I took along some cans of coke on the bin run today for Solomon and the other guys at the dump. This was a thank you for helping me out last week when the Landy wouldn’t start. Coca-cola always goes down well but not as well as the old milk crates, people really can’t get enough of them out here. The ladies selling firewood were disappointed when I said they were promised elsewhere, the recipient Solomon was very happy.
The rubbish run was a back breaking exercise today. I had no help back at camp as everyone else was out walking. This meant that I had to haul the wet waste onto the trailer on my own. I just couldn’t manage it, in the end I created some steps out of the tyres and dragged it up bit by bit before launching the bin over the edge of the trailer and onto my foot – big ouch.
Once I’d loaded the gas bottles on I was off, the round trip is the best part of five hours and you’re literally baking in the heat for the entire journey, there’s no hiding place in the open top Landy. Not even your feet, they get cooked from the side due to the lack of doors.
Once back at camp it was unload the gas, firewood and clean out the bins and finally a bit of breakfast before a well earned shower, albeit a cold one. The job certainly isn’t nine to five, it’s actually five to nine, it would be an even earlier start but the days are shortening, luckily we can’t walk in the dark.
During my drive I was thinking about the relationship between EcoTraining and the Volunteer Back-Ups, of which I’m one of three. I believe it’s a mutualistic symbiotic relationship – we use EcoTraining to gain experience and they use us to keep the camp operating. We could of course do it without one another, but it would probably be financially crippling for the company and it would take much longer to gain the hours and encounters that we need.
That afternoon I backed up the final assessment walk of the week, it was Michelle’s turn. She and Jack, an Aussie couple have just been doing the course for a bit of fun and have only been in the bush for a month. They’ve learnt so much and go about everything with so much professionalism and enthusiasm. I really hope they find the outdoor career they’re looking for when they go back to Australia next week.