Monday, February 16, 2009

Field Journal - Day Four


It rained heavily in the night, but Adam had picked a perfect spot for the tent, on a slight downward angle, so that all the rain just washed right past us.

It was, however, extremely cold! The price of being in the forest, I guess!

This does seem like prime chimp habitat, though, I’m told, the bigger chimp populations are still quite far off and we’ll probably more from Difongo tomorrow to a camp we’ll make deeper in the forest.

The hunting levels here are unbelievable -- apparently the hunters I saw yesterday also passed by Polycarpe on his bicycle and asked him if he’d seen military, because they had elephant meat hidden in their bundles.

It least in this case it was the military protecting the elephants instead of hunting and eating them themselves!! (though I can guess what would happen to any meat “confiscated”...)

The elephant situation here does seem dire, though. I’m told as little as 7 years ago, you couldn’t travel the road we did today from Likati without encountering an elephant or a group of them!

It will make me look even harder into the bundles carried past me in bicycle caravans!

I’m told too that there is a market 50km from here, over the river, where there are no rules and the meats of elephant, okapi, and chimpanzees are sold indiscriminately.

We’ll definitely try to check THAT out, but for now, chimp poop is the priority.

At least we got the BGAN working today, so we could post a blog entry (and email my worried mother) to let them know we’d arrived safely.

We’ve never had serious problems with the BGAN in Aketi, so leave it to the jungle for it to flake, and then restart itself at a third power instead of full power.

With luck it’ll hold out for 2 more uses, but I’m not counting on it!

No comments: