August 6, 2011


1pm

Today's poo/print additions are civet, genet, aardvark, buffalo, warthog, and steenbok. No sightings of the animals themselves, but it's neat just to know they're around.

An elephant came into our camp last night. It repeatedly slammed its head against a nearby palm tree to get the nuts to fall. Thuso and David got up to add fuel to the fire so that the elephant would stay away from the tents. And I? I slept through the whole thing. That may be some kind of record for me. The elephant showed up again later in the morning, but we were away on a bush walk. David and Rama had to bang pots together to keep it away from camp. Exciting!


9pm

I want to remember this forever, how the acacia trees are silhouetted by the moonlit sky, the mokoros illuminated by the same moon, the southern cross bright, the fire crackling, the dark and subtle reflections on the water, the sound of a million frogs, elephants trumpeting in the distance, and everyone else asleep in their tents Nick and Kathy, David, Thuso and Reuben and Rama.

This place looks so still but sounds so alive. I could stare out at this image forever the three mokoros slanted in the water and parallel with each other, the poles resting in the sand, the water, the trees, the sky, the stars.

We saw an elephant this afternoon. There he was, a big old bull, alone. He seemed to move in slow motion, as if his sheer mass enabled him to defy space and time. He was standing at the water's edge, looking into the middle distance. And then, without even looking in our direction, he scented our arrival and began a slow and methodical retreat, splashing through the water. (But to write "splash" seems so inaccurate, as that is such a quick sound what is the word for a splash that takes a full seven seconds?)

We floated gently away, watching the sun set from the mokoros, pink and orange, and then returned to camp.

I sit by the fire now, alone, listening to the symphony of sound.

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