Things are as busy
as ever here. Ooh, before I forget: I am house sitting from Friday for
a couple of weeks (until 17th February) Tthe house is lovely and there
are four Alsatians living there as well which is rather nice. I am looking
forward to a bit of luxury for a while!
The weather here has been horrendously hot and temperatures has been
well over 100F for the last couple of weeks. Last Monday it was 115F
(46C) I honestly thought I would just pass out from the heat! We have
had very little rain and the animals are beginning to suffer from the
drought. The rhino were up at front gate the other day, looking for
water which was slightly un-nerving.
The main event on the park was Puso, the Park Manager's wedding last
Saturday. It was quite an event, with the President and various VIPs
attending, the bridal party even arrived escorted by the elephants.
Stupidly, I agreed to take the photographs and then spent most of the
day being extremely stressed and nervous about doing the job well enough.
Never ever be a wedding photographer it is just too much of a responsibility!
Fortunately, the family seem to be pleased with the results. The wedding
started at 5.30pm and I didn't finish photographing till 10.30pm, by
which point I was dying for a drink. Unfortunately, everyone else was
plastered by this stage so I decided I needed to do some serious catching
up. Big mistake! Cheap white wine and I do not mix. I have serious memory
lapses from the whole event. Although I have since been informed that
I passed out in the Kirbys library and danced with a string of unsuitable
Americans oh the shame! I was not the only one though. Camille had to
be carried home by her long-suffering boyfriend because she couldn't
actually walk anymore, and other Jo was last seen wandering off into
the bushes clutching a bottle of wine and mumbling that she had no way
to get home. She has been off this week so no one is sure if she did
Anyway a normal Saturday night for all concerned!
Jo with Cheetah
The hot weather is bringing all the snakes out, although I have still
yet to see one yippee! But Neil and James ran over a black mamba the
other day and no, it didn't attach itself to the axle and bite them.
A boomslang was also bought in the other day, a nasty snake, very venomous.
I am steering well clear. Jamie is continuing to do himself as much
damage as is humanly possible. Having recovered from his tick bite fever,
and the fact that his foot had nearly gone septic as a result, he went
to house-sit for Puso and promptly got spat at in the eye by an Egyptian
cobra. So he got rushed off to hospital but fortunately there was no
damage done to his eye. However, within about a day he had contracted
some very nasty stomach bug and has spent the last week in bed. He has
lost about a stone! Whilst lying around in bed, he also managed to get
three different spider bites, which promptly swelled up and went bright
red. As you can imagine, he is looking at his most attractive!
Jo with elephant
We have a new volunteer here called Barty (great name hey) who has just
left Harrow. He is actually surprisingly normal! His poor brother was
killed by lions in the Masadonna last year whilst working as a guide,
so I think he is very brave to come out here really. We also have two
Swedes arriving tomorrow so the house will be horrendously crowded.
Possibly time to quit I feel. Good thing I won't be there for a while!
I am off up to the Okavango Delta in February when my friend Biba comes
to visit and I can't wait. We are going on a two day mokoro trip. Mokoros
are very small dugout canoes. And we are camping out in the middle of
nowhere overnight. Tthose of you who know my distain for camping will
know why this is a big deal! The game viewing should be good at this
time of year. Although it is the rainy season, there has been very little
rain, and as the Delta is a swamp area the game will be congregating.
I am hoping to see lions although from a distance would be preferable.
Despite the trials and tribulations of trying to get the graphic work
and admin done for the adoption scheme before we come back to the UK,
Mokolodi continues to enchant. On Saturday, at the wedding, there were
all kinds of traditional dancers and pipers performing and it was a
real African event. There is something very special about the people
and the atmosphere here that is quite different to anything English.
Perhaps it is the lack of formalities and stiff upper lip! You can listen
to the beat of African music and find yourself swaying quite unconsciously,
it really is a carnival atmosphere!
Right, I am off to design some t-shirts for the park. I fear they will
be quite cheesy, due to Puso's desire to create crap merchandise. Oh
well, what can you do?!
Missed the last missive from Africa? Try these