The new area is dense tropical rainforest with a permanent creek. Starting completely from scratch, my first project was to build a simple dome hut and make a fire. First, I took some wood, Abroma mollis, for fire sticks. I knapped a small stone blade and used it to strip the fire sicks. Palm fibre was then taken for the tinder. The fire stick kit was then placed under a palm leaf to keep it out of the rain.
image/text credit: Primitive Technology
Eight 2.75 m long saplings were cut using the hand axe and brought to the site. Eight holes about 25 cm deep were hammered into the ground in a circle 2.5 m in diameter and the saplings were then planted in. The tops were brought together at the top and tied with vine. A door lintel stick was lashed to the front about 75 cm off the ground giving a low door way.
Mosquitoes are a real problem here so a fire was lit. The fire sticks from before had a hole carved in the base boards and had a notch carved to let the powder pour out. The spindle was twirled in the socket and smoking powder poured out producing a hot coal. This then ignited the palm fibre tinder.
The fire was transferred to the hut and a small hearth was made of stones. The dome was completed up to the top and a small cap was made from lawyer cane and fronds to place on the top to keep rain out. When not in use the cap can be removed to let in more light like a sky light. Finally wood was cut for a bed. This consisted of wooden stakes hammered into the ground at the back of the hut behind the fire pit.