The bucket

Nick and I had finally got to the extraction point where the crew were waiting. It had been an eight hour slog through mud driving rain and dense forest. Nick was staggering in a semi haze nauseous and suffering with his stomach not being well, his leg was turning more red and with every step the swelling kept increasing as it became more and more infected, draining him of every last bit of his strength left, I think if it had been one more day we would have had a serious problem that I don’t even want to think about.

The crew took Nick off to a doctor and I stayed in the three hut village with a family for the night. I had just one more day to push on until I reached my week’s end point. I got my custom plate of boiled rice for dinner and then just wanted to sleep but this took a while to organise. The house consisted of a small eating room and cooking area, then in the loft was the sleeping area. Dauphine and I climbed up the ladder and were assigned a spot on the floor to bed down on. We were told that we would share this with the father. The women would sleep at the other end of the loft.

I crashed, only to be woken by the loudest snoring I’ve ever heard. Rolling around and trying to sleep was impossible, finally I decided to climb down the ladder and sleep in the eating room.

The floor was wet slippery clay and the weeks of rain had made this room a slush pit so I decided to sleep on the little table in the corner. I curled up and slept. Once again I was awoken by creaking timber above and then the sound of cascading water, it seemed like the rain was really bucketing down. Finally the roof seemed to have sprung a leak and the water started to drip onto me. Too tired to move, I just rolled up and slept. The creaking timber returned louder this time and the cascading water had reached waterfall level above me, followed once again by the water dripping between the planks above me. Eventually I decided to just sit out the last hour till dawn.

Slowly the light began to seep into the hut, the chickens started to scurry and the cockerel gave the morning blast. My chance to move on was here. I climbed the ladder to the loft to get my gear and awake Dauphine, as I peaked up over the top rung of the ladder into the loft, my eye caught something move, one of the women was just straightening herself up from a small bucket in the corner where she had been squatting, directly above where I was sleeping – with a shiver I pieced together the source of the intermittent showers, the night bucket.

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