Monday, March 2, 2009

There and Back Again

I struggle to write this entry write now as I am in the middle of doing a million things at once. I am trying to get salaries done, charge everything for Laura so she can finish her research and return home tomorrow and keep Papa B out of my hair. At least I got to take a bath.

The forest trip was amazing and a lot. First thing is first. We all went to the town of Likati. It is another old Belgian town that is now remnants of what was there before. Laura and I had to go on two separate trips since we had one motorcycle and and one driver in Seba. That meant I had to spend the night without Laura, which made me quite sad and worried. The only thing that remains from the Belgian Empire is the Catholic Mission we stayed at. It is one of the comfortable places in Likati. We stayed there until we bought all the supplies we needed in the way of food and medicine. While I was there the first night I was there without Laura, there was a funeral going all night for a the Abbot that just died. That meant singing and dancing all night and waking me up through out the night.

When Laura came the next day, I was very happy. While Laura and I were at the mission, we were stared at by the children, just like Aketi! We also had a pygmy man as a our servant and were approached by man with a large..... thing hanging from his nose (I think it was a booger, I hope). We also had to deal with another drunk official and his close talking bitch boy. They were so drunk, you could smell them a mile away. They were being a pain in the ass and not wanting to sign our documents, so we went to his superior and he cleared everything up for us.

After that went to the town of Difongo. The chief there was very nice to us and signed our papers. We then tried to find the best ways to collect chimp poo and miner poo. Even though we got a lot of good elephant evidence, there wasn't much in the way of chimps and miners. We were also delayed since Mr. P got sick. After a week and only two chimp poo collections, we tried to mobilize and get the people of Difongo to help us. However, they were all too lazy to work.. So we packed up and went back to Likati. After that, we headed for Membulu.

In Membulu we got a lot more results. There we got all of the rest of the chimp samples we needed and hiked to a diamond mine and got all of the miner samples we needed. However, that was an adventure all on its own. We were suddenly faced with the challenge of doing this hike. Laura was afraid that if she didn't go with our team, they would get something wrong with the samples and one of the main reasons we would be here in Africa would be lost. The hike there was a challenge. We were not prepared and we were worried about crossing a dangerous bridge. It turned out that the bridge was not as bad as we originally thought but, we were both very tired and cranky at the end of the journey. When we got to the mine, it was dirties central. When I mean dirties, I mean dirties. They made me and my friends look productive citizens while we eat fast food and play D&D. They were filthy, sick and rough necks. I was glad Laura didn't go without me. It turned out that the miners weren't bad, but they were annoying with their give money, buy me cigarettes, buy me this, give me that attitude. We only spent two nights there and were able to get most of our samples from the miners. The hike back wasn't bad at all. Laura and I talked the whole way and it made the kilometers go by fast. Also, we ate before we left so we were not hungry this time and we were better prepared mentally.

Since we were running low on money and Laura has to finish up things, I have come home to send Seba back with money and supplies. That means I will have to spend tonight without my Happle but, she should be back tomorrow.

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