22 September 2010

New Volunteers

Clive arrives late Saturday afternoon with the new volunteers.  All of a sudden Alice and I are the ‘old’ pros and we greet the newbies, remembering our own journey to camp, only 2 weeks earlier.  A few of them are quite travel weary, having travelled to Namibia over a number of days and then making the 3 hour drive to camp.  We make them welcome and chat till quite late that night to the boys, who are quite happy to stay up, given they had arrived the day before and spent a night at the backpackers in town.P9130001

The new volunteers include Rory and Jamie, the ‘youngsters’ of the group who have just finished high school & deferred their place at Uni for a gap year.  Jamie plans to be here for 12 weeks before taking off to Australia, and Rory may work for awhile after this experience to explore the world a little more.  Then there is David, originally from Wales, who now lives in Switzerland & works in IT and Sue, a mother and grandmother from England, having a break from work and family.  Anna is from Germany and is in between her Uni studies in Chemistry and Geography and Kristen hales from California.  She is actually from the Bay Area and tells me her entire family has studied in Berkeley (although she herself went off to Ohio), so I have fun reminiscing about my own days there.

Alice and I join the orientation drive and although I don’t take too many photos, the giraffe, steenbok and ground squirrels caught my eye.

JPEGS 2010 09 12 Orientation That afternoon, we set off leopard tracking and just as she did on our first game JPEGS 2010 09 12 Game Drive-1drive, Shakira makes an appearance on a tree.   Unfortunately, she is still quite far away and jumps down a few minutes after we pull up, so this is the best that I could do.

We drive for hours before we finally get a signal from MJ but she proves elusive tonight.  The sun is setting and she does not come out of the thick bush from where we think she must be watching us. 

Even as we decide to turn back, Rion gets a call from one of the guides to say Mufana has been found.  She apparently has blood in her mouth and is resting at a river bed.  Unfortunately, he is in quite another direction from where we are, but

Rion is determined to find a leopard for us tonight.  We drive on roads we have never travelled before, until we finally spot Mufana.  It is past eight when we stumble back into camp and we are quite thankful to find that Clive has lit the fire and cooked us dinner!

JPEGS 2010 09 12 Game Drive "It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy."-  Horace Kephart

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