We arrived at Skukuza today, so at last some sort of internet connection. Going back a little in time, what I wrote yesterday:
Balule, 9 November 2013
– I write this while sitting under a shady shambok tree, the sky hidden by cloud, the air, warm and still. We have a fire going in our little webber, and this is adding a typical South African lunch time atmosphere with the smell of briquettes and firelighters burning in the air.
The camp has been very quiet, with only a few sites occupied each night. For the weekend we have the Midrand SHRs (SANParks Honorary Rangers) holding their Balule Bash in the hutted section of the camp. It looks like an event not to be missed - very peaceful, a hammock under a tree, tables and chairs set out to enjoy delicious food ...The Kudu Awards, 1 Nov
A week ago, I was on a high after having attended the prestigious gala event, the SANParks Kudu Awards, to receive the SANParks VHRs’ Kudu Award. The evening was lovely; it was an honour to be invited and to share in SANParks acknowledging their loyal staff who have gone the extra mile, and others, who play a meaningful role in conservation. It was a night of glamour, but as Dr Mabunda assured the Board and stakeholders, not only was SANParks tightening their belts, but losing weight too. I could see this effort by just comparing with the events of years gone by ... no gifts for the guests this time for one. Apart from being very proud of our forum and the VHRs, I took away the following words from Dr Mabunda’s address .... its time for compulsory conscription to aid conservation in SA.
Leading up to the event was a morning at Groenkloof and an afternoon of pampering and hairdos, make up and manicures – a far cry from how one dresses when in the bush.
At our table sat a Corporal from Kruger who received an award for bravery, for saving the life of a colleague and that of a leopard. One of SANParks’ true heroes. And then there is the winner of the WCCA, Andrew Desmet; a humble man, still in much pain, and another SANParks hero. I have posted some pictures in the Wild Projects forum.