edenhope cost us the end of daylight – we arrived around the southwest cape of Santo just as the sun was setting. The reliable GPS we have was certainly reassuring, but nighttime navigation and ultimate landing was a new experience for us, not to be taken lightly.
This past weekend was different. We rose before dawn, made final packing and drove down to the village in dawn’s early light. The week had been so pressed with need [and hard work] that we both long to take it really easy and especially enjoy one of the most beautiful scenic drives you have ever been on…. But, no, we were still pressed. And one of the first meetings we had was with someone we could hire to drive and maintain the equipment – we were spoiled by having the best in John, but now he’s gone ….and such as I could undertake, mostly the driving, I did. Hence it was the most tiring week since we began….
But thrilling too!