It has been a while since we all had a shower! We stink and civilians run for cover when we go into town. I think Francois managed to kill a few birds by lifting his arm and waving - birds fell from the sky, leaves fell off the trees. Even Tim’s great big bushy beard lost pigmentation! As I am sure most of you that have been to camp will know......our ancient water trailer broke and is no longer in service and the little fiberglass one that we got as a gift is only 650 litres. All sounds great - except that it is a dry winter and all the beasties take advantage of our meagre water supplies whilst we are out. Whenever we return to camp, the baboons, warthogs and various other animals have ripped out pipes, broken toilets, etc. and left us with nothing. Then we drag the old trailer down to River Lodge and fill it up again - only to be raided at night by the honey badgers, hyena and jackals. Waking up to a dry camp again!
And then one day, our saviour, Dr. Reimund Khun, came to our rescue. Reimund was one of our first volunteers at Paradise and felt so sorry for us that he donated enough money to lay pipes all the way from the Olifants River. We dug a trench through the bush and along the access road for 2.5km!! Then the pipes were ordered along with the massive electric pump, tank, etc. As with all good businesses in Hoedspruit.........….. they took weeks to deliver the materials and when they did, they pitched up in a dodgy little truck with only a driver! This little truck got stuck in the second river-bed en route to camp and when we found him, he had managed to get himself REALLY stuck! No winching or digging would free the vehicle. After many hours of jacking it up and packing rocks and logs under the wheels, we managed to pull him backwards. Great! Now how does he get to camp??? Well, we found an alternative route for him which seemed the lesser of all evils. So in the end.........….. we ended up spending another 5 hours digging him out of the "alternative" route! There is just not enough rum!
Then we tried to install our beautiful big 5 000 litre tank in the spot designed for it on our game-tower. Yip......you know what is coming! It does not fit and now stands proudly in the car-park. Stefan thought we should place it right on the top of the tower like a massive green lighthouse for the world to see. Francois came up with a great idea - paint it with army camoflage paint and prey that the government does not conduct an air-strike on our camp as it looks like a rebel training facility. We will have to trade it in for a smaller one. More rum! We then decided to replace the Ezulwini River Lodge pump with our smart shiney new one and pump from the same source. All was going well with the laying of the pipes and installing the pump and we were so excited to flip the switch. Well. Now neither Paradise or the Lodge has water! There is not enough power to operate the big pump that we bought. So. Now the lodge is upset with us and their clients had to be moved to another lodge where they can wash!! Man - all this for a shower! There is NEVER enough rum!
I have now lived officialy for 17 years without running water and electricity, and I swear on my premature grave that I will have a decent shower at Paradise camp before the end of this week. Then I intend to get very happy with the aid of a litre of dark rum to celebrate the most significant change to our lives in Paradise Camp. It will revolutionise our lives to have water on-tap!!!!! Stay tuned and we will have pictures up soon.
Regards from the driest bush