Friday, 25 November 2011

Day 26!!!


So sorry for the delay my friends, i have so much to tell you I hardly know where to begin. Since my visit to the super spar on Monday we have experienced some very large storms here in SA, they are incredible. So beautiful and very LOUD!!! However, this has meant that the electricity has been rocky which as a result has messed up the internet connection! HOW RUDE the weather can be sometimes, does it not know how important I and my blog is??? However, today is bright and beautiful and the connection here on the farm is good, so i will fill you all in.

Tuesday I was poorly, which was SOOOOOOO boring as i was at the cottage all day feeling frustrated that i couldnt help on the farm...And that was Tuesday! BORING!

Wednesday...Now wednesday was a goooood day! On Wednesday morning myself and Andiley one of the staff dudes here went to scrub clean all of the water holes in the enclosures, it was very cool and  there was another storm on the way. As the water system here runs by solar energy and we hadnt had much sun over the beginning of the week the water pressure was really low which meant after cleaning the second water hole we had to give up and move on to something else. However, it was a good task and the scrubbing gave my arms a good work out. I did crush my fingers a few times against the wall, but hey ho, theres nothing wrong with a bit of hard work and a few bruises. After being defeated we headed off to find the others who were cleaning the enclosures so we joined in and helped.

It was after lunch that i really had a great time. Quentin and I went for a walk with the two hyena cubs around the game part of the farm and it was so nice. First of all, we got followed by a butterfly which kept landing on myself and Quentin, we turned this into a bit of a photo shoot and enjoyed taking advantage of the little flutter beast whilst in lasted. About 50 pictures later however we suddenly remembered the purpose of the walk and turned our attention back to Dhubba and Sparky! Bless them. They were having a wonderful time running around enjoying the open space and lying in dirty puddles. They really are the sweetest things, i am going to steal Dhubba and pretend he is a battery operated cuddly toy when i get to customs. I cant think why they wouldnt believe me. If you say it with conviction they will believe you! :) Anyway, we had a really lovely walk...until it was time to go back. I think it took us about an hour to capture Dhubba who i carried back to the enclosure like a naughty little child and Sparky was still playing a winning game of hide and seek! Haha, when Quentin had finally caught him i heard him say in his finest french accent 'I am fed up of your shit boy!' haha which did make me laugh somewhat as i looked at Sparkys little face! I have a picture of it but will have to show you another time.

When we finally got them both back we fed all of the cubs and said goodnight to them in their little house. Bless them.

Thursday - We went for an anti poaching walk yesterday morning which was hard going, i possibly my face by the end may have been that of a pissed off teenager. It tool us about 3 hours and we were walking through thick bust up and down hills, hot work and i forgot my sunglasses and theres nothing i hate more than having the sun in my eyes. can only imagine! HA! I did find some amusement  however when i asked Peter (on of the dutch men, hes 68! Fair play to him) if he had slept well the night before? And he said that he didnt, and i almost asked him if that was because his farts kept waking him up! hahahahahaa....but i realised that although this may seem funny to me, it may not seem funny to him so instead i just giggled to myself...for about 30 minutes! To be fair, they are loud!

WHen we got back from the walk we were all exhausted but luckily we didnt find any snares which is GREAT! AND what was also GREAT was that it was Bonnies birthday! Hooorah! And she had brought a lot of different cookies and biscuits to celebrate, SO we all sat on the grass in the shade and had a good sugar intake. It was lovely. After recovering i went and had a nice play with the babies and got some funny pics of them jumping in the air. Lovely.

After lunch yesterday we went off with Meg and Amy the pretty lionesses for a walk...we didnt walk them OBVS but Rodney did, we stayed in the cars and watched, we were supposed to get in the cage afterwards and watch them roam around, however, Amy had other plans! Amy didnt want to play yesterday and in fact she decided she didnt want to hang around with us humans any more and took herself off for a nice long walk to almost another farm altogether, of course this would not have gone down too well with Farmer whoeveritis so Rodney had to put Meg away and then go and get Amy back! haha, it is great when they just do what they want, i love it! We sat and watched him try and entice her back with freshly diced meat chunks which worked in the end. She definitely had a look on her face which said 'Why dont you just piss off Rodders, im having a nice time by myself!' haha. Poor Rodney. But anyway, given her mood it was decided that sitting in a cage and taking pictures of her probably wouldnt be fair to her so instead we took them back to their enclosure to chill out a bit!

Poor Amy would be feeling a bit pissed off right now though even if she wasnt already, as this morning (Friday morning) the vet chris came to inject some of the lionesses and female leopard with a contraceptive drug which lasts for 2 years. This was really interesting and we were lucky enough to help. Amy was amongst those getting this done along with Gabby and iIkita the black leopard who is mother to Duke and Tyson the cubs. We did Gabby first and before the vet could inject the contraceptive he had to put the girls to sleep. So we watched Gabby fall into a haze and then deep slumbar before we all had to help carry her into the shade! Now im telling you, to get Gabby into the shade we had to move her about 8 meters max! And there were 7 adults helping to lift her and we had to stop 3 times because she was that heavy! Sheeeesh, that girl was hefty! And Chris the Vet actually grabbed her throat at one point at which time a little noise came out of her mouth like a cry and i swear to god i was almost out of that enclosure as fast as you could say 'KitKat'! I thought she had woken up and was going to kill us all...however, it was just because of where his hand was so acting as cool as a cucumber i re-grabbed her back legs and continued to help! such a scaredy cat!

So that was the process with all 3 of the cats. And once the contraceptive drug had been injected they were all given a reversal drug which is used to help them re-gain consciousness. Now, i only saw Gabby come too afterwards and all i can say is that was one high cat! She was flying. Seeing her walk was an interesting sight. If you can imagine a lion drinking about 5 gallons of vodka, thats pretty much what she looked like, her 4 legs getting wrapped around each other! But its all good and soon she will be back with Bobcat who misses her terribly...I know because he told me!

And thats that! Its lunch time now and im just eating my lunch, although i've just gone to get my banana out of my bag only to find its been squished to pulp so I wont be eating that, there is banana puss all over the place! Not good. Ive got some grapes though so i should be ok.

I forgot to say that we made a nice dinner for Bonnie last night for her Birthday, salad and a couple of pasta dishes. I was shocked and amazed that Swedish Girl offered to help is prepare it! In fact i almost fell over when she asked if she could help, i must have been staring at her gormlessly for about 5 seconds until i responded 'Oh yes, that would be nice, thank you!' Haha, but it was a lovely evening, we invited some of the guys who work on the farm to come and we put on some of Arthurs dance music! :) We even lit some candles! Tonight we are going out for dinner and have got her a cake so that should be nice. I think the guys have just returned from the lion park with the meat so i must go and see if they followed my orders correctly and have returned with my can of appletiser, if they have failed on this important mission then i have no option but to scream in their faces!!! i wouldnt do that, i told them if their wasn't appletiser they should get me fanta instead! EVERYONES A WINNER!

Anyhoo, i cant believe that tomorrow will be my last shift on the farm! It has gone so quick i cannot believe it! But what an amazing time i have had. I cannot begin to tell you how happy i am to have done so much and i have loved every minute with the animals and the people here. It will be so sad to say good bye. I am sure i will blog again before i leave so i wont say farewell just yet. But until then, have a wonderful Friday night people, Friday nights are happy nights afterall.


Monday, 21 November 2011

Day 22!!!


Hold on...I need a drink....

Thats better! Ahhhhh...SPRITE, hast become my salvation out here i can tell you. Sprite and Appletizer. Loverly. It is currently 18:37 out here and is a very lovely evening. Im sat outside with some of the other volunteers, Arthur and Swedish girl have gone out for dinner. The crickets are on form as per usual and i am enjoying nibbling on some billtong which i purchased today at the superspar. Now, let me just talk about the superspar with you for just a few moments. For the past couple of weeks we have been taken to just a regular spar on a monday to get our groceries which has been pleasant and suffice. It has always been well stocked with tomatoes and tomato juice so i have always been happy. However, today we were taken to the SUPERSPAR...well, i didnt know what i was missing. As you walk into the store you are immediately slapped in the face by the sweet smell of the dairy section. There are cakes galore and not just your normal sponge or muffin but massive cakes covered in all different flavoured frosting, 10 inches thick, and hand made chocolates and coockies with neatly placed cherries on and one portion of chocolate caramel cake is about the size of my head. Granted i have a small head but still, i was amazed...gosh this billtong is hot! WOWZA! So anyway, myself and Camille bought a nice array of sweet goodies which we shared with the others when we got back with a nice cup of tea. Unfortnately the selection pack of mutlicoloured cupcakes which we got most excited about got smashed up in the car so i had to scrape the frosting back on top, so they didnt look so good by the time of consumption, however they still tasted good. And who knew that coffee and strawberry flavoured could taste so good together? Even if by accident!

SO that was just the dairy section, then there was the fruit section and then the hot biffet section which had mash potato and creamed spinach!!! OMG!!! Lush! But i wont talk to you about food all night as thats not what i am here for...OBVS!

Sorry i havent been able to uploas any pictures for you this weekend on facebook, i did not go back to the hotel on Sunday, which was yesterday. Instead i had a very nice lie in which i really appreciated! I got up around 10am and drank almost a carton of tomato juice which made me feel a bit sick so i went back to bed for an hour! hahahaha...oh dear! Then i got ready and myself and Evelyn walked from the cottage to the Portugese Restaurant which took us about 50 minutes. It was mostly uphill and we did have to walk past about 4 properties which had killer dogs waiting outside for us which was a bit scary, luckily there were electric fences between us and the beasts so we remained safe. The funniest was the 2 Yorkshire Terriers who tried to have a go, one sporting a bright red collar! Ha, its always the small ones hey! The alasations on the other hand did look like they might rip us to pieced if we gave them half a chance. After all of the barking we had a very pleasnt walk in the sunshine to the restaurant. We were a bit sweaty when we arrived, but 2 cans of appletize later we were relaxed and it wasnt long until the others arrived to join us who has booked a lift. I was glad of the exercise although my feet and ankles didnt get very tanned which vexed me somewhat.

We stayed at the restaurant for a good few hours and left as the evening started to set in, back at the cottage we had a good chat outside and shared stories. I got my new playing cards out but for some reason nobody wanted to play with me! So i continues solo with a game of solitaire for which Arthur began to call me an old lady! But i dont care because i heard him farting in his sleep the other night! hahahaha. I had the pleasure of telling him so as well! Much to the pleasure of the other volunteers.

Last night the heavens opened, a true african storm, the wind was so strong i am surprised that the cottage wasnt swept away and the the thunder continued all night. It really sounded like some god upstairs decided to have a laugh and switch on a giant tap and let the water just pour down in one huge gush! I couldnt help but feel very sorry for the baby cubs. When we woke this morning the wind had calmed down but the rain was still pouring, we were all soaked by the time we got to the bridge let alone the farm. I went with Quentin to let the cubs out of their house and they were sooooooo cute! Duke pounced on Quentin as soon as he opened the upper gate and following behind him was Tyson who leapt on me with his paws either side of my neck, so i gave him a good cuddle and spin and let him scoot off for his morning piddle. With the rain it didnt take them long to hey soaked and they look so kitten like when they are wet. I think because it was so cool for a change they had lots of energy and did lots of running around. There was a jolly large runny cub poop in the house which myself, Camille and Evelyn had to clear up just before we fed them, but not before Sparky and Dhubba had had their fun of standing in it and walking the pooey footprints around the rest of the house! Not appreciated! Howver, they have the most adorable faced that i just laugh whenever they look at me so decided that they were smelly hyenas and instinct is greater than domestic decorum. So that was that and we managed to clean the house and get them all fed without much trouble. We were just absolutely drenched wet.

So, after all of that it was decided that with the rain as bad as it was we couldnt really do the fence checks which is what we were supposed to do this morning and instead headed off to the superspar earlier than usual. A very nice shopping experience indeed despite the fact that after moaning about the fact that we hadnt been taken to this particular spar before which is in a complex with more shops, Swedish girl decided that she would bugger off for a good hour without telling anyone where she was going. We had to wait for her to show up at which point she had several shopping bags including what  looked like 2 pairs of shoes looking very pleased with herself. After explaining that we had been looking and waiting for her we piled into the van all ready to leave. We were all shivering by this point and Quentin had to get back to work...but hold on! Where was Swedish girl now??? OH! Silly me, she is outside the van having a cigarette whilst we all wait for her a little bit more...bloody cheek.

AND whilst im on a rant let me tell you this, we get back to the cottage and the kitchen is in a right bloody mess and the fridge is full of out of date food that past volunteers have left so we all decide to have a jolly good clear out, so we all decide that anything unaccounted for or out of date goes in the bin. Well, as soon as we all start to muck in Swedish disappears outside with a grapetize, packet of cookies and another fag! Which is rude enough BUT then she came and told me off rather aggressively for throwing away her ham!!!...WELL...I CAN TELL YOU THIS! SHE WONT BE BLOODY SPEAKING TO ME LIKE THAT AGAIN!!!!!!!! I had a private cheer from the other volunteers later on.

And on that note, i bid you a good night. Hopefully i will have more animal stories for you tomorrow, which is, after all what this is all about. :)

PS Erika was kept indoors this morning because of the rain so i haven't seen her today! :(

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Day 20!!!

Hello there...

I am back! Apologies to those eager followers of mine who missed my blog yesterday! I am sure you didn't know what to do with yourselves when you saw that there was nothing to read. Haha...Ok, maybe not, i am not quite at columnist importance but maybe one day hey. The truth be known i went out for dinner last night with the other volunteers, all except Swedish girl who was too tired. It was a Portuguese restaurant about a 10 minute drive away, it felt odd to be doing something so urban on a work night but that is what we did. I kept forgetting it was a Friday and was concerned at how many people in the bar were getting drunk and enjoying the live music which consisted of a one woman band and her equipment. She was ok. A couple of dodgy starts. When i realised it was the weekend i stopped worrying about how sore heads were going to be in the morning and just laughed at them instead. I myself was on Sprite as I had to take the day off from the farm on Thursday! Alas, you may remember me mentioning having a super spicy dinner in the hope of a burst of energy in my last blog??? However, the effect was not in fact what i had anticpated and actually spent the night and following day dashing to the lavatory! This would not have gone down well if i had of gone to the farm as toilets are few and far between! Led in bed with stomach cramps and cold sweats, i decided i had made the right choice! Next time i choose my spices i shall be more thoughtful to myself. I would like to say that it tasted MARVELLOUS at the time! :) Yum!

So that was my Thursday, not very interesting i am afraid. And then yesterday i went off to the Lion Park with Cat one of the volunteers to skin some meat. Unfortunately for us, all of the meat donated to us this week (if donated is the right word as i dont know what would be done with it if we didnt take it!) has been cow. And this meant that we had to skin the whole lot, usually there has been some horse and maybe some kudu or something which doesnt need to be skinned as the skin is much softer for the lions, but no, it was all cow. I observed and experienced some rather fatty limbs which belonged to a black cow, i didnt have the pleasure of meeting him face to face...or seeing his face, but the leg, bladder area and mid section that i had the pleasure of working with was particularly fatty...the old beefer! I imagine that if he was a human he would have been a bit like Pavarotti! But maybe without the voice.  Bless them both.

In the afternoon half the volunteers went off to feed the lions and the other half which included myself did some weeding which was actually very fun despite the physical challenge due to a particularly jolly sing song between myself, Cat and Camille, I think we may have covered everything from 90s Rap to Disney to foreign Christmas songs. Excellent!

Today has been a cleaning day so i dont have too much to say really, although Swedish Girl announced she wasnt coming with us today as she hurt her foot on THURSDAY. Now, considering today is SATURDAY this confused us all somewhat. Especially as she seemed to be limping around the bedroom this morning which we havent noticed before! However, a bad foot is a bad foot afterall, and it makes perfect sense that because of her bad foot she had to stay in bed ALL day today so that she could recover from the damage. Although, she did manage to get up to put on a clothes wash...this consisted of washing just her bra in the washing machine...she has done this twice now. Again, this does confuse us all slightly...But, you may be happy to know that the limp has gone now, and we think she will survive. So thats a blessing.

We are having a Braai tonight and have invited some of the staff along, they arrived about 10 minutes ago so i really should go and join in the festivities and stop typing away...and poking fun out of people with bad feet. Shame on me. I have made my token salad and Arthur and Peter are in charge of meat tonight so hopefully people wont be having charcoal for dinner as my attempt last week turned out. Cat leaved tomorrow so its kind of a farewell too...

Ok my dears, take care and enjoy your Saturday evening. I plan on having a lovely lie in tomorrow and then i plan to tan my feet as i am currently sporting lovely tanned calves alongside white feet and ankles...Its not a good look for me.

To you, ADIEU! xxxxx

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Day 17!!!

Day 17!!!


Howzit! Boy oh boy, I am serleeeeeeeeeepy! Yip yip yip! It isn’t as hot as last week, but for some reason I am feeling a little knakered. I am going to have myself a particularly spicy dinner in hope that it will give me a kick up the backside!

You will be pleased to know that Erika is very much enjoying her new toys. When I went by to see her tonight, she was staring in the mirror talking to herself so I take this as a good sign. There were also signs of her snack treats having been nibbled at so that was also very pleasing. We have a new game that we like to play, its basically her just trying to bite the tip of my finger off as I move it from one side of the cage to another and she just runs backwards and forwards. I get the impression that after a while she finds it slightly frustrating so I have started to let her think she has won by poking a twig through the cage and letting her have it…it seems only fair. Otherwise im just puffing out the poor chick for nothing.

So…what have I been up to since my last blog…Well, yesterday was Tuesday and we finally got to meet Kevin properly. It was really interesting, he took us around the farm and was full of info and stories about the lions. I have do many pictures of him rolling around with the Lions. They really do love him and he really does love them, it was wonderful to see. What was nice was that he didn’t rush around, he spent a lot of time with us, explaining about the animals and their characters, but what was really interesting was hearing him speak about the work they are doing on the farm and what they are trying to achieve. Kevin and his wife Mandy clearly have a huge passion for the work they are doing along with Rodney, Quentin and all of the staff at the Kingdom. It made me very proud to be helping out, even if in just a small way. I look forward to sharing some of the pictures with you, when you see the way Kevin and the animals look at each other you will know what I am jabbering on about.

After lunch we fed the animals, it was a lots of chicks yesterday which meant that cleaning the enclosures today was really mucky. Lots of egg yoke everywhere. YUK! But again, its always nice feeding the lions as they come right up to you and make the sweetest noises, its funny hearing a massive predator sound like a desperate kitten. The hyenas are another story however, as soon as they see the food they start to laugh and it is the best noise you will ever hear! Its like the food comes out of the van and they fall into hysterics just at he sight of it. Brilliant! AND did you know that hyenas will scoff their food down really quickly and later regurgitate it and eat it properly??? Well they do, its because there is a very definite hierarchy within packs of hyenas, and the most dominant will often steal food from the others and because she is in charge they have to let her/him have it. At the Kingdom Sammi is dominant and she is a right cow. Vince unfortunately is at the bottom and is missing an ear and his tail and is covered in cuts and bruises poor thing, and he has to be fed by Rodney otherwise Sammi will just eat all of his food. When Vince is eating he is a nervous wreck, constantly looking behind his shoulder after every bite just in case another Hyena is coming to give him a beating. SO the fact that he can scoff it down and then eat it properly later means that he at least has a good chance of getting a good meal. Bless him, and shame on you Sammi…still, tis nature I spose.

Spent last night getting to know the new volunteers at the cottage. They are great! I love them. Arthur is so sweet, he has round glasses and reminds me a bit of a tall Timmy Mallet. He is from Holland but speaks very good English, hehe, every sentence he speaks sounds like a question which is very cute because he just sounds excited all the time! Haha. Peter his friend doesn’t speak English (apparently) which is weird because he seems to understand every word that I say! If I crack a joke to someone else I notice him snigger, or if I make a point about something within a conversation, I notice a slight nod of the head in concurrence…and if I say something really smart he smiles as if to say, well done!…OK so the latter isn’t quite true! Haha, but I am sure he understands what I am saying. Earlier I asked him if he wanted a muffin and he said no straight away…sure, when I come to think of it I was holding a muffin and shoving it in his face…but still!

Arthur on the other hand speaks, English, Spanish, French and Italian as well as dutch. So I asked him if he was secretly a spy and he laughed this off…rather nervously if you ask me so I think I may be on to something there….

Oooooooo…Bug in my hair!

We now also have Evelyn who is Arthur’s Niece, Bonnie who is also  Dutch but doesn’t know the others from Holland and Camille from France. Camille is great because she bursts into song related to something that you have just said…and this doesn’t happen once or twice a day, this happends literally every time you say something…for example, today I was talking to Amy (shes a lion) and she was led on her back in the sun looking at me lazily, and I was telling her that she looked beautiful, and Camille walked past with a bucket full of bones and started singing ‘YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY…’ and later we were sweeping the houses and someone said something about the heat being crazy and the next thing I knew…‘YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY AND IT FEELS ALRIGHT…’ This morning when we were walking to the farm someone pointed out that the moon was still in the sky and it was ’WHEN…THE…MOON HIT’S THE SKY LIKE A BIG PIZZA PIE ITS AMORE!’  and so on and so forward, you get my point. Shes great! SO much fun. AND it gives me an excuse to sing all the time! WooooHOoooo!

I’m now sat outside, just had my spicy dinner which was nice. My mouth is on fire! OH YEAH hot diggedy. I feel quite content, had some lovely cuddles with the cubs today. Im in love with Dhubba the Hyena, he is just so adorable with his floppy ear. But, having said that they are all lush.

There is a rat and a mouse under the table at the moment. Interesting, good thing ive had a shower or they might have mistaken me for something to nibble on. Also there is a bird nest on one of the trees in front of the cottage which I particularly low, low enough to look in and I was lucky enough to take some pics of the 3 chicks inside of it. We are not sure what kind of birds they are at the moment. Will have to do some spying to see what goes in there. ALSO a baby bat fell onto the kitchen floor just now, its so small, I don’t know where it fell from, but its on a tree outside now so we are monitoring it closely in hope that it will fly away to safety!

All in all we are taking good care of each other and the animals! Its all very lovely! J

Monday, 14 November 2011

Day 15!!!!

Day 15!!!

Bonjour Ma Petite Fleurs!

I hope all is well wherever you may be. I am very good myself, I am currently sat outside at the cottage on Monday evening, it is almost 6.30pm and there is a lovely evening feel here, al the tress in silhouette. The crickets are making a constant hazy background noise and the birds are getting ready for bed. There is a Lourie bird up in the tree in front of me who is doing the end of day checks and every now and then a lion will roar. I am very peaceful, wishing Trist was here with me right now…

So, I last wrote to you on Saturday and told you that I was planning a trip back to Glen Afric to walk with the Elephants. Some of you may have seen some pictures on face book, apologies for not being able to get them onto the blog but most of you have access to the wonderful world of face book so if you haven’t already, check them out.

The Elephant walk was incredible, I think it was always going to be, obviously as elephants are amazing and very cute to watch, however to get as close as we did I couldn’t believe it! We were right up with the mother and two babies, giving them cuddles and tickling their ears! They did have wind! Haha, which was hilarious, those huge chubby bottoms making the funniest noises and they seem to have constant smiles on their faces so it was very sweet…despite how smelly it was! J We walked through the bush to start with and they stopped as much as they could to have a munch in the trees, and then we headed off to a large pond which had hippos in it. The elephants absolutely loved it! Especially the babies, they would have rolled around all day if they could and if the smiles weren’t big enough on their faces before the certainly were by now! When it was time to leave I think they got out and got back in the water again about 3 times because they just didn’t want to leave. Mummy elephant too loved the water but was a bit more mature about it! Haha, The Hippos kept bobbing up and having a look but were too relaxed to come any closer.

On our way back to the restaurant we were so lucky to have 2 warthogs walk in front of us, and I absolutely LOVE warthogs, they are so cute! I know I say that a lot but they are! So so sweet, they are really funny because they stop and look at you for about 10 seconds as if to say ‘Erm…excuse me, would you mind tell me what on earths name you are doing here??? Do you have a reservation!???’ and then they run off! Hashanah.

Lunch started well, very nice food, its an all you can eat buffet at the hotel which is a nice treat at the end of a busy week at the farm, however, I was half way through my creamed spinach when a strom came from nowhere, napkins, glasses, small children were being blown all over the place and the sky roared louder than the lions. Being British I stayed put for as long as I could but it was when my plate itself started to move across the table that I thought I should probably head inside. The storms down here are amazing, wonderful to see. We had to wait for it to pass to get a lift back down to the bridge so we didn’t get back until around about 3pm, which is when I had a nice nap!

Today has been fairly relaxed, we fed the cubs and then had to go and look for an a nyala which had managed to escape the farm somehow, it took us an hour and we had to walk through the think bish again which was a bit harsh on the old legs as there are a lot of twigs and plants which scratch. I was doing my funny walk again as the grass was long and I couldn’t see if there were any snakes underneath, and today wasn’t a day that I wanted to get bitten by a snake.

Once the Nyala was safe back within the farm walls, we left and went to do our weekly shop. I deliberately didn’t buy anything heavy today as didn’t want to carry it all back to the cottage like I did last week which in the afternoon sun was just hell. So that was good. Swedish Girl didn’t take on this theory and seemed to struggle somewhat…oh dear!

I bought Erika some treats today, she really liked them, I got her a new mirror and bell and some snacks, were really good friends now. Ive learnt a new birdy noise which goes ‘Tch Tch Tch Tch Tch…’ its cool.

The Braai went surprisingly well on Saturday night, I made a salad and some pasta and managed to cook  the meat which everybody said was really nice even if it was a bit overdone, actually, that’s a lie, Swedish Girl did in fact watch me the whole time and did tell me on multiple occasions that she liked her meat well done but not burnt….well, she bloody well got what she was given…so there! J

I am sat talking to the new volunteers now who are lovely, there are 4 people from Holland and 1 from France, I have moved bedrooms today as well as the house is now full we had to re shuffle, but I am not complaining as it means I don’t have to listen to a certain someone’s snoring anymore! I think you know who I mean! Hehe…

So, now I am going to go and talk to these lovely people some more, also from the time I started to write this to now it has gotten dark and even the Lourie is in bed so I cant really see the keys any more…dodhfo  idshlrh4poh ogas nsoadjfhoah e0ej nfooeh o hey09 3u lih fiehw r


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Day 13!!!


I cannot believe that today is the half way point for me out here! The time has just flown by! In two weeks time it will be my last day on the farm and two weeks tomorrow i shall be heading home! 2 weeks is still an excellent amount of time though, so its all good. And in just 2 weeks we have done so much it has been amazing.

Not too much has happened since i last blogged, its been quite a calm couple of days. Just myself and the 2 other volunteers so very quiet. Between you and me Swedish girl is on thin ice, she found a bug in her boot this morning and i thought the world was going to end! I just walked off and sat with Erika...well, next to her cage anyway. She was in a better mood and doesnt cause a scene when a bug wanders past...probably because she just eats them. No, I think its fair to say that Erika and I have become pretty close this past week, I know shes not the sweetest of lovebirds and has a past, but then, who doesnt!? I'm gonna miss that little pecker. I might even get her a little something from the pet shop before i leave, as a little keep sakes. I could get a miniature picture of myself and put it in a frame for her cage and then she could continue to talk to me....or i could just get her some seeds...OR BOTH! Hell, i could just get her both...

But enough of that! On Monday 5 new volunteers arrive! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy! I cant wait! The house will be full, new faces, new conversation and hopefully new opportunities to have a good giggle. Should be lekker! Im hoping we will start having a few more braais next week as its much nicer sitting outside and hearing the lions and animals making their funny noises. Last night we watched the notebook on dvd and i made such a tit out of myself. Swedish girls face had the same expression as it usually does at the end of the film, i think I saw Cat wipe a tear away from her cheek...and I, yes I was blubbering away like some emotionally insecure blubberbutt! I think i even squeaked at one point as i tried to cover up that i was crying so much. And then of course when i could breath any more from trying to remain quiet i sniffed and the game was given away, a big fat snotty sniff, they looked at me and could immediatly see the streams of running tears on my face...Ah well...I made some comment about men crying always getting to me and went to bed.

Today is Saturday and we have spent the morning cleaning which will continue after lunch, its quite nice actually because it means the hose is constantly ago and if i get hot i just spray myself, although i did accidentally underestimate the pressure of the hose earlier and splashed myself a bit too hard in the face! So far today we have cleaned the enclosure houses, the fridge which was vile, we had to move all the body parts out, clean it and then move them all back in again. There were these funny black slug things trying to attack my feet so i just shot them with the power hose amid evil laughter! Mwahahahahaha...we have also cleaned the bins and soon we shall do the toilets and the vehicles, and when i get a chance i am going to go and have a play with the cubs because they are just soooooo cute!

I was offered a chance to go in with Luke and Nyeba the Hyenas today but declined quite swiftly as am still sporting two very large purple/greenish lumpy bruises on my calf and am not sure that i am in the mood for any more this week.

I saw a rather long snake yesterday slithering across the road, it was long and thin, silvery/green in colour, i must look it up when i get back to the cottage. I also saw a...errr...errm...Oh i've forgotten what its called...NO I HAVEN'T! I saw a Water Manoty (I've spelt that completely wrong) this morning, which basically looks like a little dragon but is in fact like a small alligator. It has small teeth and it was at the end of the bridge as i was crossing it, poor thing looked like it needed a hip replacement to me, but i think that sjust how they walk. It saw me and headed off in the opposite direction and hid in a bush, but not very well because i could still see it. But i left it alone as it was quite big and they're quite strong i think.

We went back in the cage yesterday but this time with Vyatze a male lion and Livia and Virginia who are sisters. Virginia likes to swim which was cute to see. I did almost wet myself however when a piece of meat accidentally landed on top of the cage and Livia managed to hoist herself on top as well...seeing as the roof of the cage is just a wire panel, my heart did go into overdrive and i thought, if that roof caves in, i have no choice but to use Swedish Girl as a shield...luckily it didn't come to that and Livia got down and we were all fine!

Tomorrow is my day off and Cat and I are going on a walk with some elephants! :) we are getting picked up at 09.15 and are being taken to Glen Afric which is a large hotel near by, and there we will meet 3 elephants, 2 babies and a mother and will go for a walk in the bush! I cannot wait! I saw them briefly last week and they were beautiful. We will be taken them to the river for a swim as well....I must try not to get over excited or else i could dive in with them and get squashed! But it is going to be LUSH! I will upload some pictures onto facebook afterwards also, for some reason i have had difficulty getting pictures onto the blog! So sorry about that. Ill try and get Erika in a good mood and get a picture of her for you, shes a one i tell you!

I am going to Braai tonight, I hope it goes ok, usually Tristan is in charge off the cooking of meat on the Braai whilst i stand close by preparing a pretty salad or cutting some bread so it will be an experience. But how hard can it be? Heat some coals, chuck it on, wait a few minutes, flip it, wait a few more minutes, flip it again! BOOM meat is ready! Bobs yer uncle! Easy peasy lemon squeezey!

Ok, im gonna go now. I hope you have enjoyed this weeks antics and i shall be back again next week with some new stories of elephants and hopefully a successful braai dinner.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Holz xxx

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Day 11!!!

12:30 Thursday afternoon
34 Degrees
Scratches = 57
Trips over rocks = 24
Sweat Patches = 1093
Hyeana Bites = 2


Oh my gooodness, IT IS HOOOOOTTT!!! Even the locals are struggling, its good to be out of the sun. Ive spent the morning with George and the two other volunteers walking around the outskirts of the farm looking for poachers traps. Luckily we didnt find any snares which hopefully means that there arent any! Which is good. Aside from the heat grinding us down it was a pleasant and long walk, we were next to the river mainly and I saw lots of birds and funny looking creepy crawlies. We were also lucky enough to see 2 Baboons walking on the other side of the water and boy were they big! Absolutely massive! I was so glad they were on the other side or else they might have ripped my head off! Haha, but they were very cool and making some funky noises too!

Yesterday was a good day. Being a bird fan i was asked to join Quentin with some visitors from the Raptor Conservation Programme to walk around the farm and check all of the bird boxes, it was really interesting and these people really knew their stuff, we saw to African Fish Eagles flying around so i whipped out my Binoculars and had a good look, they are beautiful creatures and grow up to about 75/80cm long, and these too looked big even from a distance so im guessing they were full grown ones.  There are so many different birds out here and i keep trying to copy them to see if they will come any closer to me, much to amusement of the other volunteers, So far the closest ive got is to Erika the lovebird who lives in a cage by our i dont think that really counts, although she does talk back to me and we like to have a little natter in the morning and evening. Shes a bit of a bitch, pecked the male that was put in with her to death apparantly! But that doesnt have anything to do with me so i talk to her all the same.

Whilst we were out on our walk with the Bird peeps yesterday we stopped off to visit Kahn the black Leopards and Luke and Nyeba the Hyenas. Volunteers arent supposed to go in with them anymore as they have gotten too big but seeing as it was just me i was allowed in. After some sniffing around and a gentle hell from Kahn, he went off to play underneath a tree. Then came the Hyenas, they sniffed around the guests and seemed nice and calm...that was until they came up to sniff me...they were behind me sniffing my legs which seemed quite normal but something changed and they didnt seem to like me anymore, one of them bit my left calf which really hurt! So after squealing like a baby pig it did i again! This time harder, luckily Quentin arrived just as they were both about to mess me up and he held them back whilst i ran like a giraffe on drugs out of the enclosure where i obviously had to act cool! Smiling and laughing it off i went to talk to Kahn through the fence, however the guests didn't stick around in the enclosure after that! I am sporting two very large, lumpy and purple bruises on my left leg today! haha...its not so bad, if they really meant business it wouldn't have taken them any effort to get past the skin. However, i wont be going in there again, apparently if Hyena doesn't like you, it will never like you! And that's all i need to know!

After lunch yesterday most of the workers and the volunteers went off to clean the houses but i was asked to stay behind and do some work on the computer in the office, which was fine, i managed to update a lot of spreadsheets and stuff, mainly to do with the lions and the enclosures...feeding charts and birth charts etc etc so it helped me to learn some more of the  names, but again, it was hot! There is no breeze in the office, just heat so every time i stood up i had wet shorts from where my legs had sweated to the material! Niiiiice! Spent the afternoon looking like i had wet myself continuously!

It was whilst i was in the office yesterday avo that Quentin shouted for me to get outside quickly, he had been encountered by a Mozambique Spitting Cobra on the path which we walk up and down to get from the nursery to the office, by the time i had got there it was gone, but he said it had stood up tall to confront him but had got scared and slithered off. The snakes spit in its preys eyes to blind them and then when they cannot see they move in to bite and kill them before eating them. Quentin was clearly too big, although he said it must have been 2 meters long!...I seem to have adopted a slightly animated walk whilst heading up and down the path now...almost like i cant walk without lifting my knees up to my chin...its attractive!

There haven't been any more bat incidents thank goodness and i didnt find it suffocated under Annas pillow which was a blessing. She was convinced it had got into the next bedroom however, i don't think this was true as the door was locked, and im not sure that Bats can fly through doors?

I haven't had any ticks so far this week which is nice. Last week i found one snuggled into my arm pit and one on my ankle! And those buggers hurt when you pull them off i can tell you! They cling on with dear life! I did wash one down the sink and it looked quite fun as it went round and round and round the sink bowl until it finally popped down the plug hole, almost like a really big water slide! And i am sure i heard a very faint 'Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee' as it went!


Ok, I have to move on now before i get stuck to the chair again!

Ill be back on Saturday. Enjoy your Friday! xxx