Wow. What a trip. We had to overnight in Honiara, as the strip at Suavanau was rained out. We got to Kagata late the following day and screamed out to the reef for a quick surf.
The next morning we got up and got into it. The guys had done a great job of putting in the posts and bearers, and laying out the flooring. The job of nailing down the flooring and organising the frames began. The floor area itself was a little larger than we expected, so we had to be creative about the building design. The roof had to go higher, the planned kitchen got bigger, as did everything else. The plans shifted to building a school house AND a communal kitchen/dining/chill out area. How great for both the kids and visitors to be right up next to the classroom.
We had to source mangrove tree trunks for certain areas. They grow a beautiful twisting corkscrew shape when constricted by a particular vine. We traipsed into the jungle to find them, cut them, drag them through the bush into the boat, and back to the village. Hard work, but great fun. The bark then had to be beaten off them with a piece of wood. Tough on your hands and the sap left them a wonderful shade of red which does not wash out easily.
The school house boasts a beautiful twisty hand rail. It's gotta be the coolest school around. While it was really hot and often physically demanding, it was incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. The building process was interspersed nicely with surfing (although the surf wasn't super great this trip), fishing and playing. Sad it's all over.
The frame is up, and now needs to be clad. Emma stayed on for a couple more weeks and oversaw the roof being put on. It's starting to look like a house.
There were so many great things that happened on this trip. From watching the karate master practise his karate and yoga in the mornings (which then became a lesson for all the local lads), to watching Emma do dumb stuff so we could all have a laugh. Listening to the banter of the builders. The concert on the night we left (tears in eyes). Watching the unstoppable Lea work and work and work and work and work and work, and watching monkey-boy Paul climb up and down the frames like a.....
Still plenty to do. We have to get polypipe over there so the girls don't have to carry water up and down the hill. We need to get kitchen shelves built, and some desks sorted for the kids.
We're planning the next trip, possibly around May 2015. Sometime between now and then, we'll be talking to the Solomon's government about getting a teacher sorted. There's so much more that I could write. It was one of the greatest experiences.
A big THANKYOU to everyone who came and worked, and to all of the sensational people in the Village. They really are wonderful, tough, generous human beings.
Matthew, our supreme overlord and builder, had his go-pro with him. The following video is a slice of the trip, starring Kagata and the crew, cut together by Matthew's son Tyler. Hope you enjoy.