Friday, March 14, 2008

The birds and the bees, and the flowers.....

Who knew I would turn into a nature lover? And who was more surprised than me (or Roger....) when I didn’t scream when one of the locusts on steroids you see below landed on my leg?

Yes, I’m getting to know all the 2, 4 and 6 legged critters that call the Kalahari their home. The kids in camp have even nicknamed one of the friendly birds, Puff (above). Poor thing needs an orthodontist as its beak is curled up, but fortunately it doesn’t stop him from eating moths and bugs all day long.

Below is a picture of the bug with the best camouflage – it measures about 8” long and looks exactly like a twig --- and will stay in the same spot for hours. We had a big windstorm a couple of weeks ago, and it was hanging on for dear life as I was closing up the tarps in the kitchen tent.

I like this other one because of what looks like huge eyes on its wings!
Today I felt like I was in a Telus commercial when I had a chameleon in my hand – what a cool reptile (is this me talking?) as I saw it turn from green to yellow! I was told it would turn black if it got mad....the smile is one of delight and panic --- such is the story of my life!

Work here is definitely at a different pace than what Roger is used to. Seems that equipment is either breaking down or the crew gets time off (every Sunday and for 6 days every 3 weeks). Frustrating getting momentum going for people used to having increased production as a main goal.

We went into Gaborone for 2 nights in a lovely hotel when the crew was off a couple of weeks ago. Must admit I enjoyed having long showers without keeping one eye open, and staying clean for more than ½ an hour! Best of all, someone else did the cooking and we had some great meals.

On Sundays we drive into Malahapye to get groceries. Traffic jams come from the cattle, donkeys and goats meandering across the road. Although we’ve had very little rain, when it does, beautiful flowers bloom as you can see by these delicate purple plants in our camp.

Yesterday I asked Obert and Patrick to clean up the path to our tent, and rake around it so we’ll be able to see if any snakes have come by. They did a great job, but this morning, I was concerned when I saw a long skinny indent in the sand. It didn’t look like other snake tracks I had seen....but thinking it is better to be safe than sorry, I asked Obert and Patrick to check it out. Good thing I did, as the marks turned out to be the dreaded ‘electrical cord’ that had been moved last night! Ahhh...guess I’m still a city girl, after all!

My Setswana vocabulary is up to about 20 phrases; Kago and Tippi (the camp cleaners) are my teachers and they get a kick out of me trying to learn. Obert is a very nice man from Zimbabwe (the best workers seem to be from there) and he explains about different animals, plants etc.

The next game we must play is “Beat the Clock”.....we are here on 90 day tourist visas and time is flying by with no sign of our work/residency permits......But, you know the Kinleys....always working on that Plan B!

Sala sentle (stay well).


Anonymous said...

Hello my friends! My you both look so relaxed and nicely tanned. It must really beat this crazy hectic world we live in over here! You are not really mising much - except for your lovely hot showers!!! Have a wonderful and happy easter! Paul and I are off to see my parents in Winnipeg!!! Yipee!!! Take care! Love You! Linda

Anonymous said...

Oh my God!
I don't think I will be able to maintain my composure if a locust like THAT lands on me (or any other ultra large bug, for that matter)!
I think that would be the only thing I could possibly not be looking forward to about this trip! haha

Can't wait to see you two.