Thursday, November 20, 2008

Conservation Day - 14th Nov

After my luxury holiday in the 'Gramps' (Aussi's shorten everything!) It was time to get get to the nitty gritty of conservation work so I booked on another day project with the Melbourne office. I was supposed to be doing work down at some creek but because there was a major thunder storm the previous night half the people did not turn up for volunteering (Unlike actual work volunteers have the luxury of waking up in the morning, looking out the window and going 'Nah, can't be arsed today'. )

So instead of two teams going out they only had enough for one so I was placed on the one that was going out to do work at a primary school (AAAAAGHHHHH!)

Other than one Japanese Girl and a student the rest of the 'volunteers' were actually high school kids doing their community service. In Australia every school kid has to do 20 hours community service as part of their last year and Conservation is one of the things that they can do. This means that Conservation groups can get extra help but can also mean they have to deal with wee shitheads running around making asses of themselves. Luckily the ones we got were not like that. Also, luckily, the other primary school kids were not helping. I was having bad images from my South Africa school days resurfacing!

Our tasks were quite simple - rebuild a pond for frogs and create two small vegetable patches using cut up sleepers as a border. The only problem was that we were given a saw to cut up the sleepers that would have had trouble cutting through butter. Eventually using a group effort we managed to get the sleepers cut and placed in the ground. Of course the patches just happened to be getting placed over the remnants of a tree which meant hacking away roots using pickaxes (There is a certain primeval joy in swinging a pick axe - until the head flys off and chops off somebody's head).

After the vegetable patch it was on to the pond. Actually the schools lads having gotten bored with creating the vegetable patches had already started doing the pond. By the time I got round to helping they had almost completed it so I just supervised . Once they had finished scooping out a hole it was in with the pond liner, on with the rocks and in with the water. We were finished both tasks by 2pm - mostly because we skipped lunch to continue working. We had however had a good tea break earlier were we allowed into the staff room and because it was one of the teachers birthdays there was loads of cakes and biscuits to scrounge!

After being dropped back to the Melbourne office I walked into town and sussed out a pub to have a couple of well earned pints. Then it was back to the hostel to continue what I had started!

The Crew

The Pond

Not shown - Child drowning in pond later in afternoon.

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