The one month mark had well and truly passed and my life in Funafuti was becoming more and more familiar as the weeks passed by.
The initial challenge on working on the towering Government building with the hot Tuvaluan sun beating down from above was becoming just another day at the office. The biggest challenge we faced was still the incredibly steep 35 degree slope, where ropes and harnesses are needed just to keep us upright, let alone prevent the fifteen meter fall to the ground below. Jon, my other workmates' reference to Everest, wasn't too far off, you don't walk around this roof you climb it.
We have our good days here and we have our bad days, but the first week of mounting the solar panels on the roof was easily the worst. Getting accustomed to carrying the cumbersome panels around on the difficult roof, the twice daily torrential downpours, and the two hour wait afterwards for the roof to dry off and become safe to work on again, and finally an embargo on airfreight into the country preventing us receiving critical parts were all becoming part of typical life on the island.
Thankfully, all was not lost, the following week brought good weather, and with it a new lease of life in the team. We powered ahead, getting the program back on track and hit some significant milestones, including getting half of the 500 panels on the government building.
Sundays brought a reprieve from the long, exhausting weeks, and a chance to continue exploring Funafuti. A particular highlight was a trip that Jon and I took to the Marine Conservation Area, comprised of a few uninhabited islets and the surrounding waters in the South West of the atoll. We waded through the crystal clear water to the soft coral sand beach pausing for a moment to take in the surroundings. The tranquility of this place was unlike anything I had experienced before, this was the deserted tropical Island stories were made of.