More Fun

Just found out some new things about Tembe today. Apparently it’s not the animals that are to be protected by this park, but the total ecology. Tembe is apparently typed as ‘sandy forest’ in its ecological type, and there isn’t too much of that left I guess.

The elephant researchers are here, and some of the volunteers work for them. There are also a couple of young fellows from Holland who are doing leopard research.  There is also a lion monitoring program some of the volunteers work on with one of the local game tracker fellows.

The research compound where we live is surrounded by an electrified wire fence, which makes me feel somewhat secure, except that I saw some mongooses (mongeese? monsgoose?) today. Things like very large weasels, and probably twice as mean. It kept me from going out to the bathroom last night when I really needed to, I’ll tell you. And we had potatoes baked in foil at the braai and something outside my window last night was tearing up tinfoil. That made me a little nervous – which made the situation worse. Time to get a chamber pot, I guess!!

I also saw several species of birds and butterflies, and a vervet monkey followed me from the computer room to the cabin today. Apparently the vervets can become too accustomed to folks and get to be quite a nuisance, so that they have to be shot. I will have to be very mean to him, so that I can perhaps prolong his life. My son Eli tells me that when I use “that mother look” I can scare anyone or anything, so here will be the test.

The “kids” that are here are very nice, though for me it’s a bit like living in a college dorm, which I have never done and never wanted to do. We all got taken to see a performance of some local lads who have put together a township jive group and give performances at the tourist camp on site, when the staff believes there are enough people there to make their tips worth the trip, as they work for tips only. They are fairly amateur and need a lot of polish and some changes in presentation, and I’m going to see about helping them out with a few sessions to make their performance more income generating. Ernest, who is the chap that drove me out here from Durban, and who pretty much owns and runs the tourist end of things here, had asked me about maybe putting together a grant proposal for the boys to make a disc that they could sell, rather than depending on tips. Though I’ve worked on grant proposals for musicians in Canada, I don’t know the system here, and will have to do a lot of research, but first have to get them ready to do that. Ernest thought that the lead singer/front man was off sick tonight, so that may have affected the quality of what I saw. Anyway, whether or not that is so, there are still a few things that we can do, I think, to get some more tourist Rand into those boys’ pockets.

Actually, there are ants swarming all over this computer desk and they’re climbing up my sleeves, so since I don’t see my little house lizards around to clear up this situation, I’m going to call it quits for now.



  1. Rhonda said

    Ants, ah, yes. When my girlfriend and I were in Bangkok we check into a hotel common to backpackers. We were with a girl who didn’t have much money and wanted to be friendly. Except the room started moving! ANTS were everywhere. Crawling up the headboards, around the sink, across the floor…

    Remember going down to the desk, where no one spoke English and trying to sign language for someone to spray our room. Finally, someone interpreted for me and a chap came upstairs. Joan & I sat outside in the hallway reading. About every 10 minutes or so, a door further down the hallway opened and a male head appeared. Guess he just couldn’t figure out what these “two white broads were doing” 🙂

    Love reading your stories!!! Sounds like quite the adventure, and it’s just beginning….

  2. Teana said

    Kayleigh gave me the link to your blog.
    Awesome.I have always wanted to travel to Africa.
    I am now reading your daily comments and loving every minute of it. Feel like I am right there. I am an avid reader and was greatly saddened to realize that so many children never have the opportunity to have their own books. Makes me want to gather up tons of them and send them on to all these places. we are so spoiled here.
    We are having an ant problem as well as a huge wasp infestation here this year so can sympathize with you ants. I need a house lizard.
    Do keep writing. Teana

  3. Teana said

    Did I mention that ants hate cayenne pepper. My cousin told me to sprinkle it where they travel and they hate it so much they leave. I tried it and it does work. Downside you have to keep putting it down.

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