Base Camp Manager Ian Blessley Describes the Rewarding Challenges of Constructing Camp Foyle


With Camp Foyle Over Capacity, Expedition Activity Gets Well Underway

Lost in Translation

The transect cutters were out again today and this time they took lunch with them, something that caused a few problems in the kitchen.  The cook boys (16 year old lads) who had been doing a good job until now were beginning to rebel.

It is hard trying to get your message across in a constructive way when you are dealing with young adults, never mind when you don’t speak the language.  Once again ‘Ung and Munir, proved invaluable, as did Aspor.

Finishing Touches and Power Worries

General construction around the camp continued, shelving was put in the kitchen so that the boys had somewhere to store all the Tupperware we were donated, as well as the pots and pans we had purchased in country.  The “hovel”, the original shelter was also converted into a more robust permanent structure, although Lara and Martin were now sleeping in their DD hammocks and Tim was sleeping on the Science tent table!

The influx of extra people around camp was more than we had accounted for and so we were short of beds.  With Dan on top of the power situation Martin was able to feed his addiction once more, frustrating Dan at every opportunity by trying to reduce the restriction on the number of hours he could have on the computers!

Live Links, Ants and Wasp Stings

Live Link day had arrived when we would have our online Q&A with the Guardian Newspaper.  I was nervous as Martin was using the laptops all day to catch up on editing all the video James and he had shot so far, and Dan was out in the jungle helping the transect cutters; fortunately he was on top of things when he returned and everything went smoothly.

The guides were on top of construction and things in camp were looking good.  The main problem we seemed to be having were reactions to ant and bee stings.  Holli, Lara and Dale all suffered quite severe reactions with affected areas puffing up and taking several days to go down.  This was frustrating for them as in some cases they had to be restricted to camp, and frustrating for me as there was little I could do for them.