It’s Monday17th January 2005 andthe Flying Baboons


It’s Monday17th January 2005 andthe Flying Baboons

I am writing this on Saturday for reasons that will come clear. But first the week.

Jane Dennyson came to spend a couple of nights with us. Many of you will remember Jane from her time in the Valley and possibly from East Africa where she spent the next 3 years. It was wonderful to see her – she is always full of energy and fun. Debs and Kerrie took her out for a morning drive – the game was “plentiful” they reported. A highlight was watching a very young elephant following mum in the grass – it was barely visable. Note the egret watching on! Also a masked weaver weaving away with incredible industry.

As I had to be in the office for a reservation system installation (someone has to do these things!) so I decided that we, the workers left behind, should meet them for lunch. A picnic was packed and we boated over to Wakumba to meet the gameviewers. It was a spectacular day – blue skies and bright light. We ate, chatted, laughed, packed up an hour later and boated back to work. Not bad for a lunch break from the office.

The camp staff have now all left and we are down just a few of us. Yesterday was the final day for pay, handing in uniforms and the “jackpot” distribution. Every year we collect clothes, including donations from guests, the “no-longer-looking-new” equipment from the camps etc etc and as each camp closes we have a “jackpot”. Always funny as various outfits are tried on !! Here is Effrim (from office), with Edward (builder and scoundrel of note), both around 5 ft tall, trying on my leather jacket. It comes to his knees !!

We are now in the building time of year and are planning to rebuild a few of the bathrooms. The best way to design is to knock down the current building and then take a look. Robin is the designer for these and he has been contemplating the plans !! From a strategic point!!

Since then there has been more rain – mostly at night with the days still being dry. But the river has now risen alarmingly. Last night we had 60 mls (2.4 inches) and the water at the back of camp is pumping off the land. We went to check the bridges and it is now flowing over Robin’s Bridge.We spotted the baboons flying through theair over the water. And the water from the river is backing up into the lagoons at a pace and the two waters are meeting and generally there’s just LOTS OF IT !

The river main is rising – now over the “harbour” level and it has reached the steps of the bar. The river is rising measurably – an inch an hour ! So we are on flood alert 1. This basically means that everything needs to be raised as high as possible, especially furniture, electrical equipment, files etc. Packing up anything loose into boxes and storing high. Nearly all the vehicles have been driven out to higher ground – at the airport.

If the river continues to rise by tomorrow I may have to start packing the office – ouch !
But hopefully it will stabalise or retreat as I really do not fancy that job. But the positive side is that you have a very good spring clean! So I am writing this today – incase we are flooded by Monday. Robin and I have a two storey house and those left in camp will sleep dormitory style upstairs. But I am sure it will not come to that.

I am writing this after another boat trip on Saturday – we simply cannot resist going out there – it is so dramatic. Another trip into Wakomba and we left Adam stranded on a tree, along with many insects that are all hanging onto the dry places.

So have a great week, and stay well
From a very beautiful but wet Luangwa!
Cheers

Jo

Note on Monday – river level has now dropped 20 cm and the water wing armbands have been removed!

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