Today, Liz was now feeling better but it was now my turn to start feeling like crap and there had been a fair bit of illness going about the base. It is probably not helped by the living conditions especially the nights when it was red hot and stuffy and the cramped sleeping arrangements, if one person got something it soon spread quite quickly throughout the camp.
Although not feeling well I still opted to work for the Gladiators team which was a bit strange as besides mixing this is one of the harder things to do but as we had put in a good shift towards then end of last week I thought I could manage it. Gladiating has changed a fair bit since Roman times and here at All Hands it consists of providing each of the camps with everything they needed to function. So this bagging up sand, gravel and taking it along with the large bags of cement to the mixers, delivering wood to the joiners and basically everything else for anyone else who needed it – sometimes just helping out too – Veni, Vidi, Vici eh!
The team leader for the Gladiators was a young guy called Carl who actually looked Filipino, sounded American but was actually from Sweden. He looked over the amounts required by each group for the day and it appeared that during all the hype of the race build up no-one had actually given a great deal of thought to how much would have to be provided by the Gladiators nor to how we could provide it simultaneously to two different sites. As he put it – today, if we got through it would be of record-breaking proportions. Would this day be written down in the annals of All Hands history?
Aside from my head banging and me feeling like I was running a fever – though this could have been the weather which once again was a scorcher (something else not accounted for by the race organisers) – I actually enjoyed the day. Carl and most of the others could work like Trojans and I did the best I could, which was not too bad all things considered. The cement bags were a real pain to lift as I had no real technique at all and they were each 30kg and delivering these was first on the list so we could get the mixers up and running. Then the rest of the day became a blur of bagging sand and gravel at a gravel yard All Hands had and then delivering the same to each of the individual sites. We went back and forth all day, we had to have a late dinner and then go back early to continue but it was simple, if hard, work and I am a simple fellow by and large so I really enjoyed it. Once again the Jeepney was full of people from all round the globe but everyone gave 100% and everyone looked out for each other – when I was feeling exhausted someone would send me to get a drink of water whilst they took my place filling the bags then later I would be sending someone who looked knackered whilst I took over, great camaraderie. It ended up for us being a really great day as we had actually managed to provide everything we were asked for.
The race, however was not such a success as everything seemed to go well for one site and not very well at all for t’other. The meeting at night discussed some of the pros and cons of holding such a race but for me, the heat being the way it was I would say that such a thing could really be quite dangerous. A lot of people get seriously involved such that they do not take care of the amounts they are drinking and keeping your fluids up is vital. Good responsible advice, oh my I must be getting old.
However, by the end of teatime I was sweating profusely and so left Liz to it whilst I went upstairs to bed – hopefully tomorrow I would be in a better state.