Wednesday we performed our normal activities in the morning, and the box trap team liberated another curious warthog from Frankposten. The schools here in Namibia are on break this week, and in the afternoon we picked up the farm children and the team took them on a game drive. They all enjoyed the outing, but I think we enjoyed the children’s company more than the game drive. Barbara and Dianne had a sing-along with the children and it was really fun.
Apparently me vs. meerkat was the highlight of the afternoon for Shelagh, since she immortalized the event in the Expedition Journal for every team hereafter to read about: The farm workers have a tame meerkat, which considers them its “family”. When we were picking up the children the meerkat took offense at my presence and attacked my boot, and I clambered up the side of the vehicle. Preposterous as this seems, I’d already seen it attack Vera’s boot the week before, so I was having none of it. (I note with irony that the meerkat didn’t like Claire’s boots any better, but SHE did not get immortalised in the journal!)
Our second Vehicle Game Count was Thursday, and again the teams were ready and eager. Sightings were plentiful and all three teams noted the abundance of oryx calf sightings in the morning hours. While it’s late in the season for the oryx to be calving, apparently they have the ability to postpone delivery while waiting for better feeding conditions, but only for so long. The last rainy season was quite meager (I’m told 70 mm as opposed to the “normal” ~450 mm), and the vegetation is sparse. If we’re, lucky the rains will begin early in December, but that’s a long time to wait. And they may not come early at all. It’s tough conditions in the savannah right now.
Friday morning we said good-bye to Team 2, and after one day here alone I can tell you are sorely missed! I checked all the traps all by myself yesterday, and it was very time-consuming. All the volunteer work here is so important; without you, we simply do not have the reach into the field activities that we do when you are here. So a hearty thank-you to you all! I look forward to meeting Team 3 next week!