Mud brick withdrawals

Pt Vila Friday 28 May 2010

It was Scott who made the observation as he declared …  “You know it’s been 4 days since we made any mud bricks, or even had a conversation about mud bricks.  Aren’t you suffering withdrawals”  I must confess, up to that point it hadn’t occurred to me, but other than noticing that we were down to the last couple of booklets and moulds, Scott was right, we had not discussed mud bricks, made mud bricks or even considered mud bricks since tying up at the dock here a few days ago.

So there is life after mud bricks, but not for long.  If the next crew is to give it a shot on their journey up through Malekula I’ll have to arrange for some more manuals to be printed out and a few more moulds to be made.  Which will mean buying some more timber of suitable size.  I’ll put it on the list.

At the moment the list is getting long and it’s great to have everyone chipping in and getting stuck into a job of their choosing – bilge pump replacement, engine belt changeover, air filter cleaning etc etc.

With the frustrations of making sure all the jobs are being attended to it’s easy to think you’re somehow unique, but then you talk to other boat owners and you realise it’s just the norm.  And I suppose because we are transporting medical volunteers and we are going to remote anchorages, the need to be as self reliant and safety conscious as possible weighs heavy.

I met with Don MacRaild again today, the founder of the Vanuatu prevention of Blindness project – the group we are assisting – and he’s been trying to clear a container full of essential equipment off the wharf, only to finally discover that the ship isn’t in town yet; maybe Sunday.  Some of the gear, including surgical equipment, air conditioner and generator is to be loaded aboard Chimere for the trip north – we only hope it is cleared in time.

There’s been a major re-sort of the spectacles and medical equipment and supplies on board with some being dropped off to the hospital here in Vila and some staying aboard to assist with clinics further north.

It’s hard to look back on today and define exactly what we’ve done or achieved, with so many jobs half completed, or on the list to be started, but it’s now after 10:00pm and sleep once again is overtaking everyone.

Smooth seas, fair breeze and there is life after mud bricks

Robert Latimer

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