Its funny being back here – everything seems to be closing in again. The heady adventure of travel is followed by guilty feelings of bourgeoisie. First – trying to unravel the figures and paperwork gone wrong of a safari partnership. Emotions keep clouding the issue. Anger, fear and frustration become a war of words via email. Go to sleep thinking of it – wake up thinking of it. Trying to find a clear way through but smoke and mirrors get in the way.
Last night there was a robbery at a neighbour’s camp; vehicles have been stolen. We should be more alert. The fences are cut between us and the main road. JP saw a herd of impala on the road. We saw a bushbuck while driving home the other night. Escapees from a broken fence – traffic bait. They caught a poacher; he was interviewed on TV and claims to be a Traditional Hunter “that’s what I do”. Look if it was subsistence we would have more sympathy but nobody is starving around here. Issues of personal safety come hand in hand with this. We must lock cars at night; lock security gates; close curtains; be vigilant. Weekends are worse. Sigh.
Someone sent me an email announcing that next week Mars would rise and be as big as the moon! This stuff always thrills me and even when my more highbrow friends pour cold water on my dreams; I will still be watching at midnight on 26th or was it 27th? I like it when friends say ‘wow – I’ll be watching too because how amazing would it be if….”
Monkeys took one day to realise we were back. They are with us all day again and we are forced to live in a place with all doors and windows closed – something I swore I would never do… At the kitchen window particularly my every move is watched – especially after a trip to town to restock the fridge. Bags on the table, ok how many?
What is she taking out now…. Looks like bread – ok that lives over there… hmm fresh stuff goes into the tall white box against the wall; tins into the row of brown boxes on the other side behind the table. Here she comes rustling a packet!!! False alarm as it is dished into the rubbish bin.
We have an old Tupperware next to the sink which we call the monkey pot. All food scraps from plates and elsewhere goes into this pot and is then put outside for the various dependents. Yesterday K went to buy some food for the warthogs. We buy stuff called Hominy Chop which is coarsely chopped maize. This late in the season it is double the price and half mixed with woodchips! Wicked (in a bad sense). The molasses we buy at the local co-op is now so watered down they can no longer call it molasses but sweet syrup – shocking!
Warthogs are the first indicators of the state of grazing; the first to show bones and start falling to pieces. These guys have excavated every root in what used to be our lawn, and no doubt all the roots and tubers in the vicinity of their range too. Having been away we return to see them looking gaunt and tired. Sleeping warthogs are positioned all around the house. When K emerged with buckets of feed yesterday he quickly looked like the pied piper as about fifty warthogs came to heel, and the entire troop of monkeys dipped in and out of their wake – trying to convince him to drop the bucket their way first.
Oh well…. What you up to today?