After many adventures through the jungles of Ambrym, and a wild trip on a small fibreglass boat I made it to (one might even say washed ashore at) the village of Olal. Olal is a short walk from the village of Wilit where I would carry out one of the major functions of my journey, preparing a status report on the Wawan project.
Aggregate. Check. On Ambrym, aggregate is formed from coral which is gathered and crushed - far easier than crushing rock. One must be careful to ensure that excess salt is washed away, to prevent steel reinforcing from corroding too quickly.
Water tanks. Check. Two water tanks were painstakingly transported to Barereo. Note that these are 10m3 tanks, and were transported on the back of a ute. This, I am told, was a sight to behold.
Stockpiles of timber. Check. Timber for the project has been milled by chainsaw, although the smaller pieces of timber (purlins) are too fiddly for a chainsaw and will be shipped in.
More stockpiles of timber and other sundries.
This is a toilet which was designed by a previous volunteer. It is well maintained, and serving its function of reducing waterborne illnesses through good sanitation.
This is Fredson. He was my host dad for my stay on Ambrym. A very charismatic guy, I picture him as the kind of guy who would be a policeman if he had grown up in New Zealand.
Banyan tree. Check. The photo does not capture how truly massive this tree is. While it is not project related, it was one of my most vivid memories from the island.
A local school bus. The main form of motorised transportation in Vanuatu consists of putting as many people as can be fitted into the deck of a ute.
And this is me. Well dressed up against the mosquitos and sun, but perhaps not so suitable for the humidity! It was extremely hot out there.
Now I am back in New Zealand, preparing our next volunteer, Kyle Richards, for the next chapter in the Wawan project. Stay tuned!