It’s been a busy couple of days since I blogged last. Lots of things have happened. I ate a worm. I ran. I saw giraffes. I got sick. I helped some kids read.
On Wednesday we had a traditional meal of nshima for lunch. It’s a staple food made from cornflour and is a bit like a sticky blob of mashed potato. It was served with some kind of stew and WORMS. Some kind of deep fried worms, they looked like something from I’m a Celebrity. I tried one; it was rank. But at least I tried it.
I ran! Although you probably know about that because I already blogged about it. It made me VERY happy.
I’ve seen loads of animals so far. Well, being in the middle of a National Park means we are surrounded by them. It’s a bit weird to be sat having a bit of lunch or breakfast and some elephants just stroll on by. Or some giraffes (which are my favourite). We went for a drive to the other lion site the other day and saw some zebras, wilderbeest, impala and more giraffes. Very cool. Oh, and of course there are the lions here.
I’ve been to a couple of local schools now – one to do a Conservation Club and a very small rural school for Book Club where I helped some kids do some word exercises. It was very strange, not sure I’m a natural with kids but I’m giving it my best shot! It’s just like you’d see on the TV: rural African school in a rural African village. The houses for this village were mud huts, they have one well for the whole village (that dries up in the summer) and the school is very bare and the kids all running round and were grabbing me by the hand when I got there and as we were driving along they were all waving and shouting. Still very surreal.
As an Education and Rural Community Development intern I’ll be teaching classes 3 times a week as well as doing conservation club once a week, book club once a week and a kids club on a Saturday. It’s not just me on my own – there’s another girl who’s an intern like me, and then the other volunteers are here to volunteer with the lions but they will help us out too so that’s not too bad.
The place we’re at is a lion rehabilitation and release organisation but they have a branch that does community projects so we’re all here together, and so I’ve also got to walk with the lions (it’s a part of the release program) and get involved with that which has been really cool. We also did Fire Break this week which involves setting fire to some of the bush around one of the lion enclosures at the other site and then putting it out (to avoid big fires in the dry season). It was really hard work and very hot, and probably a little bit dangerous! All part of the adventure though! Although it was really windy so quite a bit of the enclosure has got burnt which isn’t great but fire spreads so quick there wasn’t anything anyone could do. The lions were OK though, luckily.
We went into Livingstone this week too, had a wander around and got money out, that kind of thing. We came across a company called Zambeef. It amused us.
You guys at work will be pleased to hear I have been using my Travel Tap bottle. Not so far as to be scooping water out of the Zambezi but it seems to be working so far. Although, I have got sick. But I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the bottle’s fault. No, a few of us have got sick. There seems to be a stomach/sickness bug working it’s way through the camp. It’s the poorliest I’ve been for a very long time and I spent all of yesterday in bed 😦 On the way to feeling halfway normal now though I think, although I still have really achy sore muscles and haven’t eaten in over 36 hours and haven’t really got an appetite back yet. Although I could just eat some potato wedges. We’ll see what comes for lunch. At least perhaps it’s a good reintroduction to the fasting diet. Or preparing me for India, where I’m bound to get sick again. Either way, I think it’s on it’s way out. Thank god.
I feel like I’ve been here a long time, or at least longer than a week. The UK seems a long way away at the minute, and a lot longer until I get back. I’m not sure I was quite ready to give some things up, or realised what I would have to give up. But, c’est la vie. There will be many adventures to be had and I’ll get used to life on the road. I think I just need to learn some patience and to get used to having a year off. No work. Chill out. This will probably be easier when I start my travelling, when I have more things to do and occupy myself. Because one thing here is that there’s not that much to do when we’re not working. No places to go for walks (or runs) or to explore. I feel so lazy at the moment too.