Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Well Cleaned Up

This week, I decided that our well in the garden needed a bit of cleaning out. It's only a few feet deep, and the fresh water level is usually just about the same as the sea just a few mtres away.
There's always plenty of rain, and super drainage through the old coral limestone core of the island, and the pure sand that underlies the foreshore, where I'm located.
Koi Koi well Siargao Island Philippines
The initiative for the clean-up came from Koi-Koi, my neighbour. He and his wife, Ta-Ta, and three children live in a one room hut right next door. She does my daily cleaning, and he does my water-carrying.
So it was Koi-Koi who scrambled down the well, and scrubbed it out by hand, while the Man With the Submersible Pump sloshed water and sludge all over the garden.
When it was finished, and you could see the sand on the bottom again, through limpid clear water, the MWSP suggested I pour half a glass of Zonrox chlorine bleach into it to finish off any lingering nasties.
Catfish Siargao Island Philippines We were surprised to see a single fish rise to the surface, gasping. We couldn't catch it for rescue, so I just prayed it would survive the chemical assault.
It was a freshwater goby, locally known as bunog.

Night Heron Siargao Island Philippines And how did it get there? Well, last year, I kept a 'zoo' in the garden for a time, and amongst its residents was a young heron, with a voracious appetite for fish.
To satisfy this, I encouraged the local kids from Mabua village to fish in the creek, and bring me the results. They brought so many that sometimes we needed a backup storage solution, so we dumped them down the well.
The little goby was the last survivor, and I'm indebted to him for keeping the well free of mosquito wigglers.

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