Today was our last day of work and we sure filled it. Today’s pattern was work, dive, lunch, work, dive.
We started with the hardest work first. Half of the team resumed bricklaying at the playground while the other half worked at the incinerator. Mixing concrete and shovelling rubbish is hot, sticky work but we all put our backs into it and got the job done. There is noticeably less garbage around the incinerator and each time we work there more and more people and kids from the village bring in their rubbish to be disposed. The playground is also looking good. There is now a legit wall all around to keep the sand in plus we helped the local boys who are working to finish a water reservoir that collects from the playground roof. That will be a huge improvement in the village. Water is an extremely important commodity in the village, as all the Canadaladies can testify – we’ve all been showering with rainwater, dipping saucepans into the small reservoirs in the bathrooms of our accommodation. It’s amazing to see just how much water we use for daily ablutions but also how much can be captured in just a single storm!
After working up a sweat it was time for a dive! We got out there and swam along the bottom looking for the reef but a minor BCD malfunction pulled us up. We fixed the problem but decided to play it safe and call it quits. There was still plenty of time for another fun dive in the afternoon!
After lunch we all went back to work at the playground. We started rendering the wall we built. It’s going to look pretty schmick once our work is completed! Then time for another dive. A few decided to sit out (all tuckered out, they must have concreted themselves out!) but the rest of us splashed in again and spent 45 minutes checking out the reef. We got lots of lovely photos but most of the fish were a bit camera shy.
We definitely packed a lot in today! After dinner (lok lak and French fries, yum!) we walked to the big sandy beach at Coconut Bay. We had some grand plans of making a bonfire but during the hot climb over the hill we dismissed that idea as romantic but impractical. As it turned out there was already a fire smouldering there waiting for us! We don’t know who lit it but whoever they were they were long gone and left it all to us. There were storm clouds all around so it was very dark apart from distant lightning and the bioluminescence which was utterly spectacular tonight! (Yes, the same as in the movie The Life of Pi!) Further out in the bay a party boat from the other side of the island was ruining our reverie a little bit but Sarah and Megan swam out to make friends with them. They looked a bit like mermaids swimming out of the darkness in a blue halo of luminescence. All in all it was a perfect end to our time on the island, which for me has been an utterly wonderful time. I’ve loved getting to know the Canadaladies. All of them are cool dudes but each in a different way. And it has felt great to put in the hard work and see the results. I know there are a few amongst us who are looking forward to hot showers and a hot dish of poutin but I think everyone will be dreaming about our luminescent beach for some time yet!