On this page, the Pioneers who traveled to Tunisia to Save the Lars Homestead, share with you their very own adventure.
Re-live the excitement of pulling off a restoration that has been one of the most anticipated projects in a galaxy far, far away.
Your guides are: Mark Dermul, Terry Cooper, Mark Cox, Robert Cunningham, Imanuel Dijk and Michel Verpoorten (more on our crew on this page). Oh, and lets not forget our 'caterer', Colin Kenworthy. After all, he supplied us with cool drinks and icecreams when we most needed them.
Monday 28th May 2012
While most of the Saviours enjoyed their morning café aux lait, Mark Dermul, Mark Cox and Michel Verpoorten visited the ONTT, the National Office of Tunisian Tourism in Tozeur, for their meet with the officials who would present them with the permit to carry out the construction work. Mr Boubi and Mr Sassi welcomed them into their air conditioned offices and reiterated the terms of the permit: the tools would need to be purchased or rented locally; a contractor – whom we would meet right after this meeting in Nefta – would need to be hired and local labour as well. The needed materials would need to be purchased locally as well. And the Saviours needed to rebuild the homestead according to the original plans. All these terms were acceptable to them, of course. They had been agreed upon during the negotiations in the months prior to the groups arrival. So, the negotiations were short. Mr Sassi called the contractor, Mr Slimén, and the trio of Saviours drove out to Nefta.
The meeting with Mr Slimén went smooth. They took him to the site, which is about 9 kilometers outside of Nefta, so that the local contractor could make his own assessment of materials and tools needed. When he told the Saviours that they should have no trouble getting the job done in four days with three local builders – which he would provide, of course – they drove back to Nefta. While Mr Slimén got all the materials and tools together, already lending a few to the team on the spot, a new appointment was made for 7pm to negotiate the terms.
The Saviours returned to Tozeur for lunch and drove back out to Nefta afterwards to start prepping the site for the next day. This meant discarding the non salvageable parts, making the igloo look even worse. But they had to do this, heartbreaking as it was. The steps into the igloo also needed digging out, which was harder than it sounds. After all, this is not a desert with regular sand that you can just shovel out. It is hard packed sand with salt and a pick axe was needed, as was a lot of muscle. After only a few minutes, the Saviours realised why the locals only do this kind of work between 6am and noon. The heat was overpowering, driving the Saviours into the igloo for shelter more often than not. But around 6pm, they had done all they could that day, since the materials required for the restoration would not arrive until the next morning.
Mr Slimén arrived
shortly after we did in the local café to present us with
his terms. As is custom in
Crew & Saviours
Find out who who donated to make this restoration possible and meet the crew who traveled out to Tunisia to make it happen.
We are currently hard at work creating a wonderful coffee table book, with loads of never before seen images. Stay tuned!