Tues May 28,2002 To Sitatunga Camp near Maun Botswana
Up at 5:30 again. Had wieners, eggy bread (French Bread) with honey and canned spaghetti for breakfast. James is doing his usual antic-body stuff while eating his eggy bread-”fucking sweet honey!” he says out of the blue and everybody laughs-suddenly awake. James is usually very animated and pretty funny.
It�s 200 km to Maun (rhymes with down) where we will wonder around the town for a couple hours before we continue on to our camp for the night. On the way we see two Oryx and Rod explains how their unique breathing aparatus works although I can�t remember any of it. Later we saw Ostrichs again. Rod says they are the largest birds in the world and they can kill a human by stamping them with their feet. When they run it looks as if they are running on a water bed.
We stop for toilet and suddenly a big army truck filled with army guys pulls in after us….oh, no we all yell…but they were just checking to see if we were alright and pulled back out on the road again. George hides the meat from the veterinary road checks that are looking for meat with lung disease before we take off again.
The truck slows down again and we look to see a dead cow by the side of the road with about a dozen or so vultures hovering around it. The truck stops so we view the whole grizzly process: One vulture gets on top of the cow and punctures a hole near the rear of the stomach. The entire head of the vulture disappears into the hole and then others take their turn. As the truck starts to pull out again everyone lets out a YUKKK…as one of the birds sticks his head up the bum! Rod says we should be grateful to the vulture and the hyena…keeps disease from spreading…The birds are even built for good hygiene, he says, hardly any feathers on the head and neck for smooth entering of the hole…so what’s so sick we remind ourselves…we eat dead meat too!
Many of the younger women walking along side the road are wearing their hair in plaits and the young guys have those tiny dreads with heads shaved around the sides. I was told later in Swakopmund Namibia by a young guy with the same hairstyle that they got it (hair shaved nearly to the top of the head) from an early American black rap star! When I teased him about naughty rap lyrics he just laughed but a couple older black Africans who overheard me nodded their heads up and down in assent-all the while making faces. Don�t think the older ones approve of the young black male African penchant for black American rap!
Some of the older women from the Herero tribe are wearing long Victorian-style dresses that flare way out at the bottom. The unusual dress, which is now a tribal trademark, was forced upon them by prudish German missionaries in the late 19th century. On their heads the women wear a huge “hat” that looks much like a very wide bow. What is very distinctive about these women, however, is the regal and proud way they carry themselves when dressed this way.
We will see some of these women later in Namibia. Actually, the whole outfit reminded me of the red and white dress and headbow that the stereotypical “mammy” wore in early American movies. Apparently when in traditional dress the men wore a variation of the Scottish tartan kilt but we don’t see any of those.
We stop for internet but the computers are down.
May 28 Sitatunga Camp
The WildLife Adventure.com truck is at the camp…Kumuka truck comes in and we look for Damian and Melissa who transfered to the Kumuka in Vic Falls so they could get down to Johannesberg…you�d think we were all long lost friends as our riders let out a squeal and run to hug them.
Rod has contracted with a Safari Tour company to take us into the Delta on Mekoros so Gary from the company stops by to give us details. Gary, originally from New Zealand, lives in Maun and the locals call him: “Geeza.” Mekoros are an ancient way of plying the delta; canoes carved out of tree trunks with a poler that stands in back pulling the canoe forward.
The other riders party in the bar which didn’t close until 2am and the music was so loud you couldn’t sleep…even with ear plugs…I stayed surly for two days. The Delta will offer respite…
Tags: African Continent, Botswana, Camp, Culture, Internet, Maun, Ocavando Delta, Safaris, Truck, Worst Experiences