Today we started hard! By 8 o’clock we were working at the incinerator, fixing, digging, lighting the fire and loading. We manage to remove an impressive amount of garbage and we cleared space for the two new compost bins. The bins themselves we helped make out of 44-gallon drums. They rotate around a central pole to keep the compost well mixed. So that we had a perfect fit for the pole in the drum instead of cutting it, we heated one end of the pole in the fire then pushed it through the drum like a branding iron. It worked perfectly! When the smoke got too thick we went elsewhere to collect sand for concrete. That was a hot job! But everyone pitched in and after a short time we had plenty of sand for the concrete on our next project at the playground. We went back to the incinerator to finish up and a brief tropical shower brought a welcome cool. I’m sure we’ll be able to remove all of the garbage in the incinerator area the next time we work on it and that will be very satisfying.
After lunch we went diving. The Open Water girls, including myself, went first. We did a safety stop with Kylie, fulfilling the final requirement for certification. The visibility was very low however, no more than a metre and the two buddy pairs quickly got separated. Brittney and I cruised around together at various depths. We couldn’t see anything and we were neutrally buoyant so it was a strange but fun experience – weightless in a disorientating world of green. Eventually we did another safety stop and surfaced a little early because we didn’t really know where we were going or where we were (The Sea, Cambodia – hard to get more precise than that). It turned out that the current had curried us quite a distance from the boat but no problem, we linked arms and swam casually back. Som, our eagled eyed boat captain, spotted us easily and came to the rescue, saving us the trouble. A little while later the others surfaced almost exactly where they were meant to be! All the same, we are each now certified open water divers. Next Brittany and Heather went out to complete their advanced open water requirements. The conditions were a little better and they did it perfectly, earning their certifications also. Meanwhile the open water girls and I tidied up the playground. We broke not one but TWO rakes during this fairly low-impact exercise but the playground looked a lot better.
Tomorrow we will do more work at the playground and dive again. Only three working days left!