Have no clue how to spell it, but I learned at least one word in the local language in the past months. It means “Hey you!” or everything close to that; you can call or correct the elephants with it, call the lion cubs as far as they listen, correct horses going into the wrong stable and it even works on humans.
Writing this blogpost at Jo-burg airport with sushi and white wine next to my laptop. Of course, this is a necessity when you been this long in the bush. This morning I left Antelope Park and it wasn’t easy; being there this long starts to feel like living there. Said goodbye to my two temporary adopted cats: Tiger and Tango. Two of the (now) 13 cats that live in camp, who always seem to know which human to approach for meat scraps in the evening and a warm bed to sleep in at night. Depending on which side of the river I was staying; it was Tango at the standard rooms and Tiger “overseas”.
Due to a cancellation of a volunteer for the photography project I had some free time in the last week of my stay. Coordinating the project has been quite busy; things can change 5 min before you leave, so some flexibility and a pragmatic attitude was needed every day. T-I-A (This is Africa!) was often used as excuse… Partly true, things just break down or diesel runs out, but… for those staff members born in the first world; you know how to organise, so get it done!
So it was a bit relaxing the last couple of days. I decided to torture myself again on horseback. Another lesson from the stables manager, joined border patrol on horse back and eventually a ride at night with full moon. Must be proud of myself; I have (or had now) a fear of horse riding, some really bad experiences in the past, so guess I have pushed my own limit this week.
Besides that I joined the community project another time last week. The community project is starting new projects at a school in an old farm house next to the park. As I was photographing the kids, I naturally joined in and told a bit about my own country. Explaining a coast line to kids in a landlocked country is not easy. When it came to animals living in my home country I left them puzzled… Sorry! At this school The Netherlands is now known as the country that whipped out almost all of it’s wildlife in the past centuries… sadly, but it’s the truth… some lessons to learn for them.
Another bit of progress was organising the photos for the park. After a quick scan of the existing bunch of old photos on several computers around camp, it was clear this needed to be stored at a central place. People who really needed certain photos did not have access or did not even know about their existence. The community project asked me for certain photos again, which I already took in Januari. Just an example… As there will be more volunteer photographers in the future, photos need to be stored in a decent way. So after a chat with one of the managers, a brand new harddrive arrived at the park. I gathered and categorised a lot of photos in the last week, now sorting them out and managing the photos in the future is a new task for the manager’s wife 🙂
And of course a photographic update:
Also sharing my photos on
Antelope park: www.antelopepark.co.zw
ALERT African Lion and Environmental trust: lionalert.org
Interested in volunteering with lions? African Impact