Catching up

Yep, I’m still here. Thanks to some computer gremlin and/or the blasted unreliable SAfrican power grid, the nice long update and pics I posted last night blinked and disappeared just before I was about to publish it. I was too tired and fed up to do it over at that point.

So – the school party was a hit. Music (including some numbers for the teeny-tinies), cookies and cool-drinks were all appreciated. I left the CD with them for future festivities but didn’t stay long, just an hour and a half, as the kids are writing exams and I didn’t want to throw them off schedule too much.

One thing is different though. At a Canadian party, all the kids would be up dancing at once. That’ll never happen at a Zulu party. The music starts, a circle forms and everyone sings and/or claps, and one or two at a time dance in the centre, showing off their best moves.

I was sad to leave, and hope that I have contributed something constructive to the school and that they will remember me in a positive way.

Next – I didn’t get to go to the viewing platform. A mother lion and her three cubs were located by GPS before we went in on the path, and she would have tried to kill us all to protect her cubs. She wouldn’t be moving until sundown at least, so we were skunked.

Oscar wouldn’t even let us get out of the car, since if she got our scent and came at us, he would have to shoot her, and then have to shoot the cubs so they didn’t starve. As there is no shortage of lions here, no societies to take in strays or orphans.

We spent the day with Oscar and Bongani driving around to the various hides and pans and saw quite a few interesting things. At Ponweni hide, there was one big old buffalo laying in the mud and relaxing when we got there. Shortly a huge herd of 115 more came dawdling and bellowing their way down to the mud and water. The old guy took exception to the noisy young intruders and faced off with the leaders, but as he was severely outnumbered, he eventually just walked off.

But then a huge old elephant came wandering down, and he had an attitude. That was “Everyone outta my way”. If the buffalo didn’t move quickly enough to suit him, he would snort and shake his head so his ears flapped so hard you could hear it far away. They moved quickly then.

The past couple days (today I went lion monitoring, but saw no lions) I’ve seen hornbills, francolins, suni (3, and they’re rarely seen – little antelope no bigger than a large house cat), and plenty of elephants, as well as giraffe, wooly necked storks, rhino and reed bucks. And in the mist this morning, an astonishing variety of spider webs. Talk about amazing architecture.

As we came down one of the roads, a small elephant walked out of the bush and walked down the road in front of us. Just as he got a bit further away, another, larger elephant came out and followed him. We had to wait of course, until they were off the road before we could continue.

Yesterday, a cute “little” guy called Simon learned how to climb up on the termite mounds to get at the tasty branches of the trees that grow there. Did you know that a termite mound is properly called a termitarium?

And a very touching scene at the same pan (Mfugeni) when a large elephant arrived and approached one of the very young bulls. He took his trunk and touched the little guy on the forehead, then the two of them twined their trunks around each others and they just stood like that for a few minutes. (OK you English teachers – should ‘others’ take an apostrophe? And before the s or after it?) It was one of the best “Aww-w-w-w moments” I’ve had here.

Tomorrow is packing and tidying up, then Monday off to Durban for a couple days at African Sensations Spa before I carry on to MyThai and my planned sightseeing. Gonna get all this sand and dust pounded and soaked out of me.

I probably won’t have a computer there, and am not sure if I will be able to download any more pictures as I move around. I’ll try to get what I have on disc so I can access that anyway, if there’s nothing I can do to get the new stuff up.

Wooly necked storks

Palm wine, anyone?

Marula tree and the marula festival is soon - one big national drunk from what I hear

Big old crabby guy (Cape Buffalo)

Oscar and Bongani at Mahlasela hide

How many shades of green and how many textures can you count?

A Korhaan

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2 Comments »

  1. Cheshire Cat said

    “(OK you English teachers – should ‘others’ take an apostrophe? And before the s or after it?)”

    I believe the apostrophe would be placed after the ‘s’. But hey, I’ve been wrong before.

    It’s weird how people can be terrified of spiders, but actually appreciate the structure of their webs. Haha. I’m one of them. I’m weird. Yay me!

    Anyway. I’ll drop in again tomorrow to see if there’s anything new.

    Love you bunches and bunches!

    *** Thanks, CC. I suspect you are right about the apostrophe, but we’ll see what the pros say.
    Yes, you are weird, so you’re the perfect grand daughter for me Heaven help me if I should have to carry on a conversation with a grandchild who didn’t know what a book was, or who didn’t have an off-side sense of humour! Your ‘self’ is appreciated here.
    Did you manage to locate that book, or should I send it along?
    Thanks for dropping in, and love you too,
    ttyl,
    ~granny m

  2. Kayleigh said

    More people looking at my desktop and then asking for your blog address. I think you need to do a book when you get back. I have three people at work who have asked me for that just in the last month alone.

    I hope you’ll still be able to write – it helps us not to miss you and/or to worry about you as much as we could.

    Eli sends his love. We all do.
    Take care
    K.
    P.S. CC asks me to let you know she wasn’t able to find the book

    The book will be on its way tomorrow, but I don’t know if it will get unpacked until I get home. We’ll see waht Grandpa can do to find it. I’m actually sending 2 for Kate.

    I should be able to write, this next week pretty easily, but will hae to see how things go afte that.
    Love you all – don’t worry about me as I’m too old and mean to get into too much trouble Not doing anything outrageous either. Glad to know that folks are liking the blog. The more the merrier.
    I have some wonderful video of the school kids singing that Kate can take to show her friends just where their supplies went. These kids use a cement block for a pencil sharpener!!
    ~granny m

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