Our life at present is not kind. Every Monday, Ben has been packing up his tools and equipment and heading out to “the game reserve” as we have been calling the forest where this is all happening. So the girls and I get to hang out at home on our lonesome. We are trying to catch up on schoolwork and normality after a crazy 2012.
Ben stays at the Commune Chief's house and his wife kindly cooks for him. He is eating a lot of “pounded salt” and rice. Unless he plans ahead and takes some food. There isn’t much to eat there. The market is a good hour away. There are no vegetable gardens and little fish.
So, we talk on the phone and I get updates that way. Nice that Cambodia has such great phone range. Even in the forest, there is phone service.
He has been coming home on Thursdays. This week he is coming home tomorrow (Friday). Right now, he is building a bridge. Last Thursday, our good friend and old work colleague, Savuth, from New Zealand came to help Ben for the next 3 months or so. He will be a big help. Especially with the bridge building. They are building a swinging bridge over a river (or is it a creek) that mostly flows in the wet season – so nice to work at the moment. There is bedrock in the bottom of the creek bed. So Ben and his dynamite blasted away some of the rock so they could put posts into the bottom of the creek bed. I know nothing about construction so this should be explained better later by a professional.
This afternoon, they went out with about 10 or so forestry administration people and caught two woodcutters from Kompong Thom. They come a long way to get wood. I won’t put too many details here as I don’t know them but they arrested the two me and confiscated their chainsaws. We’ll see what this means.
So, that is the news of the week. Still another day, but so far an exciting week in Ben’s forest.
PS. Really need to think of a better name there. It definitely isn’t Ben’s forest. In our house, we have been calling it the “Game Reserve”. There isn’t much game really. Deer. Banteng apparently (a type of wild cow). A couple of years ago someone spotted a serrow. A bird survey needs to be done. But there have been some promising reports of Giant Ibis and some sort of duck! (I’m not a birder obviously). Digressing too much from ending. So this is the end.