Monday, July 28, 2014

Giant Black Squirrel

This little guy here is not so little.  He is resident just outside the office here and regularly visits the trees nearby.  These shots were taken by sitting at our school desk as he came down to investigate the something - bugs or leaves in the tree just outside our window.  He seems to be not too wary of us - which is good for now but hopefully won't cause him grief later.  He makes this amazing shooting sound when alarmed which our visiting Australian friends likened to the laser guns from Star Wars.  Due to interruptions like this.. our school day becomes very fragmented as I must get out the camera so regularly.  Ahhh, we can learn from our books later - this life is more fun.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Mundane

I need to give an update on the latrine project progress but will wait for Ben to give me some finer details. The boys left the village last week and our life has gone back to normal as is normal for us. Our workers at the forest had left a few days earlier to go work on their rice and so we were able to have some down time for a few days - just us.

The rains were still falling. The creek was up, and so when Ben travelled back from the village he walked in. So, no truck...just our trusty little Honda MD to get around on.

We had a couple of days of little projects.. putting conduit on the wires at the office, putting more gravel on the path. Then we started working on the floor boards at our house. As he was straightening some boards, Ben took a step back onto a board that was not placed properly. It flipped and he found himself going down. Catching himself on the floor joists (is that the right term?) He managed to slam his ribs against the wood. Without an xray he is pretty certain he broke a couple of ribs. Hopefully this is our "accident of the year."

So now Ben is now up and about... moto-ed out to the village yesterday to make a trip to Rovieng to pick up more stuff and importantly, two workers: our old guard, Ung; and Reth, another good guy. Ben still can't or rather shouldn't be doing much..lifting and stuff like that! Fun!

The girls have been dragging their dogs out on morning walks lately. Yesterday they went up the road to a sandy bit and built a virtual city in the sand complete with gardens and fairgrounds and houses and barns. Quite elaborate.

I have noticed that being outside has amazing effects on how well they play together, and just how whiney they are. Jarrah is the master or rather mistress of the whine. When I can somehow convince her to go outside she forgets her troubles and finds something else to focus her energies on. It is incredible the transformation that takes place. A good thing we have lots of outside and lots of nature here.

One other exciting item to mention: Amelie was finishing up her schoolwork late-ish about 6 just before dark and just out the window she noticed a troop of mavaques settling in for the night. She saw babies and adults. By the time Jarrah and i got there, we only saw a couple: one shuffling down a tree; and another staring at us. Quite exciting to see the wildlife becoming less afraid and moving in closer to us.

That is life at present for us.
posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, July 6, 2014


I've finally got a fancy phone. One that can email and do all that stuff so hopefully now we can communicate with the outside a little better. Our house has not too bad reception so when we get to move there life will be simple. Right now i am sitting at the house waiting for clothes to be washed by our washing machine. I wish I knew how to wash each days clothes, each day, as they do here but i don't, or rather i am too lazy. So now i sit with some spare minutes attempting to type a post here with this tiny keyboard.

We have visitors at the moment. Alex who came to help out in December and January came back with two friends. They, along with our other family and friends helped raise funds to do a small water and sanitation project. About four thousand plus dollars was raised altogether and the guys are helping to install latrines and rainwater tanks. They put up two and a half on Thursday and Friday. If it wasn't for the rain it would have been three.

The rain is also causing outher complications as the village is deviod of people. This year has been a really dry year. It is just the beginning of the rice growing season and people have been waiting and waiting for enough rain to plough their fields. Then they start the rice seedlings and they normally let them grow for about 20 to 30 days before transplanting. They should be finished transplanting by now but some are still ploughing and growing the seedlings.

So unfortunately we don't have all the households who want latrines lined up ready to go. The people do want them but most are just a tad busy at the moment. Having the guys there and with the attention a bunch of foreigners usually draw, is helping to promote the things in a positive way. More updates on the latrines later. And thanks to all the family and friends who donated money to this little cause. There were about three latrines put in earlier and they look great... clean and nice with all the things you need to keep them that way. So your help is much appreciated and we could not have done anything without your help.

We went for a walk yesterday. The girls, David and I went only to the temple and back. David has bung knees so wisely didn't choose to go on the "Ben hike" with the other guys who kept going, after the temple. We came back and on the way spotted a cute baby green viper on the trail. Further along there was a troop of languars heading down the valley. These guys have been hanging around lately. I saw them near the house site and heard them in the trees just before their bedtime. They have a distinct piglike grunt. A couple of weeks earlier we saw another troop of them and in amongst them was sitting a male gibbon. I didn't think he was anything but a black bit of vine but zooming in could make out what he was and he was staring right at us so casually. I believe his picture is in my previous posting where i didn't have time to write anything.

The other guys hike was just a bit longer, at 20 km through a rainstorm and over and around the mountain. Typical Ben hike and they came back sore wet and hungry! Fun!

So that is a short update from us here in the forest. We are still living out of our boxes in a mess. We still have a forest and hoe toilet but we are getting by and really looking forward to moving into our house someday... walls and floor... walls and floor to go!
posted from Bloggeroid