Spanners, Bricks and Mother Nature – By Ross Scott-Riddell , Cousteau Tent. Intake 2 / 2015
Our second week back at Quest following our time at Cawston Ranch was met with a noticeable drop in temperature in the mornings. PT begins in almost complete darkness now with 17 men standing, shivering, in the car park.
For this past week we have been ensconced in the new skills learned during our “Tech Week”. We were divided up into 3 groups and took part in either Construction, Mechanics or learning about nature around Quiet waters.In the Construction section we were taught how to mix cement to make mortar, and how to lay bricks effectively. Nobody expected that level of precision needed to be so high, as each brick was measured and checked with a spirit level to ensure it was as flat as possible. A lot of work went into the construction as we also had to dig a foundation for a Quail aviary that will be set up soon. The trench needed to be dug and filled with cement and stone to make a firm foundation. The pick axes swung and the shovels dug. Altogether it was a truly physically demanding but enjoyable experience.
The Natural Acumen involved us riding around in the back of a Land Rover with Mr McDonald all over Quiet Waters and even out into the wilderness area and he shared his wealth of knowledge regarding the local trees, plants and animals with us. We learned which plants are good to eat, which leaves can be used as a fish poison and which animal had eaten what merely by looking at the way bark was removed from the base of the tree. I think most people enjoyed this side of Tech Week because it was the most laid back section with no hard work needed!
The final aspect, and personally my favourite, was the Mechanics with Mr Davies. This took place at the workshop (the same one where we learned welding). Dressed in our overalls, due to all the oil and paint and diesel, there was always something for us to do. One of the Quest Land Rovers had been stripped and the body required dents to be filled, the body to be painted and the car slowly put back together again. It is a goliath task to reassemble the vehicle but the final outcome will be exceptionally satisfactory.
As the week came to a close the impending challenge of Iron Will came with it as we leave early next week to take part in the event. We have been training hard, cycling far and are all very keen to show what Quest Intake 2 2015 can do.