No rest for the wicked as we all jumped in the truck, dropped my bag at the Veravil Divisional Hospital (Fred and I were staying at the nurses’ quarters for the next three nights) and drove on to the building that Olly and Fred had recently leased to turn into their living and working accommodation. Almost immediately a pair of gloves and a mamotty were thrust into my hand and, accompanied by a number of children, we got stuck into the first job for the afternoon, clearing the land. It was hard yakka, in heat, clearing up mainly thorny shrub, piling the shrubs, and then setting each pile of fire. The latter went against everything dear to my heart noting that the surrounding land was tinder dry and there was not much water around. However, all went well and there was no need to call out the Rural Fire Service J. Sometime during that hectic first afternoon, I got to meet Rosie, the Grama Seveka (Head Person) for the area and her youngest child, a boy named Quietson. Rosie had graciously opened up her small two-bedroom cottage to Olivia and Fred and provided them with somewhere to live. Just shows how generous people can sometimes be.
5:30 pm sharp we finished and having dropped Fred and myself off at our digs, Olivia headed back to Rosie’s and put together a slap up meal for the evening. Just before eating, I had the opportunity of having a shower and while the water was OK, you could feel the salt content even after towelling up. Sleep was not long coming after the long journey and after a couple of hours of manual labour.