Returning to Kovol didn’t feel like an overwhelming, crazy experience. When we moved in, the excitement among the Kovol people was so high we were rushed off our feet the entire time. Now that our team has been living full time in Kovol for 2 years and people have become used to us and the boundaries we’ve set, things are a lot calmer.
There was a big crowd of people here to greet us, of course, but we actually spent most of the day inside playing with our kids, unpacking, cleaning and fixing. The pressure to spend every waking moment outside is gone, and it just helped us immensely as after a year of our being away our house needs a bit of attention!
Alice and Millie turned 1 on the day we flew in. Their first helicopter ride and first time in Kovol was on their birthday! We celebrated by flying in pizzas and muffins for the whole team, which we all gladly scoffed in the evening.
Alice and Millie only being a year old, they’re managing the transition very well. They sleep, nap, eat and grab anything close to them – it’s all normal for them.
Oscar was a little wary of the crowd of Kovol people here to greet us, but very soon, after getting indoors with our co-workers’ children and finding the toys, we barely saw him. He had an absolute blast playing, exploring and wrestling! He remembered a few of the toys we have here and was glad to see them. The Stous kids gave him the grand tour of their house “this is where we throw our trash!”,:he dug with the Hansen kids and then he spent pizza evening wrestling and running around with the others. He’s absolutely loving it in Kovol!
The Kovol people themselves are very glad to see us, many hands were shaken and we introduced “Embam” and “‘Ele”, our 2nd born and 3rd born daughters. With people from every Kovol village in attendance a meeting was held where the Hansen and Stous family tried to speak into the problem we’re having where a lot of the people living closest to us are being told to move further away. The message seemed to come across well and be understood by everyone. Time will tell what effect it has.
The pig we brought with us was nearly as popular as we were, with crowds of people gathering round its enclosure to have a look. Poor piggie was pretty shaken up after being shut in a small box (which it pooped in) and then locked in the dark in the back of a helicopter. We’re giving him some time to settle in, but today it’s good to see him rooting around and digging with his nose. Now we’ve got to get the Kovol people to teach us how to look after him!
The majority of our time so far has been spent getting our house sorted. The solar hot water system was being covered over by jungle, its supporting beams were rotting and it was leaking. Looking for the quickest fix I simply screwed a sheet of roofing iron onto the rotting beams so that hopefully they will dry out – I think the rain running off the panels has been dumped onto these beams and they’re all slimy and rotting. Hopefully the quick fix stops the water running on them and then I can access the damage.
A bit of desperate shoving caulk, tape, then more caulk, then tape again, then a final layer of caulk may fix the leaking.
The leak is where a brass fitting has been screwed into the hot water tank. Ideally I’d just take it out, retape it and try to put it back in, but that’s been done before and I’m afraid of stripping out the threads of this low quality Chinese knock off solar heater. It was cold showers yesterday evening! (and now it seems our shower has decided to just barely dribble on us!)
The house is all mouldy smelling. Every box we open is mouldy smelling, and there are bugs all over; but after 2 days of intense cleaning and moving things around, things are starting to become more ordered. There was hardly anyone around today and so it was a good day for all the sweeping. scrubbing and unpacking.
We’ve had to throw out lots of the food that was left. I had a few mouldy cups of tea, and then I just decided to forget being frugal. Let’s just use the new stuff.
So that’s our first 2 days in. I feel as though I’ve barely seen my co-workers or the Kovol people, but as the house takes shape and the routine kicks in, I’m hoping we’ll be able to start to focus on the Kovol people once again.