After the three new (and yes, backdated) posts I just uploaded, my journal is now up to date.
As you can see, I’ve been working hard here at Uza Beach Resort. It’s been great to have additional Helpers since there is so much work to do. I have already worn through my work gloves. I hope to find another pair in the village.
My volunteer schedule has basically been Monday through Friday, 9am to 2pm. I then have the late afternoons and weekends free to explore, or rest.
Last weekend I made the 4-hour boat trip to Phuket (long-tail boat from Ko Jum to Ko Phi Phi, and then ferry to Phuket) to meet friends of friends who may be able to help me break into the sailing community. It was a long trip, but one that will hopefully pay off in the long run. I’m excited. (And of course I'm very grateful to all of those involved in setting up and participating in the meeting.)
The ferry portion of that trip was what you might expect – the boat was full of young backpackers soaking up the sun, listening to music on headphones, and/or sleeping off their hangovers.
The long-tail boat coming home from Ko Phi Phi to Ko Jum was another rough ride of 3-4 foot swells. With each rise and fall of the bow, we hoped the boat would hold together – especially after one of the floorboards came loose. (This is just the flooring, not the actual hull.) We had to stop halfway across the channel to siphon out water from the bottom of the boat. We made it though.
In the evenings, I’ve been pretty much a creature of habit, having found a couple of great restaurants and bars nearby. Jungle Hill Bungalows has a great treehouse type restaurant, and is run by the wife of my long-tail boat captain. Hongyog, run by Rosa, is arguably the best restaurant on the island. Great food, great price, big portions, and accompanied by Rosa's infectious laugh. For bars, my favorites are Rock Bar (built by owner, bartender, and resident "Boss") and FU Bar (run by Gala and Oh, whose familiar chant, "Hello, welcome to FU Bar" will always make me smile). More recently, I've also been down to Coco Bar on the southern end of the island. It's a mellow restaurant and bar, right on the beach, with a big platform swing that is fun to sit on and watch the sun go down.
It's been a fantastic few weeks working hard and yet having ample time to relax and enjoy island life... I've got a few more weeks to go, but I already know I'm going to miss Ko Jum.