Monday, June 1, 2009

18 May (Mon)

During the night the lions killed and ate one of our resident impalas about 100 m from our camp. Shame. They are practically tame. Frannette thinks it was Bernie, one of the two males in the herd. Frannette, Jason and Humphry went tearing off in the vehicle in response to the obvious sounds of feeding very close by at 7.30 pm. They found the lions, bloody and terrifying at the sign for the camp.

They proceeded to roar close to camp all night which was exciting. Had visions of Frannette cowering in her tent, because out there on the perimeter she happened to have the tent closest to the action, about 80 metres from where they ate the impala.

Was my turn to head out with the film crew. Left early, before light. Rio was awake but was ok about staying behind because his friends are here and he would rather be in camp with them. Last night when I was putting him to sleep he said, “Mommy, I love my friends”. He is so happy with them here and I am beginning to dread them leaving. We are now taking turns begging Karen and Humphry to stay longer. The whole of June if possible.

The lions killing the impala so close to camp must have had an effect on Humphry as he was galvanized into picking up a panga and cutting a 10 metre buffer zone around our camp where the vegetation was quite close to the fence. This was after spending much time day questioning me about animal (particularly lion) behaviour. He concluded that we are being blasé and doesn’t want to be in a position of having to learn from his mistakes. Neither do we. I notice that he has also taken to carrying a knife in his pocket.

Later, when bathing in the big silver tub on the grass, I overheard Rio chatting to Edward. He had mentioned something about how his parents might die. Edward had then said something along the lines of … then your granny will look after you … to which Rio replied “well my granny is old and will die soon and then what will I do, I will be all alone”. Very sweetly, Keita, who was playing close by and had overheard all of this, went to Rio and gave him a hug and said “You are my sister Rio”. The intention was good but the effect was to have Rio reprimand her about how he was her brother …

Clearly he is still dwelling on the topic of death.

On this note, he may not be far wrong. Brad continues so smoke himself into oblivion and most of my nights are taken up with listening to him wheeze. 

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