combativeness to the inevitable onset of age. She leaned purposefully on thewall behind her, casting an appraising eye as each of the five young adultswalked from the coach, retrieving their heavy suitcases from the luggagecompartment. As they wheeled their possessions to stand across from her shegreeted them with a beaming smile that betrayed her tightly controlled poise.‘Welcome!’ She shouted in an Australian accent, ‘I’m Maria. You mustbe, Sergio, Will, Sarah, Fran and Conner?’ The woman nodded her headcorrectly towards each of the figures as she said their name. ‘The next threeweeks will be hard. They will be long, they will be tiring, but they will also befun! I have a few rules, if you listen, we will get along just fine! Firstly, you arehere to work. When you are working, you are working. I don’t want to see anyof you slacking. Understood? Secondly, there will be no drinking. In threeweeks time you can do what you want, while you’re with me you will be diligentand you will be sober. Ok?’ The five figures nodded their heads up and down in shock at theforcefulness of their boss’s tone. As the words sunk in Maria walked up anddown handing each of the workers a piece of paper.‘What you have in front of you are your schedules. Read them. Once thissinks in the place will run like clockwork, then we can start to enjoy ourselves!’Maria forced a smile and breathed out as she reached the end of her speech,‘Now as you can see, you’ve two hours to find your way around, your roomsand settle in! See you in two hours!’ The five figures stared in bewilderment at the spider’s web of textwritten in front of them.***Sergio’s t-shirt matted itself across his broad frame, glued on by theriver of sweat pouring from his body. Although he had no problem holding thetwo crates resting on his shoulders, the fifteen minute walk through the brightsun was beginning to take its toll. As the late afternoon sun lingered in the skyit reminded him that he had not yet had a break today. Since seven-am in themorning he had been labouring and teaching until his mind had degeneratedinto animalistic simplicity, simply continuing to push his body further andfurther. And so, with a shaking in his hand that he barely registered he droppedoff the afternoon meal by Fran’s class.