Tuesday, April 21, 2009

3 Feb (Tues)

We were all up at 5 am and with all the chatting about who was going to sleep in which bed, nobody managed to go back to sleep. Brad left in a huff, grumbling about the attitude of the kids, implying Rio, who was still needy this morning and wanting me to lie in his bed with him. For the past 3 nights I have been bed – hopping between Rio and Keita’s bed, hoping that they don’t wake simultaneously and both need me in their bed, as happened the night before. The offer to all sleep in the big bed was not acceptable apparently and both kids ended up screaming in their own beds with me somewhere in the middle, much to Brad’s amazement. He isn’t used to the vagaries of kids.

Rio eventually decided that he would like to go out filming with Brad, which we all thought was a fabulous idea and would give him much needed time away from Keita. He is starting to behave aggressively towards her and is much in need of his own space.

At 8.30 we got the call on the radio to come and meet Rio as the crew were going to carry on tracking the lions and it was beginning to get a bit boring for him. We met them with Rio in high spirits, feeling very important cos he is learning to communicate on the radio and he had hung out all morning with the guys.

We had a big storm which took us all by surprise. It bucketed down for about 20 minutes and had us all scurrying around trying to waterproof the place and the things. It was a good diversion in an otherwise non-eventful day. Frannette, the kids and I didn’t leave camp and by late afternoon Rio was fractious and irritable and whining about absolutely everything. He was clearly unable to assimilate the changes, adaptations and emotions and it all came to a head. He fell asleep in a sulk and Brad and I had a chat about how to help him come to terms with it all. My heart goes out to him. He has been in isolation for 2 weeks now which is a long time to not see a person his age. It feels like a lot longer since we left Jo’burg. Hard to believe we have only been here for a week. It feels like a month at least.

Frannette (the Stepford Person) is terrifyingly upbeat all the time while the rest of us fall apart all over the place. She consistently amazes me with her ability to be genuinely happy. She can cope with absolutely anything, including the camp management, the cooking and the kids, with a good attitude and a smile on her face. She is definitely not normal. Perhaps one day she will snap and start brandishing kitchen knives and things …

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