It’s Monday 23rd May 2005 and the Clan Returns

I am officially “on off” for the week as it is the “Wedding Week”. Jess and Ade, the managers of Flatdogs, are getting married in the bush on Wednesday. Jess has been in the Valley for years, and in fact worked at Nkwali in 1991. Around fifty people have flown in from all over the world for this exciting occasion, including a few characters some of you will know! Possum and sis Anna arrived last week, followed by the legendary Holty (as in Chris). Both Poss and Chris worked with us through the nineties.

ChrisWatching the leopard
Yesterday morning at our house, Robin and I were wide awake at five o’clock, reading. I think it was the two hippo munching in the water hole that had awoken us. Suddenly the resident herd of impala went ballistic. Snorting, stamping and rushing around. There was very little light but we crept out onto the balcony, where Chris was sleeping. With his binos, Robin picked up a leopard who was stalking. After some ten minutes of incredible noise and fuss from the impala there was a rush and a short yelp. The leopard had killed, just inside the grassline. By now I had awoken Chris who lay in bed with his binos watching as two young hyena stole the kill. We had no idea where the leopard was. The hyena fed for a while, one clearly being dominant and getting the “lions” share (sorry for the pun!) and then dragging the carcass off into deeper bush. Then the leopard returned and we could see the white tip to the tail, flashing in the grass. What a start to the day.

Inspection of Kawaza SchoolGreeting Poss and Chris

Our morning was spent visiting Tena Tena and Nsefu who have only two days to go before opening. On the way we diverted for a quick visit to the school to check on progress and see how the third classroom block was going. Then onto Tena Tena. Ross has been up there for six weeks and has done an amazing job. The new “honeymoon” room is great. But anyone who has not see this before would think – “ no chance of opening on time” !! But all will be fine. Poss and Chris were of course greeted by everyone with lots of laughter and shaking of hands – they had worked with our staff for year.

Polishing the SilverRobin with Mr President Daudi chatting about the generator

Nsefu is much easier to open as less “temporary” but there was a great scene of polishing the silver amongst all the drying sheets! And Robin with Mr President Daudi chatting about the generator.

I was classically being bossy, keeping us on schedule and saying “on on” as our allotted forty minutes per camp was up. We did have the “Johnny Ambrose Cup” to return to. Every year we all get together to play touch rugby in memory of Johnny, a guide who lost his life here by an elephant. And with the influx for the wedding it was a huge event with – over a hundred people which is certainly as big as our gatherings ever get.

the Johnny Ambrose cupin walks Basil

And in the middle of it all in walks Basil and there were huge hugs and kisses all round. Baz, our ex workshop manager, lived in the valley for fifteen years before emigrating to Australia (with Beats, a mobile caterer!). He has not been back since he left four years ago so “great joy in the land” as Robins says.

A wonderful Sunday!

Until next week

Jo

Tena Tena honeymoon tent
Tena Tena honeymoon tent

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