Welcome to our latest newsletter keeping you up to date with life at Jungle Tide.
The appeal for Noni’s house
We’re nearly there with fundraising to build a new home for our helper Noni who lost her house in the recent landslides. About 80% of what is needed has been raised but we just need to make that final push, so if you’ve been meaning to contribute but didn’t get round to it, please can you?? And to the many people who have contributed – thanks again. We’ve been greatly touched by your generosity. The picture below shows the site on which the house will be built – the big tree, by the way, is a durian – just outside our land but the fruits are hanging over nicely. Our builder, Chammi, who is giving his time for free, is talking to the authorities to get building permission and hopes to get started soon – but finishing will need that extra bit of money we don’t yet have.
The Just Giving appeal closes on 30th June https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/sally-martin
After that date, you can donate directly into our UK account, but please ensure this is marked “Noni’s House” so we can keep the money separate. Details are:
Name: S V Martin and J P Smith; Bank: Nationwide; sort code 07-02-46;
Account number: 37814183; (from outside UK) BIC: NAIAGB21;
SWIFT: MIDLGB22; IBAN: GB75NAIA07024637814183
We will continue to keep all donors updated provided we have your e-mail address (and if you’re receiving this, we do!).
In the last newsletter we told you about Zoe and Bou, the two puppies we rescued from a ditch back in April who were facing an uncertain future. Sadly, Zoe didn’t make it but Bou is going strong and turning into a great dog.
Here she is on the veranda with an interesting backdrop of a floor polisher and a gardening trug – well, it’s the quiet season so we don’t keep the place as smart as usual. Martin’s dog, Kuta, is fully recovered from his traumatic fighting injuries of last January and has avoided major scrapes since then.
The very recent additions, however, have been eleven half-grown chickens (handy number if we ever train them to play cricket) who inhabit the lovely enclosure and hen-house that successive teams of volunteers have built for us.
Martin went off to collect them from a place near Gampola and phoned us to say he’d got them but at a higher price as they are “all ladies, madam”. Sally then asked him: “Martin – these ladies, are they all clean? Have they had their injections?” I thought for a fleeting moment that we might be planning to run a brothel, but the thought passed. We had to return one which had lost all the feathers from its back. When Martin phoned the vendor to complain he claimed that “this is just new feathers growing” and I was very impressed at the guy’s familiarity with the Dead Parrot Sketch – but eventually he was persuaded to replace the defective bird.
They’re due to start laying around September so from then on we’ll be self- sufficient in eggs.
Fruit and Veg section
Although there’s a long way to go before we’ll be anything like self-sufficient in veg and fruit, things are coming along nicely. We have a big crop of mangoes, many of which we’ve bagged against the marauding monkeys – we knew there had to be some use for the endless amounts of plastic bags the supermarkets here obsessively give out (resistance is futile). Similarly for the impressive half-grown crop of cherimoyers (custard apples). Meanwhile three mulberry trees have been netted against the birds and are starting to produce, and we’re getting bananas, guavas, star fruits and lemons as well.
The vegetable garden has produced quantities of beans, okra, turnips and tomatoes with pumpkins, carrots, lettuces, sweetcorn, chillies and bell peppers coming along and lots of seedlings under protective netting.
Progress on fixing the road continues at the pace of an arthritic snail, but at least it’s still going on. The succession of guys with theodolites, tapes and string has been replaced with other guys armed with billhooks and sticks but as yet no sign of any machinery. However large piles of roadstone have appeared ready for crushing and laying, and there are roadworks signs even if there are as yet no roadworks. One has to be patient in Sri Lanka.
Volunteers and projects
During the quiet seasons of May/June and September/October/November we take on teams of volunteers to help us develop the potential of the gardens and do some of the maintenance work around the house and buildings. As well as being a source of free labour (well, not exactly free as they have big appetites!) it’s great for us to meet young people from all over the world. In the last two months we’ve had volunteers from Austria, Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Africa, Spain, UK, Ukraine and Vietnam. Conversations around the dinner table are fascinating and often involve our guests as well – who also, of course, come from all over the globe.
As well as our new chicken facilities their recent projects have included building flights of steps in the steep bits of garden, painting interior and exterior walls, gardening and developing new veg plots, wall building, clearing the site for Noni’s house and clearing the land for where our pond will be – a project for the next round of volunteers in September – see picture.
That’s it for now. Stay in touch! And come and visit us and join in the fun!
Jerry and Sally