Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Oh, what a pain flu' is...but Malaria is so much worse.

It makes even posting memorable photos a pain in the butt... now, a week or so later having had confirmed that I am not suffering from malaria, I can rest assured it is nothing worse than a debilitating dose of grippe...

Some of the earlier fevers were particularly nasty and had been accompanied by weird, and some quite horrible, dreams. I thought I was delirious as I burned up with skin hot to the touch. Once, the disturbing sound of my telephone broke through my painful sleep only for me to be caught by a cold sales call from a charity whose complaints were falling upon my deaf ears. It was not their time.

I determined this year I should support some of those children in a part of Africa recently visited, where malaria is still a major threat and where small African children die needlessly.

Despite malnutrition, dirty water, HIV/AIDS, general disease and wars and other tribal and territorial strife, malaria succeeds in killing an African child every 45 seconds.

Yet, £3 will buy a new mosquito net impregnated with an insecticide that will give a child a fighting chance.

All I have to do really is to buy more than a few, and to maybe pass around that knowledge and ask others to try and do the same.

So, anyone passing here, if you like these photos of a beautiful, strong winged, majestic eagle and you have a mind to help, please send some money to a charity that helps provide mosquito nets for those underprivileged kids that might die without them.

You may not be a Christian, I'm not but they'll accept my money and so I'm sure they'll accept yours too...


African Fish Eagle on a small island in the Chobe river which separates the two beautiful countries of Botswana from Namibia.

Monday, 6 December 2010

memories of chobe safari

This is the elephant in the room.

This wonderful animal plodded gently through the brush of what is part of Botswana's Chobe National Park. It quietly approached our vehicle with outstretched trunk sensing the air, sniffing for smell of threat. Our driver and guide, Lucky, had told us not to speak, not to make a sound or sudden movement. We could easily scare this elephant although we were all petrified in any case and it may well feel threatened and therefore charge. It's eyesight being bad as with all elephants it had to come close to investigate and once it was positioned in front of us, I felt able to take this shot of the right eye.

Look deep within it. Such a lovely brown. Soft and almost welcoming perhaps. Trusting.

She stood close and still for a few moments and then slowly moved off. All the while several other elephants had passed by, on both sides of our vehicle. Some ignoring us, some stopping momentarily and sniffing for scent, others to pull vegetation with a trunk's end and a snap of the root. Others had no sense of concern and crashed noisily through the trees and brush, and in between the legs of some the smallest and less sure footed babies stumbled, vainly making a grab for mum's tail.

I didn't time how long we sat there quietly watching as elephants from several matriarchal groups passed us by, but as we independently counted in small groups we agreed between us that we had been passed by a few thousand. A small fraction of the 140,000 odd that live in Botswana.

A most beautiful country and long may it be so.
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