Monday, April 20, 2009

25 Jan (Sun)

We have finally arrived in Moremi after one hell of a time. We spent a week in Maun while Brad rebuilt the filming truck (literally from scratch). It was a monumental task and he worked 12 hours a day for 8 days. On Sunday, with work schedules that needed to be adhered to, we had to leave. We began the exodus at 12.30 pm, leaving us ample time to do a leisurely drive in with the kids and still arrive before it was dark. Brad stayed working on his vehicle up until the very last second and only left Maun at about 6 pm.

 The drive in was horrible. Keita screamed for 2 hours solid, probably because of the heat and the hellishness of the conditions. We all arrived exhausted and drained. The camp consists of an office tent, a kitchen tent, a wash-up station and various living tents. There have been some improvements since we were here last (spent a month here in June 08), notably our tent is now a large Meru as opposed to the small Meru, which is a good thing. We need all the space we can get.

 The kids run around shrieking and being dervishes and generally acting like kids do when they have been subjected to weeks of upheaval and change. It has been a fraught time and we are all emotionally raw and frazzled. That evening, I stand Rio in a tub of warm water outside the tent, to attempt to rinse the sand and mud off him before going to bed, I hear him making an odd noise, and wonder if something is caught in his throat. All of a sudden he starts sobbing and howling, a noise I have never heard from him, or any other child, before, and I realize the extent of the stress he is feeling and the adjustment he must make. That moment will remain with me as one of the most heartbreaking ever. He was trying to be very brave and suppressed it for as long as possible for a 4 year old, but it all came out eventually.

That night, lying on the floor on a single bed-roll, squished between Rio and Keita, I hear the familiar sound of lions calling to each other, and, despite everything, it feels good to be back in the bush again.


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