Tangaroa on the edge of time...!

10.03.2006 @ 13:19
We have heard it before. The trucks and the crane will be at the depot by half past eight. We have been waiting for these trucks for four weeks now. They do not show up this time either, and the manager does not answer the phone. Four hours later out time schedule looks worse than ever. The container needs to be ready to leave the depot at 6.00 p.m in order to get on the boat in time for this week’s departure. It finally arrives around 12 o’clock, ready to carry the cross-beams, the guara board material and the bamboo. I stick to the factory manager like a gadfly. Still he refuses to load the container. Too risky, he says.

Tverrstokkene mtte flyttes manuelt til krana
The cross-beams are stored behind the main logs and will have to be moved by hand in order to get within reach of the crane. At two o’clock I loose my temper on purpose. I raise my voice in lack of a proper vocabulary. 10 minutes later the manager agrees that we will not have time for loading the container if we keep waiting for the trucks.

He also agrees that his boss will probably make an exception from the rules in this case. According to these rules, logs should not be handled by hand. His boss is Derek, with whom we stayed for six weeks. Ten men strong, assisted by an eager photographer, we take action at two o’clock, four hours before the container must be ready to leave. I’m watching the huge cross-beams. How on earth will we manage to get them across the main logs without a crane?
Even before my thoughts turned in to action, I saw one of the huge logs floating in the air above me, accompanied by merry cries: ¡Vamos, Vamos! For Tangaroa! Extraordinary how some guys with crowbars manage to eliminate the force of gravity. The logs are placed on top of the main logs, put in a tilting position and turned like a watch indicator. Together we push them within reach of the crane lorry.

Noen minutter igjen til Dead Line
When the fifth log is in place inside the container, I become aware that the speed is being dramatically reduced. The sixth and also the heaviest log remain on the ground for half an hour. I carry out three isolated actions, and not knowing which one that worked, at least one of them did!

First of all I provided the men with ice cold water, then I arranged a group photo, and finally I promised them gratuity from Tangaroa if the container is ready to be shipped within deadline at 6.00 p.m. in one hour we load four cross-beams, 12 heavy guara boards, 30 rectangular balsa planks and 600 m of bamboo. I will never forget the pouring rains and the crashes of thunder every five minutes. Nor the energy the men invested in the task of getting the container ready for tonight’s shipping. Crying and shouting at each other: Rapido! Faster! For Tangaroa! Hundreds of bamboo logs being dragged through the mud from the depot to the container truck at the gate. The manager cries out from his place under the roof: 5 minutes left! Dinner soon!
I realize I haven’t been eating since breakfast twelve hours ago. It feels as if I have a huge poster hanging in front of my eyes, saying in capital letters: REMEMBER WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF WE MISS DEADLINE! Then we’ll have to wait one week for the next shipment. Thinking about what this would mean for the project, I keep dragging bamboo logs through the mud. Four more logs through the pouring rain, feeling the pain from another wounded finger.  At exactly 6.00 p.m. the container is being sealed. I don’t have to ask twice for another group photo. Everybody shout with joy in front of the photographer, and we all shake hands. ¡TANGAROA!

Jippi! Containeren ferdig pakket i siste liten!
Not since the last night of the floating I have been so soaking wet, sweaty, hungry and happy. We did everything we could today. The trucks never showed up, and the owner never answered the phone. Olav, Anders and I have been through this before. Tomorrow will show if Tangaroa now faces another three days of delay…But anyhow, we will make it!   

Translated into English by Anne Thorenfeldt

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