Sunday, February 24, 2008

Getting Ready

Tomorrow our first group of guests, a work team from Mercy Air, arrives. The next group, nursing students from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), arrive on Thursday. So this past week was a time of taking camping supplies out of peaceful storage and getting it ready for use again. Here's Raimundo getting dishes cleaned up and items counted.

Everything had to be counted to make sure everyone has cutlery, dishes, and a bed. That was where we came up a little short, but we’ve been short on beds for quite some time. We manage to provide them for some, but for larger groups, most members have had to be willing to sleep on sponge mattresses on tent floors. Our aim is to be able to one day offer 5 star camping accommodations to everyone. This is how stars (*= star)are assigned:
*Kitchen with stove/fridge/electric light
*Bathrooms with sink and flush toilets AND hot showers
*Large tents
*Covered dining area

(Brief divergence here: I’m thankful to say that even upon our arrival to this neck of the woods 12 years ago, at least I had 2 star accommodation: a large tent and a bed. Our bathroom facilities were very “bush”. The toilet was a latrine with black garbage bags for walls (oh yes, very private indeed). Our shower was simply a blue tarp strung between 2 trees to stand behind and you sprinkled yourself with a camp shower: a plastic bag (with a nozzle) you’d hang from a tree. One side of you was shielded from human eyes but the other side was in full view of the bush beasts. The kitchen was an oddly shaped tarp tied onto trees to shelter a table, a 2 burner camp stove and a book case (used to hold dishes). There was no fridge. Yes, it’s an interesting way to live for an indeterminate amount of time. I don’t miss it at all!

Back to what I was saying though. Over the past few years we’ve been able to upgrade our campsite to offer 3 star accommodations (the first 3 above). Now, we’re making a concerted effort toward providing the 4th star...beds. Due to USASK’s fund raising efforts, we’ve been able to pick up some sturdy camp cots. But just recently our woodworking shop has become better equipped and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to produce a few beds of our own! It’s easy. First you go cut down a tree. Next you cut it into slabs. Then you cut it up some more J (obviously this is not my area of expertise). I do know there’s a lot of precise work involved. This is a picture of Dwight and Gabriel (one of our woodworkers) doing final measurements on this bed before it gets assembled.
If you’re squeamish about insects or reptiles, it would be good to ignore the last paragraph of most of my blog posts. Personally, I am not a fan of either, but I can’t help but photograph the more impressive ones we come across.’s the latest. I didn’t know scorpions got this huge, and Dwight and I were both quite alarmed with the discovery of this one. Firstly, we were concerned that he was inside our house and we didn’t even see him come in. Secondly, he’s very big! Dwight just so happened so have some dental floss nearby and “lasso-ed” him. I wasn’t there to see the spectacle since I was in the bedroom working on my English assignment. Before we got rid of him we inspected the dark place he’d emerged from to make sure he didn’t have a wife and kids :). Nope. Phew. You never know.
Anyway, I’ll sign off for this time with the promise to keep you posted on all the teams’ activities over the next few weeks. TTYL.


Anonymous said...


That's a big scorpion.

Ahh yes, memories of showering out under the open sky. Such good memories :D

Luke said...

scorpions??? that's a new one for me.... :O
Ok... hmmm. one more thing to add on my 'afraid-of-going-to-Mozambique-list'!!!

The Nelson's Dog Patch said...

That guy looks more like the size of a lobster rather than a scorpion. I'll admit that picture did make me a little bit squeamish although I found the rope lasso quite hilarious. Did Dwight just do that for entertainment value?? I'm quite sure by now you are Royden's favorite aunt in law seeing as how you're always sucking up to him with bug pictures ;)

Peter Casier said...

That is a big scorpion! Have seen some, but this one looks scary!