Sunday, March 25, 2012

Home. What I miss, what I don't

I'm really missing home at the moment. Every now and then I stumble across a picture of the valley and feel my heart tug right out of my chest. So to remind myself:

Things I miss about home
The cicadas
Elephants walking silently past my window
Hippo sounds floating up from the river. Hippos chomping outside my window at night
Distant lion call
The smell of the potato bush in the early evening
The pockets of cold air in the long grass in winter
Reading animal tracks 
Smokey tea
Hot dry October heat
Sausage tree flowers
The small town camaraderie
Sundowners in the park
The carmine bee-eater colonies; crimson whipping out of holes in the riverbank like a flamenco dancer with a carmine scarf
The clear clear sky at night, all crunchy with stars
At this time of year, the ankle deep mud
My landrover
The August winds
Winterthorn trees
My mama, my uncle
The subtle change of season within the two obvious seasons (wet and dry!)
Having to drive six hours round trip to buy supplies 

Things I don't miss
The cicadas
The baboons. Jumping on my roof at dawn. The smell of baboon poo with the first rain. Breaking into my house and causing havoc
The politics with the chief
The streams of people at my door ever needing help
Taking twice as long to drive anywhere (outside the park) because you need to stop and give so many lifts 
Funerals. So much HIV
Hot dry October heat
The small town gossip
At this time of year the ankle deep mud. The mould, the mosquito bites that turn septic
The sideways rain that comes right in
Having to drive six hours round trip to buy supplies

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Time for some old pictures while, rarer than Tanzanite, I have a spare moment with both babies asleep. I have so much to say and I really really don't like neglecting this ol blog of mine but right now the reserves don't stretch that far. A two and a half year old and an eight week old - I'm sure you could market them to army training camps or something, to test people's stamina and ability to cope under duress.  Didn't someone do an experiment once with olympic athletes and two year olds - and the athletes couldn't keep up?

Aaaanyway. Crocodiles. I scroll through my album of old pictures looking for something that may be of interest and find these two.

The old foundations in the middle of our camp never got built on. They had dreams of being a house I guess but in the end but were only ever a sandpit for us kids, a training ring for Widdle the warthog, the origin of the name 'the ruins' for our camp (which confused many a baffled tourist) and, at one point, a home for my uncle's croc eggs. I'd spend hours watching those damn eggs, waiting for that squark-squeak of baby croc breaking through. Oh the excitement! And then I'd ever so gently help them out of the leathery egg and try to keep away from their pin-sharp teeth. I'd made one bite me once just to see. And never did that again!  

These baby crocs are fine, pretty cute, even. But when I was littler my small friend Salimu was washing clothes in ankle deep water in the river with his family and got taken from right under their noses. I can still hear the wailing of the women reverberating around camp. They shot the croc and found him inside, in three neat pieces. The croc was massive, laid out on the concrete slab behind the Chibembe kitchen with a big stick propping open its jaws.


Picture window

we've been having these major dust storms of late. hard to see from our window but normally you can see HILLS far and wide. rain's have started tho - so that should put and end to that for the next few months -  yay!