Day 15: Waterproof Tent
We got a double reminder
today that we are in a small town. First, Ricky, the chef who cooks for
us each evening, asked how we liked Blackball and if we got to Punakaiki.
He had seen us drive off the day before yesterday in the afternoon. Friends
of Ricky's "up north" had seen us in Blackball and mentioned
it to him yesterday evening. Others had heard we were heading to Punakaiki.
Word travels fast in a small town.
It turns out that
my challenge is more to help the others in doing their challenges. Kathy
and Jonathan are making a seismograph to measure earthquake activity or
the like. Mike and Mike are to spend tomorrow night on a mountain and
then look for nuggets of gold on day 3 of this program. I was to help
waterproof the tent Mike and Mike will sleep in.
addition, it makes sense that the guys have something to sleep on flax
mats will do the trick here. Plus, Mike B. wanted flax twine. So Kate and
I headed out to collect flax. That went beautifully. We may also get some
waterproofing jelly out of the flax.
Flax is a really cool
plant. It was/is the Maori's "tree of life"; it's
not a tree, but an herbaceous plant. In any case, the leaves and/or fiber
from flax have been used for rope, baskets, clothing, raincoats and all
sorts of weaving. The Maori also would drink the flower nectar it's
a bird-pollinated plant that makes a lot of sweet nectar to "reward"
the birds for visiting.
the mats was like going back in time. First to my childhood as a Girl
Scout, making placemats and potholders. Second, to previous lives of generations
of people since humans started using fibers. The "basket-weave"
of over-under-over-under has been used for millennia. This is how our
ancestors made their lives easier. They also wove in such ways as to make
The first mat I made
was much cruder than the second. Yes, I learn from experience.
Tomorrow, I will volunteer
to pan for more gold. This way I will be adding to the gold stash.
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