The recorded ramblings of an unschooled writer, aspiring biologist, amateur equestrian, ardent bookworm, avid music appreciator, increasingly addicted runner and college student spending the summer in Ely, MN.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mountains and miserableness

November 18, 2009

I'm currently in a royally foul mood as I can hear all of the other wanifunzi climbing up the rocks to watch the sunset and laughing and having a good time, while I'm laying in my tent all feverish yet again. I was doing okay this morning and managed to make it through watching the striped creatures with only a minimum of diziness and nausea. We had a bit of an exciting morning because just a couple of hours into our work, the heavens opened and it began pouring harder than it ever has during the time we've been in East Africa. Driving in the tire ruts during the heavy rain was quite a bit like driving directly in two small but furious parallel rivers and I was very impressed with Killarai's skill in getting us all back to camp - even without windshield wipers!

This afternoon, we hiked up Oldonyo Sambu again. I'm embarassed to admit that I didn't make it all the way to the top, much as I had wanted to. I stayed with the group that only climbed to the first ridge and stupidly enough had to actually lay down on the rocks and borrow a jacket to use as a blanket because I felt so weak and cold. It was an amazing view though, and I'm glad I went, though not so glad about the field ID test we took along the way - my brain (and the rest of my body) pretty much feels like much right now, so I don't think I did so hot.

I"m trying my very best to remain optimistic, but its getting very difficult. Sure, others in the group have had their illnesses, but this drawn out fevery thing is just getting ridiculous. I'm trying so hard to do everything, but I just can't and its very, very frustrating to me. I really hate it when I can't do something or people think I can't do something and all I'm doing on this trip is being a pathetic, sick, weakling! I'll stop the complaining though and try to share a few of the amusing moments of the day:

- Kai's current nickname from the locals is "Tembo", which means elephant.
- Due to the fact that Rachel's wet suit makes her look like a super hero, she and Lydia have decided on superhero names for themselves based on the fact that they are researching reproduction and nesting. Rachel is "Super Spawn" and Lydia her sidekick, "Small Fry".
- Kim really enjoys describing zebra and impala mating in a very loud voice as often as she can!
- Last night, I kept having terrible dreams that bugs were crawling over at me and at one point woke up with a HUGE stick insect on my cheek. My first instinct was to throw it as far as I could - unfortunately this meant I threw it right at my sleeping tent mate. I felt so bad and wasn't sure wait to do - I didn't want to wake poor Rachel up by lurking awkwardly over her while shining a head lamp in her face. Luckily, mere seconds later, the insect crawled back to my side of the tent and I was able to evict it.

I'm really sad to be leaving Oldonyo Sambu, as this is the last time "in the bush" for the trip. I really do love the wilds of Tanzania. This might sound silly and somewhat terrifying to all of you at home, but I do hope that my work and life take me back here at some point, hopefully to live for a time. Sickness aside, I feel so at peace and wonderful here and I'm actually crying a little bit right now because the thought of leaving is making me so sad. I'm also quite depressed that feeling so bad has really prevented me from living this past week to the fullest and experiencing all that I can. I'm not sure when the next time I'll get back out to the bush in East Africa is - not any time soon, that is for sure and I'll miss it all incredibly. Though I'm excited to be going home so soon, I'm sure there is a part of me that will always long for the wild beauty I've gotten a chance to know a bit on this trip.

Time for a nap!


  1. Perhaps you need to drink more Tuskers to drive away the evil sickness spirits

  2. Perhaps you need to drink more Tuskers to drive away the evil sickness spirits