THURSDAY 14 APRIL PUNGALINA
John and I put in a morning’s work in the vegie garden. The sooner this was prepared and planted, the sooner we would have fresh produce for us and camp guests. We weeded, watered, planted. John used up all the seeds he’d brought with us.
We were still drinking four or five litres of Gatorade flavoured water a day, each. And still sweating most of it out again.
After the mid day siesta, we worked around the camp. John had to water that and do some general neatening up work.
I painted the floor of the toilet – dark green. Till then, it had been bare ply type wood. Being painted would make it look better, and be easier to clean. O had been receptive to the idea when I suggested it, and produced the paint, and a brush. It took a couple of coats. I did not have to wait very long for the first coat to dry, before putting on the second.
While I was doing that, heard O bring the digging machine down to camp, then do some digging in the long grass and low scrub that was behind the toilet structure. I was taken aback to realize that he was enlarging/clearing a hole that acted as the receptacle for the toilet contents. Sort of an earth filtered septic tank. I had assumed – naively – that there was a proper septic tank there! When he had finished, the hole was covered with corrugated iron sheets. It was not an area – I hoped – where guests would want to go walking. I resolved to be very careful around any areas of corrugated iron lying on the ground around O’s house, too! I hoped the hole would not smell too much, later in the year, after more use.
I was not sure of the environmental credentials of O’s camp toilet arrangement. A decent flood in the wet season might flush at least some of the hole’s contents down the creek which, further downstream, was the source of the house water. I was not quite game to ask O if he covered it with a decent layer of dirt at season’s end.