It’s Monday 30th April 2007 and the busy bees

It’s Monday 30th April 2007 and the busy bees

A busy week indeed. Last Tuesday Robin was re-opening some of our roads behind camp with Max and Jonathan. Leading the way with Max following behind in the tractor they found themselves in constant company with elephants. Max slightly less used to these neighbors spent his time devising a tactical escape from tractor to Land Cruiser if things got tight, but was finally reassured by Robin who was completely at ease with the situation. Coming round a corner they were greeted by a herd of seventy elephants in one of the lagoons and wasting no time Robin came straight back to the office:

“Jo – you have to come and see the new roads, the country is lovely”
“What do you think I do all day – I’m busy, go away”
“No, you really must come”

Max on the tractorElephant herd

There was no way I was getting out of this one. So without knowing what was happening I rather huffily joined him and off we went. Well it was magical and we watched up to seventy elephants feeding, drinking, bathing and scratching. Quite magical. And only five minutes from the office.

Baby elephantElephants in the mud

(note baby elly preparing for a mock charge – the victim? – a starling!)

The next day we had the surveyors in from Lusaka, to resurvey our land. Their equipment was incredibly high tech and accurate up to 0.002 cm. Amazing But over the two days of surveying, on foot, they spent more time dodging the elephants in the area than looking at the equipment.

More elephantsSurveyors

With that done Robin and Ton (Director) drove up to Tena Tena to deliver the generator. Kerri and Daudi had gone up to their respective camps to step up the camp building. With only three weeks to go the pressure is on. However, the Kawaluzi River is still a challenge and has to be crossed first on foot to see if the sandbags have slipped. The bridge is in place although you cannot see it here. It is a steel frame under the water.

Bridge still underwaterDriving over the bridge

Out of all our camps, Tena Tena was the most hit by the flood. The bar was already being pulled down for a rebuild but the dinning room fell into the river. The “back of house” kitchen area no longer had enough space and so major rethinking has been done. Of course this has forced us to do what we probably should have done by now anyway, a bit of redesigning. So we have come up with some very cunning and exciting plans. I do not want to go into details until it is all up and running when I can show you by photos.

Robin measuring out the new kitchenLunga Lagoon

Meanwhile here is Robin measuring out the new kitchen. This is not as easy as it looks. Getting the corners to be right angles requires string and knowledge of Pythagoras’s triangle. Max and I had a nine meter by three meter rectangle to measure out yesterday (a new tree nursery). Well we did everything as we should have but it came out a meter narrower at one end!

Every time Robin visits Tena Tena he comes back with tales of Lunga Lagoon and the animals he has seen there. This visit there were buffalo, crocs, a pod of thirty hippos, and a family of elephants crossing the lagoon. I cannot wait to get up there but I will certainly delay until the grading of the bumpy roads has been done.

Touch RugbyPrizes

Yesterday the safari community held an annual event. The Johnny Ambrose Touch Rugby Tournament. Touch rugby is played sporadically in the valley – a great way to get some exercise and each year we hold a tournament in remembrance of Johnny, a guide who tragically died in an accident. Johnny loved the game and played as much as he could. So I hope you were watching Johnny! (Rob here in full action, and cup being given to winning team)

Oh and one final thing – Max has been training the national park staff football team for a couple of weeks now. And yesterday they had a match. Max came back beaming – they had won and their football had improved dramatically. The loosing team have now asked for some coaching.

I told you it was a busy week. And there is much I have had to miss out!
Have a wonderful week.



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