Improvements at MCP Base
Over the past year and half I have watched the MCP base change, mold and shape into a place to where we can better work and focus our conservation efforts towards what is important, but also into a home away from home for all of us living at MCP.
Those of you that have been here already would really notice the differences if you saw it. If you have not been here yet, you will absolutely love and appreciate the comforts and workspace we have created.
So I am going to split this blog into the different areas and give you the low down on changes I’ve seen over the last year and half.
NEW AND IMPROVED KITCHEN
This Christmas we were able, for the first time, to ALL fit in while cooking Christmas dinner hehe! That was 20 people, glazing the ham, peeling the spuds, stirring the gravy, brewing the mulled wine… It was impressive.
The kitchen has been refurbished into possibly the greatest place on base to chill, have a coffee and to make a snack. I’ve even started cooking a little (those of you who know me, know that I do not cook)! Surfaces are stainless steel or tiled and we now have two storerooms, One for cleaning essentials, clean towels and sheets, and one for all our wonderful ingredients for our fantastic chefs Melba, Bernard and Joan to prepare. Helle’s serious organizational skills has ensured that the beans, corn, chickpeas, jalepeños etc are all in order. (Possibly even alphabetically hehehe!). There is enough space to DANCE in the kitchen. We also have a second floor above the kitchen, we still have no plans of it’s use, but for a while it held a litter of puppies that someone had anonymously dumped at base, hoping we would give them good homes (we’ve found good families for all nine by the way!) but potentially it could be a little reading corner. Any ideas, do let us know.
Imagine looking out into open forest, hearing the birds whistling in in the morning, the crickets chirping at night and with a cool breeze coming through the branches. This is basically what you see, hear and feel looking out from the new classroom window. Built behind the Hex, above two staff rooms, is the new very spacious, open classroom with wide, glass, french doors facing out into the arboretum. If there is anywhere you want to have a presentation with a huge wide screen tv, or do some quiet study, this is the PLACE! The table is a huge concrete masterpiece, perfect for planning deep dives with a surface that you can write with chalk all over. Who says you need a blackboard! (which we also actually do have). Plus, there is a bonus… those of you that would like a little bit of alone time from sleeping in the dorms, there is even a loft with two beds, perfect for a bit of privacy. With a bathroom, kettle, tea and coffee, there is possibly no better place to wake up.
THE COSY ROOM (The old classroom)
Those of you that have been here, this little spot used to be the old classroom and study. Surrounded by trees a bit further from the kitchen and hex we have “The Square” or now more commonly known as the cosy room (and that is exactly what it is, cosy). With a wide screen to watch documentaries or late night movies, beanbags, hammocks, a day bed and little coffee tables, surrounded by little green succulents, this is the loveliest place to hang out, relax, have some quiet time and a place to really put your feet up after a busy day of diving!
OTHER LITTLE CHANGES AROUND BASE
We now have beds of tomatoes, pechay (leafy green), cabbage, eggplant, pineapple, papaya all growing behind the kitchen. Its been very exciting watching the little sprouts grow and soon hopefully, and we have already harvested once. Our aim is to be even more sustainable.
If you have been here recently, we know we have FRESH eggs every day! Our hens have their coop (Chick Inn) behind the kitchen with a huge pen to roam around in, and they are happily laying around 30 eggs per day. After you’ve made a cup of coffee at breakfast you can then go and collect a warm fresh egg (without even being pecked if you are a bit chicken savvy) and cook yourself an omelette. Can’t get better than that, right?
TWO COMPRESSORS WITH TOP RANGE GAS BLENDING SETUP
Divemaster trainees, you will probably be the HAPPIEST to hear we now have two massive compressors, offering full redundancy and super charged filling time. Can you believe it? Now your time spent charging tanks is short! You will even be finished in time for dinner. It’s also been pretty impressive how many volunteers are interested and end up doing the PADI gas blender course. (I’m blaming the new setup, it is pretty snazzy).
Since our wonderful intern Amy Slack set up our recycling unit to segregate trash from our beach and dive clean ups to be able to recycle as much as possible, we’ve now upgraded and can recycle even more of our findings, from bottle caps to old textiles. Our chooks of course feast on most of our food leftovers, and we compost for all the other scraps of food.
And finally… THE MONSTER TRUCK (Kind of ☺)
We have a new truck, one which has even a tv! Yes, I said it… when you reverse you can actually see where you are going hehehe. This truck is being modified by our wonderful maintenance staff to prepare it for long range expeditions. Exciting times ahead…
So overall, there has been lots of little BIG changes at base to allow your stay to be as comfortable as possible, feel at home help your conservation efforts be as productive as possible.
Hope you get a chance to come experience these changes, and those of you that have already been here, hope to see you all back here soon,
Sending ALL the love,
Your volunteer coordinator,