The first step to knocking up a tree house was to find a couple of very old and tall kelapa (coconut trees). Once located, cut down and delivered by truck to our site, Pak Ari strolled down with his razor sharp parang (machete) to take away the rough outer layer.
A few days later he followed this up by smoothing the stumps with his electric plane. After what seemed like a week of shaping these trees into smooth tree house legs an sms was sent out through the village. 15 minutes later about 8 of our local friends rocked up to help stand the poles up into their respective pits in the sand.
Now the funpart begins and we start to see a house quickly appear amongst the coconut trees.
Whislt the beams for the floor were going in Delfiana and her family were busy collecting coconut leaves and threading them onto sticks to make natural roofing sheets.
The only way to efficiently get the job done here in bare feet with cigarette hanging out of mouth.
Our first visitors were on their way. About 2 days from arriving and their accommodation was far from beng complete. Plans had to be altered so we came up with a different sleeping arrangement for our five soon to be here guests.
It seemed the closer it was to being finished the slower the work rate went, or was it that in my mind I was willing everybody to work quicker.
Our guests did get to spend their time in the new Bale/Treehouse and they will tell you that the wait was worth it.
Noah pitched in to speed the process up, and was very handy with the concreting tools. Just like building a sandcastle!
Mercy Huts has had our first guests!
Danielle, Simon and the girls stayed with us for an entire month and fell in love with the place… Just like we have! Here are some photo’s to up date you on the ‘goings on’ as well as some excerts from Ashlea, Talia and Jaime’s ‘travel log’.
Arriving in Kupang through the eyes of a 9 year old:
DAY 2 “The flight to Kupang was 1 hour and a half. Once we got off the plane everyone was taking pictures of us.. Then we went outside to get in the car and everyone started staring because we were white not black. Some people even tried to take pictures of us. Also they came over and tried to pinch us! Then we started driving to the Maya Hotel …..I got out of the car and looked up and got such a suprise that I jumped. There were my cousins and Auntie Nat and Uncle Matt beacause they weren’t supposed to be meeting us till tomorrow on the island. I kept pinching myself to see if it was a dream. Anyway at dinner we went to the markets and everyone was staring at us. We made a few jokes, took a few pictures. We met a girl and then all went to bed safe and sound”
DAY 3 (from Talia’s log)
“At Kupang. The next day we got our clothes on and then for breakfast we had a boiled egg and toast with chocolate inside. We packed up and drove to the ferry…. When we got off the ferry we went in a bus to the orphanage. At the orphanage we were playing with the girls and boys (but not the boys). After that we drove a long, long time before we got there. When we got there everyone was so excited and the first thing we did was go for a look around and then went in the water for a swim. When we got out it was time to get ready and go to the Resort for dinner”
DAYS 4-10. (Ashlea)
“I did lots of surfing and motorbike riding. I was wet more than dry most of the days. I got dumped once, I got scraped by the fin of the board and got flipped (because of Uncle Matt). Saw my first shooting star. Went to soccer games. Nemberala won. “Yes!” They won out of the whole Island. Chopped lots of coconuts down and ate them, I did not really like it though. Played a few games of soccer with the Indonesian boys and girls. Met an Indonesian girl named Shelly. Found it hard to communicate with her speaking Indonesian and learnt a few more words in Indonesian.”
“On day 12 we got invited to Delfiana`s house (a local girls house) for lunch and we saw the B2 pig (B for big and 2 for 2metres). It was as big as Mollys 5 year old brother! For lunch we had a bowl of rice, vegies and chicken.It was amazing to see how they live.”
Jaime was too busy playing soccer every sunset with her new Indonesian friends and surfing to write much in her travel log. But when we asked what were her favourite things about the island, these were her words: “I loved that the money is so cheap.” (??!) “I love that the people are so friendly. I loved being right on the beach and being able to swim whenever we want.”