What do you do on a rain day? Well, find projects. That's what we did
today and the result was two ladders for the bunk beds. I wanted
something that was really strong, but light. Jeff found some crazy hard
wood for the ladder, and Boaz showed me how to tie the conda vine, which
I never really got the hang of... That's fine with me though because
I'd rather take pictures of him doing it.

We've had over 600mm (23.5 inches) of rain in the 15 days that I've been
here at Kaiam. Not very productive as far as dirt work is concerned,
but it keeps our water tank full... or rather overflowing.


Water Tank Stand

After roughly two years... yes, years... The water from the health
center is now going to flow into a water tank that has sat next to it
for at least several months. Up to this point, when the rain started
coming down, mothers would send out their kids with buckets to come grab
the water as it fell off the tin rooftop and carved out a nice hole in
the ground. Then the kids would carry the bucket back to the house in
the rain. Logic would deem that you place a large container here to
catch this resource and store it for later. Logic prevailed and a
bucket was placed there that quickly became the local dog watering bowl
as well as the community water reservoir. Enter Boaz and a rainy
Tuesday morning. Since it was too wet to drive, and Boaz being the
productive type, he decided he'd looked at the community suffering from
this underutilized resource long enough. So he went to work stacking
the stones (that had been loosely piled there for months as well)
layered with ground to hold them in place, and suddenly with only a few
hours work you have the fantastic result you see before you.

Now there's no erosion hole, no dog watering bucket, and a mosquito
larvae free reservoir for communal use. I'd call that a step up in the

School House

The attached file was originally sent with another message.
File Name: IMG_7975_1.jpg

[Edit 2011-06-03]
So, thanks very much UUPlus for striping off my text on the email to the blog...
Anyway, this is the new (not so new now) school building down at Kaiam.  Though they still don't have a teacher they've got a nice location out of the rain and sun that they could educate their chilln's if they had the desire, and they must have a bit as they took the time and effort to clear a spot of bush and then construct this building.  I hope they start using it for it's intended purpose



I came home late one night (why do I always end up at home late when
working on computer stuff?) and found that the light outside my door had
attracted a visitor. Unfortunately, this visitor had knocked a little
to hard with his head and the ant colony that lives under my step had an
all you can eat buffet!

This is a pretty fitting picture because in a few hours I'll be bumping
down the road to Mt. Hagen to get on a MAF flight to Munduku to spend
three days (or more, we've got a lot of cargo to start out the dry
season!) going up the river to Kaiam. Nothing like point A to point B
around here. Anyway, I'll be getting back to nature soon and thought if
I've really got the creepy crawls on me, then you should at least see
them... Aren't I so kind?



Every trip to Kaiam requires fuel for the motor canoe to get up and down
the river. This can be found at Munduku, for a price, in quantities of
200L drums. Now the process of measuring out the quantity you would
like to buy is precisely done with used oil containers. We were lucky
this time as they had "large" measuring containers... a whole 5L!
Unfortunately, we were filling 20L drums of our own, but you can't just
siphon fuel into those because then it wouldn't be measured! :-S

The other great part of this adventure is watching them siphon the fuel,
not with another primer, or a finger pump, but with oral suction...
yummy! Can you imagine doing this twenty times just for one sale?
Breath mint anyone?