Archive for September, 2011
September 18th, 2011
This is the third time we’ve come back to the bush in the last fortnight. The two bush cabins are quite comfortable after the ‘tarp and hammock’ camping out we did in earlier times. Sleep after a vigorous day now, is sweet and complete. We’ve begun to spend as much time on Edenhope land as in Luganville town. It’s a sweet beginning; living in the bush invokes that curious perspective that at last everything is right side up ….and peace is everywhere, immeasurably real.
Our part of the deal with the contractor doing the building ….is to provide all the materiel. That means everything! …..getting it first to Tasmate [the village] from wherever it comes; chartering the ship, loading it, off-loading it onto the beach at the village, assembled in some sort of order there, much of it stored near the soccer field, high-value and other necessary things carried to the shed; just such a manoeuvre can involve the whole village doing stevedore work! It’s happened a couple of times already; the results chaotic, taking still more time to reorganize what is always a push by the ship’s captain to get out.
To date logistic demands have already occasioned several ship charters – a real exercise in the preparation and aggregation of what is needed where, and when …..it’s not simple. So far we’ve managed to keep ahead of the builder’s requirements; as of this writing, that has meant twenty-four round trips, the ‘tracked-dump truck’ full-up each time. Sand, gravel, cement; timber, machinery, fuel, tools. Even the materials to build the contractor’s camp had to ply the road that John built. That’s close to 100 tonnes already.
Simeon, our contractor, has fifteen of his own people there [here], and has added a couple more from Tasmate village to the group. We also have three more of our village people depending on the hospitality of the camp even though we are engaging them ourselves. They bring food up in exchange for their accommodation; taro, yam, etc. We’re on a clean up the forest binge with our guys, so we’ll probably increase the scale of that job by 3x.
All in all there’s a lot going on…. Much progress has been made. The foundation timbers, essentially ‘four by four’ posts, some fifty or more in each bungalow – totaling some four hundred odd – have been set in concrete and rocks. Onto these posts, ‘six by two [inch]’ bearers have been bolted and then ‘four by two’ joists strapped on them. The work is proceeding essentially in waves across the panoply of construction sites, so outside wall frames have already been started one or two of the bungalows while the next to last of the seven bungalows is just getting ready to have its bearers bolted in place ….the posts of the last foundation was cemented in today.
Small progress also in our own ‘campsite’: today we got a spigot in the ‘kitchen-to-be’ area between the two bush cabins and [on the terrace just below] a shower. We’ve installed a 6,000 liter tank which will continue as an auxiliary system, for use when the fresh main supply is unusable ….as happens when the river is swollen with strong rains and washes debris down the mountains side. The river, though – primarily spring-fed – supplies us now.
We’ve set out to have all the windows and doors, interior and exterior, made in New Zealand [out of cedar]; likewise kitchen sink units, bathroom fixtures and cabinets, and ‘closet-type’ units for each bedroom. We’re in touch with several companies now and getting quotes. And roofing has just been ordered for all the buildings [to be delivered early November].
It wasn’t possible to use thatch for roofing because we’ve kept as much of the canopy as possible, so have had to resort to a green color-bonded zinc-allume, corrugated steel [which will have a layer of insulation under it – so rain and falling branches etc will not be noisily beating on a tin drum].
The demands of keeping up with everything the contractor needs ….ensures the trips back and forth are done as quickly as possible. A pity, though, because the 8.3 km drive from the village to Edenhope is so filled with wonders, one could stop every twenty-five or thirty meters to see new and stunning miracles each time. We trust that luxury will come soon enough….!
With this report we wanted to convey some idea of the impressive progress being made. And while we’re pretty much confident well get it all done in good time, we’re also keenly aware of the increasingly critical situation [‘reality’ collapse] instilling itself across the world ….and so we rush to have our village completed before the final curtain falls and such undertakings are no longer possible [perhaps even eating and drinking!].
We will speak no more of how fragile the world has become….! Our elder brethren [Hopi, as well as others] have spoken eloquently on this matter. We are confident the building program should terminate well before this final event, in another five months.
Meanwhile we will accommodate some invited guests to our campsite within the Edenhope construct. It’s a gorgeous situation. A young Woofer has just written us wishing to come in December – such a pleasure to contemplate such sweet offers of help and generosity. But the WWOOFER site has just closed us down and her message to us, through that site, has been lost. We hope she’ll find us here, through this, our own medium!
Love from us both.