The month running up to Christmas was super hectic. We had to finish the mock-up villa for an inspection by the client on the 18th December.
Whilst widening and grading the only existing track through the site so we could get a drilling rig in to search for water.
For the clearing we brought in our new team of local labour. Twelve enthusiastic chaps from the village I live in, Kirinda. The majority used to work as fishermen. This first task was an excellent way at seeing how capable and willing the guys were. Armed with machetes and a chain saw, they cracked on without hesitation. Mr Ben Bennett was around to offer instruction on avoiding the loss of limbs and advice on snaring yourself a Swedish girl. They all listened intently!
The 7 acre site has a mixture of native trees and plants. We’re trying to be selective as possible with what remove. Avoiding the more mature, attractive specimens as they will look great throughout the landscape. Some of the trees chopped down have been made into pegs or built into temporary office and toilet structures. The remainder have been stored for use later on in the project.
Whilst making our way through the bush, we uncovered some natural gems. This beautiful old cactus and numerous termite mounds. I had to stop the boys from carving their names into the trunk though.
To no surprise, we also had a few encounters with wildlife. I got terrifyingly close to a tusked Elephant, had a Cricket on my camera and discovered I couldn’t grow a moustache whilst a Praying Mantis crawled across my face.
Despite that they all proved themselves to be a great bunch of lads, very enthusiastic and eager to get stuck into some graft. They all had far better knife skills than myself and appeared to understand my Singlish and charades. On the 19th December we all had a big game of cricket and BBQ. We offered them some beers, however being good Muslim men they rejected the opportunity of getting smashed.