Monday, February 16, 2009

Field Journal - Day Four


Okay, so the exuberant joy of earlier has somewhat diminished in the oppressive heat of logistics. Sure, there are chimpanzees all around us in these forests, but they’re smart enough to stay away from these villages and mines.

Part of me bristles at being told told that these chimps are “too far away for [me] to walk,” because I pride myself on my constitution, but the realistic part of me knows that I certainly wouldn’t be able to walk 9 miles there and back in a day through dense jungle.

None of this drudgery has been helped by the arrival of a baby baboon, tied around the waist and hopelessly attached to an utterly indifferent girl.

I’m hoping the girl and her captive will leave soon, so I can stop listening to the baboon cry when she swats it away with a stick or I can stop yelling at this callous 8 year old girl who continues to torment it for fun.

It’s so discouraging to see right at the start of this trip, I suddenly doubt whether I can do any good here or whether all of my lecturing just falls on deaf ears.

Yes, the next Ebola could start right here, and each of these hunters I’ve seen could be responsible for the death of every person within 100km of here (or further)...

But what do I say to make them care?

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