Seven Months Earlier . . .
“Welcome” he said with a broad smile.
A Javanese man who was barely five foot tall delivered the greeting. He could have passed for a young teenage boy whose facial hair would not develop for several years. His youthful enthusiasm and energy matched his appearance, while betraying his cunning and experience. The earnestness with which he delivered the words made Riley return a smile instantly. The guide grabbed his rucksack and delivered a string of orders to others who quickly did his bidding. With the confidence and air of som...
... middle of paper ...
...people were at dinner or elsewhere. He arrived late and the mess tent was lively with eating, drinking and laughs.That evening at dinner Riley met the facility management with little fanfare.
“Your are lucky to arrived on Burger Night. My first meal was the worst fried beefsteak that I can ever recall having. I hope you’ll like jackfruit, rice and steamed bananas. It’s about all we ever have. Simon is the name.”
“Riley. From the States. Thanks for the intro. It seems like a lively evening.”
“Every evening is lively. It 's the only excitement for miles. We have been waiting for you, but we are really not ready, so you may have some waiting of your own.”
“I should admit that I came as much for the adventure as the job, so it may work out great.”
The evening ended late, with plenty of raucous bantering and drinking. Riley was relieved to get a good nights rest.
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