Just a few notes

Well, both computers crashed completely, here at the Lodge and over at the research camp.  This one at the lodge is up again, but I can’t do photos or anything and I can’t use it for lengthy periods as others need it and I have to get a ride between here and the camp through lion and rutting elephant territory.  Not allowed to walk.

Anyway, I’m fine.  Did find my juice, called Liquifruit or something – got the best orange juice, even better than Tropicana since they don’t put the peels through the juices like all the N American juice places do.

I think the blues were just from the absolute confusion on the part of management here about the role of the volunteers, and what they can and can’t do, what resources they have access to.  There seems to be a change of mind about every 10 minutes and it’s really hard to get anything planned, or even to know if you can plan, because you can’t count on what you heard today since it’ll probably be changed tomorrow.  And that’s the white management.

Also, while the teachers at the school were thrilled to have me around the first week, the novelty palled and the second week I was a bit at loose ends.  This week I put my foot down, hard, and explained to them that I was there to help, but I couldn’t if they wouldn’t give me any assistance about what and where.  I wasn’t there to continually interrupt what they were doing.

So yesterday I left them a timetable to fill in – where they want me, when and what level the kids are learning at (don’t say it!).  I won’t go back until Thursday or Friday to pick it up, and teachers here take many days off due to transportation problems and family needs.

Some of the elephants are going into must and you can see it by the marks of some stuff that runs down their faces.  They can be pretty aggressive when that happens, so I’ll stay off the road when I’m on foot and inside the gulag.

Hired one of the staff here and his friend’s bakkie on Sunday and went to Jozini dam.  It was great.  Bongani took me to his family compound to meet his grandma, but she had gone to the other compound.  We took the two nieces and the hired boy who looks after the cattle, as both Bongani and his brother have outside jobs, and bought some fried chicken and drinks and had a picnic at the dam.  It’s really beautiful there.  I loved being out like that so I could stop where I wanted for pics and just see things and people.

Also there’s a new volunteer co-ordinator who seems to be a truly “new broom” and has really organised the camp.  Unfortunately he seems to be caught in the middle between mgmt and the volunteers.  More about that later.

Now I realise I have been going on about these guinea hens, and also realise that I have taken pics of two kinds and been passing them off as the same thing.  I’ll also get that straight later – but at least I’m sort of straight now.  Loved the hen pie suggestion though, and I will make sure we get the right kind.

Lots of culling going on, so we’re getting a lot of wildlife in the pot and on the braai.

Got to rush now, but will get on again soon I hope.  I love getting the comments, so thanks.


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