Cleaning up after elephants and fishing in the dam

The elephants Tswali and Mojaji.

The day started at 6.30am, catching a lift on Shaun’s pick up to get to the elephants for 7am. It was raining quite heavily so we were glad of the ride. The two elephants are called Tswali (the male) and Mojaji (the female). They didn’t want to be saddled and led out due to the rain, so we only got to muck them out at about 8am. We slung their dung and leftover food (i.e. tree branches) into the back of the trailer, which funnily enough was attached to the tractor. Whilst we did this the horses decided to go a bit crazy. One kicked its stable in, and another got its back legs stuck between the wooden planks separating the stables. Later on, one of the elephants broke free and we all had to hide in the metal storage shed. I feel sorry for the German’s going on their elephant back safari, as they don’t even have waterproofs. Once we had finished loading the trailer, we jumped onto the tractor or hung off the back all the way to the rubbish tip. I’m not going to lie, the smell of elephant dung is quite pungent, and to top it off the dye from my gloves turned by hands green. Back at the lodge I had to squeeze all my clothes out as they were so wet, then had a shower to get rid of the smell. Unfortunately the light in our bathroom is broken, so I showered in the dark, but John assures us that he will fix it. What an eventful morning, before we’ve even had breakfast!

Some of the horses out on the airstrip.

After breakfast the guys thought it would be a great time to go fishing between the two dams where it was overflowing. Someone suggested as a a joke they should use a shirt as a net…. and they actually did! They looked so funny trying to catch fish although their method at the moment isn’t very good. The caught a few, but let them go. On one occasion they all shouted ‘whey’ as they had caught a very tiny fish they wanted to keep as a pet. Very practical! Some of the girls were making muffins, but I decided to just relax.

After sandwiches for lunch, the guys continued to try and catch fish, using a cricket bat to try and stun them. The first injury of the day occurred when one of the guys jumped in on all fours to catch a fish, and promptly stood straight back up yelling. He had jumped straight onto a sharp rock and got a deep gash on his knee. He looked deathly pale, but we gave him some butterfly stitches and a huge bandage.

A tasty looking image of tilapia I found on the Internet.

Then it was back into Shaun’s pick up truck to go back to the elephant and horse enclosure, this time to help weed the bana grass field. The bana grass help supplement the elephants diet. We spent two hours here using a variety of hoes, rakes, pickaxes and shovels. The injured guy had to stay behind as he couldn’t move his knee. Whilst weeding we found a baby lizard as well as some weird looking caterpillars. Some of the guys helped to fix the corral as Tswali had decided to try and pull one of the poles up.

The day rounded off with spaghetti bolognese, trying some of the tilapia fish the boys had caught afterwards. They actually tasted really good! Then some of us watched a X-Men Originis: Wolverine, although I didn’t really understand any of it, not having seen X-Men.

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