After much campaigning from the volunteers it was decided that in fact it would be nice to be able to use the pool, as even in the cold season it is still warm enough for a dip in the pool to be a nice respite. Unfortunately the pool had not been properly cleaned for many weeks and the water in the bottom was probably about 50% water and 50% elephant spit, baboon ... umm, shall we say, “smelly cakes” and a general algae growth mix. So the pool had to be drained and then properly scrubbed and sterilised before it could be re-filled and made useable, after being initially emptied the pool got filled a little so the it could be scrubbed with bleach and stuff. To avoid draining the nasty bleach-water into the normal watering hole that animals drink from we had to dig a secondary drain that was meant to allow the water to soak into the ground and cause less harm, it kind of worked, though the road did become a river for a little while ... We also raised the walls on the water hole drain so that the pool could be drained all at once (or at least a bit more at a time), and that was quite a lot of shovelling, so we all hope that it is a while before an elephant decides to kick it down. So after the pool was properly cleaned, we began to fill it up again and added chlorine to keep it clean every day ... though people didn’t realise that a ankle high pool doesn’t need the same amount of chlorine as a full pool, so the pool is extremely chlorinated at the moment, even though it is now above waist height it is still so cloudy you can’t make out anything over a foot away in the water. But we are not going to add any more chlorine for a while so hopefully in about a week the pool should be utterly purrrrrrrrrfect and all the volunteers will be enjoying a dip in the frozen water every day!
Jeg heter Syver Flem og jeg har vært med på dette bevaringsprosjektet i Botswana. Dette var en fantastisk, tenkte jeg når vi kom dit.Fullt av ville dyr sprang over veiene. Jeg er den første nordmannen som har vært her og jeg er 16 ar. Altså den yngste av de som var her. Den første dagen var jeg spent på hva vi skulle gjore. Vi dro ut med Land-roveren. Road-clearing var det første vi skulle gjorde, jeg fikk bruke machete, noe jeg syntes var veldig kult. De som hadde vært her viste meg hvordan jeg skulle gjore det. Lærte fort hvordan jeg skulle bruke det og nå er jeg ganske flink til det.
På vei tilbake fra arbeidet vårt i den nordre delen av reservatet, møtte vi på 10-20 elefanter og jeg sa bare: WOW!
Jeg hadde aldri sett ville elefanter før. Under dette prosjektet så jeg minst 60-80 elefanter. Impalaer var overalt. Flodhest og krokodriller fant vi nede ved elven. Hver dag dro vi ut med bil for å arbeide. Det var ikke noe spesielt tungt arbeid. men det var interessant. På ettermiddagen dro vi ut pa noe som het bio-drive og under turen så vi mange forskjellige dyr og planter. En kveld kjørte vi ut i busken for å grille.Det syntes jeg var veldig hyggelig.
Å dra på noe som dette prosjektet synes jeg er verdt å gjøre for hver og en av dere som synes dette høres spennende ut og for de son bryr seg om dyr og planter. Dette er også en perfekt mulighet til å forbedre engelsken.
Have we finished??.........no not quite!!.........the giant Baobab glass mosaic is still under construction. Trunk almost complete, the upper branches are going to take shape very shortly and the challenges of working higher up on the wall, chairs, scaffolding and ladders are a must, the height of the tree will be reached and completion should be on the home stretch.
Many thanks again to all volunteers who have toiled, blood, sweat and tears (well maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, a small cut or two perhaps!) to help this project along the way. We also have some other work of arts on our new buildings and some very decorative window surrounds have emerged as well as a recent mosaic giraffe. The finished piece of art will be shown shortly, I promise!
The Fire Pit at North Camp
Some would call it a work of art, some would straight away imagine the glow of the fire and being huddled around and some would see it for practical usage. However for whatever vision comes to mind all would agree that this fire pit is a feature of the North Camp base.
Sitting beneath the magnificent, thousand’s of years old Mashatu tree it blends in harmony with its background. Sunken into the ground with a couple of small walls around the sides for wind barriers and a place to sit, the top of the pit is inscribed in a spiral like manner with the following......
This Fire Pit, the key to the universe, a temple to the spirit of human creativity was imagined, dreamt, evolved, designed, engineered, raised and exalted through the wisdom strength and perserverance of Ian, Floris, James, Jaques, Rob, Tom, Dreas, Fran, Suwon, Elettra, Aurelie, Freia and Sakaeo.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who worked on the project.........
Hippos Watch Us 'Tree Wrap'
Setting out on our morning mission armed with hammers and wire, nails and pliers, our group of new volunteers wondered what the 'tree wrapping' venture was all about. Led by Ian and assisted by Fran, the trail followed from camp along the river. Crunching under foot the dryness of the brittle twigs and leaves, the clear crispness of the morning air with its silence of a relatively calm bush echoed our footsteps. With the odd bird cry luring our eyes in their direction and nearing the river to look for a place to set up our work station, almost immediately the most enormous grunts and squirts greeted our ears and snapped our attention. Glancing at the Limpopo and staring back at us was the gigantic head of a hippo. A new sight for most in the group, we crept closer and closer to get a better veiw. Ducking below the water we waited for another bobbing. Not disappointed of course and with a grunt and the blowing water out of its nostrils it again surfaced for air. Watching for a while we thought we better tackle the task at hand and with an explanation and demo from Ian the group broke into 2 teams. Wrapping the trees with a view to deter elephants from stripping the bark is the purpose of the task, as a fence wire is wrapped in a spiral like manner, each spiral about 30cm apart and then wound up to a height of about 5-6 ft of the tree. Continuing for a couple of hours, the hippo watched us cautiously. Being joined by a friend both grunted and watched as we continued our work. Curious to our presence or for the enjoyment of our company, the entertainment on both sides made it a Saturday morning to remember.
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