Thursday October 28, 2010 | Transfrontier Africa | Michael Scholl

Thursday October 28, 2010

Dear Diary,

Yesterday and today were interesting days. Around noon we left the camping place a foot. We took water with us and gave all the stuff we needed for later to John, because he would bring them to where we were sleeping that night. Where that was, was a surprise and so we followed Craig in an Indian file, trying to make the least sound possible, otherwise we might attract wild animals. We did attract one animal that wasn’t so wild though, because as soon as we had left we could see Goosy running after us, not wanting to be left alone. I groaned inwardly, because I had been looking forward to a day without the devil. I was looking at my feet all the time, to see if I was going to fall and I almost did about 5 times. I  first was walking behing Hugo, but he just let branches snap into my face so I walked behind Elena instead, who was much nicer and would look if I was behind and make sure I don’t get branches in my face. After an hour walking we took a break, on top of a pile of boulders. We could see almost the whole bush from where we were. I was surprised at how different everything looked from up here. It was the perfect picture for a post card. The vegetation had gotten greener since we had arrived because of all the rain and it was just breathtaking the whole scene. The break didn’t last long though and we continued on our way through the trees, bushes and insects. During the walk, Craig would stop us and point out a pair of hooves or paws in the sand. The fact that he could notice that amazed me! I would probably have stepped on it when passing. While we were walking, I didn’t get a lot of chances to look around because I was mostly focused on my feet, but when I did lift my eyes, what I saw was incredible. There were trees all around us and they all were different, some had signs of elephant tusks and others were trees that came straight out of a horror movie, but in the day light those trees didn’t look scary, they looked original. We took a second break an hour later again and we just sat down in a sand pit. We stayed a good twenty minutes and again I drank my little heart out. I felt really relaxed there, except when the mangoose aproached me, but Craig told us we should move on, and so we got up and we started walking. We walked into a sand road and I thought that we still had a few hours of walking, but then we saw tents and food, so we knew we had arrived. John had come with the range rover and installed everything prior to our arrival. I layed down on the sand, not because I was feeling exhausted because of the walk, I just didn’t have any energy left. Craig and John had an other idea though, and they told us to get fire wood, so I got up again and went to help the others to look for wood. After finding a fair amount of wood, again I lay down, but not for long, because Michael and Emilio told me I had to take my medicine since it was already 4 p.m and I hadn’t taken it in at noon. So I took some bread, although I wasn’t hungry and took my medicine. Again I laid down and this time I stayed there for a few hours. Others, cooked some meat to eat and we were all hudled around the fire, talking, while the sun went down. It was quite late when I woke up that night, and I was covered in sand. I had some dinner even though I didn’t want any, and then I fell asleep again. I woke up again later and they told me to go and sleep in a tent. I was grateful for that, because I was really tired and I was starting to feel sick again. I went to the tent and closed it as tight as I could since I knew that if Goosy could, she would make her way into the tent and attack me again. I laid down in the tent on the hard floor, and I was so happy that Michael had given me his sleeping bag. The next thing I remember is hearing Goosy’s claws scratching at my tent. I knew she was going to try to get in! I gave the tent a kick and I heard her leave to go to the next tent. I could hear Elena telling Goosy to leave. I fell asleep again after that and then I heard a gun shot. I quickly got up and then I heard Craig shouting that if we don’t get out of our tents in the next few minutes he would shoot again! I acted as fast as I could. I zipped down the tent and got out after checking if Goosy was anywhere near. Everybody was already sitting there having breakfast and I said good morning and dropped down in the sand. I was feeling ill again, my head was hurting and I felt weak. I tried to eat something but not a lot entered my stomach. 

Craig hadn’t slept a lot since he had to look out for wild animals, so he was a bit cranky and we quickly packed up everything so we could go back to the camp and get some real sleep. John was going to bring back all the items with the range rover and we were going to walk back to camp. Hearing that, gave me mixed feelings. I thought it would be as much fun as the day before but I barely had enough energy to stand up, so walking for a few hours would be to much for me to handle and I would keep the others waiting, so I asked Michael if I could go back with John. He thought it was best so I sat down in the range rover and the next thing i know everyone is sitting down next to me. I didn’t understand what was happening. Craig explained that he was to tired and that he wouldn’t be alert enough to look out for wild animals, so it was best we all go back to the camp together. Before leaving though, we had to hide all signs that we had been there, because tourists would think it was okay for them to camp out to. We put the ashes of the fire in a hole and we walked behind the truck kicking the sand over the tracks. After succesfully hiding the fact that we had been there, we got back into the range rover and went back to the camp. When we arrived, most went to sleep, but I was probably the one that had had the most sleep that night, so since I wasn’t tired I sat down and did some homework. I was feeling better as the day passed by and I saw how people would wake up from their long sleep and come down and take a shower. It just really gave me the need to also take a shower, since it was a warm sticky day and the sand from the day before was still sticking to me. I got my items and I waited for Emilio to finish his shower, and then I made my way to it. I was so impatient to feel the cold water on my skin during this hot day, so I took of my clothes, I stood under the shower and turned the knob. Nothing came out. There was no water left! I put on my clothes again and went to tell John that the shower wasn’t working. He went to check the tap and nothing was comming out of those either. There was no water left in the whole entire camp, which meant that I wasn’t going to get a shower, for at least a day. After that dissapointing news, I came to write in you Diary.

We only have one complete day left in Africa. It went by so fast actually, even though half the time I was sick. I probably should do some more homework diary. I will tell you what happens next tomorrow!

written by Diane Danneels (International Baccalaureate IB Class of 2012 student)

© / Michael Scholl Copyright 2012 for TransFrontier Africa and Craig Spencer