Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Father-Son Camping Trips Parts 3 and 4

I really wish the forward-facing camera on my phone was half-decent, because I love the above picture from my recent camping trip with Matthew.

Anyway, this has been a month full of interesting activities, half of which I'll leave for Bobbie to post about later.  For my part of it, I'm going to just fill you in on all the latest things that are going on with me.  We put the pine nut production line on hold for the summer as the quality of the nuts we were getting wasn't the best.  As a result, we've been able to do some family things, celebrate my birthday, and mostly get back into culture and language study in preparation for some stuff we want to start next year.  So let's get into it!

So last month was my birthday, and my lovely wife took me out for sushi.  There aren't a lot of casual dining restaurants in town but sushi is one of the options and since both of us enjoy it we try to go a couple of times a year.  We turned the above tray into the bottom one in about 30 minutes!

It's been nice to have some more fun times with the boys as well.  If you'll recall from last year, we have a tradition that I take each of them out for a one-on-one father/son camping trip once a year (obviously in the summer).

This year, first up was Steven.  His favorite game is to throw rocks into the river (especially if there is some sort of "target" to aim at) so we did a lot of that.

Of course, you have to have hot dogs cooked over the fire if you go camping!

So yeah, we had a great time.  I'll post some pictures of my trip with Matthew in a sec, but first, take a look at our garden!  The corn is doing surprisingly well, and the Brussels sprouts are shockingly big and full.  Not so much the iceberg lettuce, but you can't win them all.

Even the okra has grown.  We're not going to have much of a harvest before the frost, but I'm mildly surprised that we're going to get anything at all.  I reckon we might get 5-10 pods, which isn't much, but hey - better than nothing!

Anyway, back to camping!  This time it was Matthew's turn, and he's really a huge outdoorsman.  Steven likes camping but in the end could take it or leave it.  Matthew, on the other hand, LOVES to be outside.

First we set up the tent, with Matthew so cheerful he was just about unable to stand still long enough to put the poles in.

Then he tried Steven's favorite game of rock-throwing, but really preferred to just roam and explore.

My favorite part of the day was when we woke up in the morning.  He opened his eyes and immediately started to cry.  "Why are you crying? What's wrong?" I asked.  "I'm awake, Daddy," came the reply, "that means that now we have to go home!"

So we ended up spending half the morning there enjoying our fire and exploring a bit more.

On Saturday I was all geared up for a nice day of sleeping in, but in T-land you can never really make any plans because if a friend calls and needs help on the spur of the moment you're committed to help out.  And help out I did, and it was actually a good time to catch back up with a man I haven't seen in a while.  He needed help re-drilling his well.

Of course, normally a well is dug by a giant rig on the back of a truck pounding a pipe deep into the earth, but this is T-land and so we can't have that.  Instead, elbow grease is the key.  And, of course, hopefully you remember to bring along more than one bottle of water because obviously you won't have a functioning well if you've been called in to repair one.

This is the drilling "machine," it's basically just a heavy pipe with a cap on one end, and three people lift it up and slam it down onto the end of the pipe that's going into the ground.  On a good blow you can get it to penetrate about a centimeter or so, if you hit a rock obviously you'll be slowed up for a few blows at least.

Needless to say, it's hard work, and more importantly, thirsty work.  Next time I'm asked to help out on one of these jobs I'm definitely going to bring some more water along!

Anyway, eventually we got the pipe 8 meters into the ground at which point it was theoretically able to deliver some water, though I had to go before we got the pump attached and got it working.

Thanks for stopping by, as always.  Bobbie should have a post up soon about her latest adventures, including meeting some local leaders and serving them cake!