Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Maintenance work

Am currently on 2 weeks "course break" - ie we are not doing kids camps, but other types of work. This week - going around to different campsites on Tuba island and maintaining them. involves digging out toilet bins, emptying the compost into the ground, digging a new pit. and reinforcing existing pads for the kids' shelters on the ground. Lots of spade work . quite easy going, and a nice break from the usual routine. Got friendly with David, a new recruit I've been working with this week. He's chinese Malaysian and speaks good english, as do quite a few chinese Malays, compared to "Malay" Malays. Well educated - he understood blood sugar peaks when I talked to him of the perils of too much white bread and such.

I invited him to my place - I am now alone in the appartment, as Marie-Eve has gone on the "Puteri Matshuri" tall ship, along with her boyfriend Gil. The ship is owned by the parent company of wilderness centre, and they use it to train Navy cadets. So some of our staff go on it for 2 months or so, once in a while. So , we watched "blood diamond" - a DVD where Di Caprio plays an ex-mercenary who joins forces with a black ex-miner to find a blood diamond he buried. All set in violent Sierra Leone in the 90s. A good film, you can feel some of the beauty and terrible violence of Africa. and De Caprio is refreshing as the non-politically correct tough guy.

Last week was with "Sella", a 34 yr old young woman trainer, on course. We had a very good group of kids - cheerful and had some initiative. On the last day, several of the guys shook my hand, which is usual. But also, 3 of the girls came forwards and shook my hand, which is fairly unusual. it's nice to be appreciated when you're busting your ass for people.
Sella was very easy to work with - older and more mature than most trainers - very relaxed ,but efficient. She's been 10 yrs inthe local army reserves, as is quite common with trainers here. Told me how they dug trenches and tunnels for the wet season.

We both slept in a hammock. I'm really getting used to sleeping in the hammock. It is very relaxing to be in one at the end of the day. And it's conveniently of the ground, away from ants and toxic centipedes and the like. Mossie coils lighted every night. the mossies can be really thick at some campsites...

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