Sunday, March 01, 2009
You can never say that Manjack does not have all fun all the time. Even emptying the compost bin brings excitement and communal spirit. The lucky soul who gets this coveted position shovels out dark black compost, seething with roaches. A chicken feeding frenzy begins. To best enjoy the work: prepare the chickens, wear gloves, and think of the big glossy monsters as Palmetto Bugs. Once all is in order, pick them up and throw them to the enthusiastic fowl. An indication of chicken memory is that the birds will attentively follow a compost specialist around for the next day.
In the middle of all the fun activities, the full moon comes. It brings a fire to the beach and keeps cruisers out way beyond their bedtime. Sometimes we were out until after nine pm. Only real pirates and dangerous folk are out at 10. Sometimes the pictures that don't turn out capture the moment best.
We were delighted to find out that Alex was a creative and excellent cook and that Nick was a relentless and successful hunter of marine life. this led to many happy meals together. Since Alex and Nick have returned to land life we can only dream about spring rolls with lobster antenna meat and uuuuum good lime cookies.
Of course, when the beds are done there are always more things to learn. Standing on top of a bucket with a running chain saw is one of them. Don't show Nick's mom this picture!
Alex also had tree time. Year ago Alex's grandparents owned property on Green Turtle Cay and she remembers coming to the islands here to visit them since her childhood. One day she returned to the land of her memory and picked fruit from trees near the home that her grandparents once owned. She made wonderful marmalade.
One would think that piling a bunch of rocks together and slathering them with cement would be a relatively simple process, but it isn't. Gradually and step by step the beds were built. Now completed and filled with soil, which also has to be made, they are planted and beautiful. More vegetables and herbs for the future.
The garden needed two more raised beds with rock walls. It is wonderful when work in a garden starts with rock collecting on the beach.
Making a raised bed requires big rocks and little rocks and medium sized rocks. Not only do you need to get the rocks, but you need to sort them, and arrange them, and shape them.
Alex and Nick came from Montana and Pennsylvania with a wealth of experience in winter camping, Teach for America, and travel. They are very interested in self sufficiency and renewable technology and Manjack is a good place to learn about life with a Bahamian flavor.
While we were dashing about with the Kings on unsecured floor joists and dancing past power tools, the thought of injury did cross our minds, especially since Larry's unfortunate altercation with his chainsaw. However, we left the Kings without a scratch and returned to our own little dingy. Again we learned that we are most in danger when safety seems sure. In summery: the motor died and it managed to hit Maria in the face with Vinnie's elbow while he was energetically trying to get it started in time to avoid hitting a dock. Rats. Leslie provided first aid for Maria at the house as Bill sympathized. When Vinnie arrived he was greeted by Bill. In a moment of profound insight Bill gave Vinnie a big hug and said, "I know you are hurting more than she is." Truly, when you love each other the one who hurts the most is not the one that bleeds.