Monday, April 27, 2009

15 Feb (Sun)

Took the kids out game driving again. Rio assumed his usual position on the bonnet of the vehicle on the drive there and back. Despite The Elephant Incident the day before he seemed ok, although I still have a strong sense that this environment is overwhelming for him. I was worried about the effect The Elephant Incident would have on him. He was just beginning to be more relaxed in his environment when he went through one of the scarier events of my life (an surely the most scary event of his little life). The evening after The Elephant Incident he was very excited and chattered away for hours about how we could disguise ourselves in leaves and so on to stop the elephants getting to us. We expected him to have nightmares but in the morning he seemed fine and wasn’t willing to say much more about it. Keita, true to form, was completely unfazed.

On the way back, at about 8 pm and in pitch darkness, we heard the trumpet of an angry elephant and the thought went through all our minds that it was The Mad Cow again. Nothing more came of it however, and if it was Her and she did lead her herd in a charge after us, it was too dark to see. All Rio’s anxieties however, came to the fore again, and he again started questioning why we need to ever leave camp and why the elephant is cross and “why don’t we just go home now” and so on.

He struggled to go to sleep this evening, tantruming and trying to pick a fight, which eventually he succeeded in doing with Brad and which ended in tears and horribility. He was physically hiding in what would be a cupboard if we had cupboards. He put himself under the kikoi that is draped over an open shelf and refused to come out. I think he has a real terror of what is out there but is so intent on being big and brave and living up to our expectations. Hopefully he will develop those emotional resources quickly and come out the other side a strong, well rounded being.



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