Friday, February 27, 2009

Field Journal - Day Fourteen

Membulu Village

We realized last night that we’ve spent nearly a month in the tent in the last six months!

... that might explain the smell!

It is already Friday, another week having whizzed by and I’m hoping the next two days are as productive as yesterday.

Life on the road has been such a rush, but I think Adam and I both are looking forward to the regularity of life in Aketi. What’s more, we have so much to do before flying the chimps out!

Their transport baskets still need to be commissioned, and the grass of the airfield still needs to be cut.

I imagine that the bulk of our worldly goods will go as gifts to our workers -- it’s the norm.

On this trip alone,many of them seem to have “claimed” items already -- borrowing them and then wearing them constantly, and clearly not giving them back.

One worker was lent my bucket hat when it rained on us in the forest yesterday. He’s worn it ever since, extolling its virtues (it’s just a bucket hat). But we’ve decided he just loves hats! (Adam wonders if it isn’t the reason he joined Islam!)

Adam’s infection is finally gone, and his hair is long enough to put into a poinytail! We’d thought about getting him a haircut in Kampala (Uganda), but now he’s just thinking about letting it grow -- and apparently having dreams about Tom Cruise advertising the Hair Cuttery!

I am certainly feeling more calm and relaxed, closer to done. And I wish I could describe the peace of forest living.

Inside the tent each night, we look above at the stars, clear and bright. No light pollution out here!

What has been strange is that, high high above us, there is some sort of flight path for jets that we hear sporadically throughout the day. We think about where the jets may be going, or coming from -- or the people in the planes who look down below at us -- at the unilluminated blackness -- and assume that there is nothing there.

A huge caravan of gas porters rested here last night at Membulu. Four guys each with seven 25L jerry cans of gas, on their way to Bondo.

It’s quite an enterprise for this their boss, who bought the gas for $2.50 a litre in Aketi and will sell it for $5 a litre in Bondo.

Even worse, these four guys who travel a week with the gas each make less than $100!!

C’est Congo!

No comments: