Friday, 27 June 2008

A River Clean Up Leads To Wasp Attack

Afternoons on Crystal Blues are usually busy with "boat school" (English & Mathematics) for the local children. However after the jungle around the plankwalk was cleared (see the story here), we noticed that quite a lot of plastic and other trash had accumulated along the boardwalk.

So the following day we cancelled school and asked the children to help with a big clean up of the river bank. This went very well, with lots of enthusiastic helpers, and we planned to burn what could not be recycled. As I was lighting the fire I noticed the clean up team suddenly slapping at their limbs, yelling and screaming, and then running flat out to the river .... they'd disturbed a wasp nest under the plank walk. This wasn't funny - the wasps pursued them to the water before returning to the nest, and many children were bitten (Ley scored a few bites as well).

Of course now it was retribution time - young Jabu said we must burn the nest, it is the Iban way ! With newspaper from Crystal Blues, he and Beretin lit torches of rolled paper and placed them under the nest. Thats them sprinting away from the burning nest in the photo at right. The last few wasps were subdued with spray from Crystal Blues, and the plankwalk was then safe for the children to return home.