Saturday, August 29, 2009

camp life - cooking with fire, er, charcoal

I'm going to do a few ex-post-arriving-home-o posts, since I finally have the time to sit down and do them! This first one will basically be showing a few photos of camp - two of the tent situated furthest from camp in a lovely spot on a cliff:

and two some of our crew getting ready to go out to the excavations.

You might wonder how we see at night in this electricity-free camp: we use kerosene lamps for light.

Well, it's not entirely accurate that we don't have electricity. We have a great "solar system" consisting of solar panels,

connected to a car battery,

connected to a power inverter, connected to a plug strip into which we can plug computers, cell phones, etc.

And what about cooking? Well, we mostly use charcoal. It comes in big sacks which you can see off to the left, and we have a big pile of it under the kitchen "tent" (basically a canvas awning for shade) that the cooks use whenever they need it.

The charcoal can be put in a jiko, a stove of sorts, and a pot can be placed on top of it.

Sometimes, we use a BBQ-er, too.

The food gets stored both inside and outside of two big canvas tents.

In one of them, we have the ultimate field food luxury: a LPG (gas) powered refrigerator! There is nothing like a cold glass of water after a hot morning in the field... or a cold beer at night.

Another project I worked on had a good solution to the problem of warm beer - wet a sock, put the beer in the sock, hang the sock in a windy place, and voila. It's like air conditioning. Or something. :D

Here's one of our cooks surveying his domain.

Did I mention that it's hot over there? Here's a view of our main working and eating area - I wish you could feel how much the shade of that awning cools things off.

It was so hot and try that this year some of the local Maasai's dogs hung around our camp. This one decided the shade of my tent was a nice place to catch a break from the heat.

Here's a sneak peek inside my tent - quite luxurious, roomy, with a table/desk, chair, and mattress!