We’re continually entertained by the games the girls invent in the absence of toys. while we’ve been putting the finishing touches on the truck’s new interior, the girls have been playing with the tools and scraps around us.

Occasionally there are jobs that the girls can help with. At six years old, Aisha is careful enough to work alongside us, and she takes and interest in the progression of the truck’s fit-out. Since she particularly likes painting, Aisha was thrilled when David gave her a paintbrush so she could help lacquer the panel.

Lauren and Aisha, lacquering the truck, March 2011
Aisha was a careful painter, taking very seriously all of David's directions and correcting me when I was sloppy.

Our time of living and working here in the Far North has been an eye-opening time for us. We’ve had to live as the locals live, with shops scarcely stocked and highly priced. Sourcing certain materials has been a problem for us, and we’ve learned to replace items that are simply unavailable with substitutes that are on hand.

We’ve been thankful for the help of the locals, who have told us where to buy materials. And it’s also been good to have a friendly base to work from.

This experience of fitting out the truck’s interior has given us a taste of what it would be like to live here full-time, running a business and maintaining a home. It’s much harder than what we’re used to in the busy metropolis of southeast Queensland! We don’t know what the future holds for us, but we do know that as long as we’re adaptable to the conditions in which we find ourselves, we’ll be okay.

Girls in doghouses, March 2011
At one hardware shop, a collection of doghouses on display provided almost an hour's entertainment for our girls as we browsed through the materials in the store.

Today the girls found our collection of jib scerws and started using them to construct little patterns.

Brioni playing with screws, March 2011
Brioni's screws were a collection of workers, serving the white oversized "queen".

Aisha playing with screws, March 2011
Aisha arranged her screws as "walls" around a square carpet "house".

Calista playing with screws, March 2011
Although Calista's screws seemed to be arranged haphazardly, apparently they formed a beautiful castle.

We’re moving on tomorrow. It’s our last day in the Blue House, and although the truck isn’t quite finished, we’ll start our gypsying around.