We had quite an event while boarding the ferry on the way home today. Two cars were at the houses, not at the ferry and we passed them and boarded the ferry. One of the drivers for the cars at the houses went berserk. It seems he felt he was first in line, even though he wasn’t in line… He seemed drunk, he was definitely pissed, so angry he was stuttering. He boarded the ferry and proceded to guard the rope we pull across and proclaim he was first to the laughing crowd. The laughing didn’t help and he got in our drivers face when he was trying to set up the ferry for the crossing.
Now our driver was pissed and the rest of the 20 minutes of arguing and dismantling of the ferry, so it couldn’t cross. It was all about pride and who was first, aka who had to back down. The angry drivers passengers tried to convince our driver to pull off the ferry and let them go. I stayed out of it due to the high levels of tension. We eventually pulled ourselves across by using the cable that the ferry is normally tied to, the angry driver had unattached the ferry from the cable…
Once we got across, with the angry driver on the ferry with us, we exited and everything was fine! Once we landed the car on ground the angry driver seemed fine, and was trying to befriend our driver. At this point our driver was too pissed to listen so it was pretty humorous to see the initiator trying to persuade our driver they were friends. I am guessing there was something deeper going on, since the two drivers knew each other.
It was classic screaming fit angry and best friends an hour later.
I woke up feeling recharged this morning, I think it is my second wind. My brain began working through being finished with the “check list” last week. I am beginning to understand how I work. While working, I am in it, and basically I see most of what I get as crap, I am constantly pushing myself to do better so I am unable to truly see the work. Once I finish, I crash, but I begin to be able to see the work for what it is. Last night I looked through the May aperture library and saw a lot of good stuff I didn’t realize I had.
I believe I will finish strong which is a nice feeling. I was worried last night I was crashing and would not make it through the last week. Granted, I am doing 1/2 days because I am tired, I cannot push myself like I was able to in the beginning, not to mention the days have been unbearably hot. So working 6am to noon/3pm.
I started with the second wasmannia team today. They are enthusiastic about finding ant species, so finding only mega cephalus in the savanna has been a drain on them, plus the forests are poor in ant species it seems.
We drove to the the Moambe today, an area I haven’t visited much. We found a nice hippo trail, and a net that showed how people fish when the area floods. The sun was in full force today so it was draining.
I shot some marshy areas that I had photographed with the fish team, completing the checklist for the mission. All that is left is the large mammals and the second wasmannia team. Hadrien mentioned a good spot to try and get elephants crossing the road so that will be the focus once the 2 days of ants are over.
With the feeling of being done, comes a complete exhaustion. It has been a long trip and unlike on other trips I haven’t felt like I have had downtime, a day where I could escape and do nothing. A recharge is greatly needed.
We went from Moloundo to Mayumba today, oddly enough the end of our trip ended at a safari plane that had been left near an airstrip for 9 to 20 years. It was a nice trip, Ghislain is a good driver and he went slow. The only gripe is that Gabonese people don’t like their photo taken, so besides a few willing kids all the shots were of houses. I completely understand people not wanting their photo taken, but I was bummed because this was the part of the work I was originally excited about, the human impact.
With a week and palm wine I could change some hearts and minds, but with just a day or two its hard getting past being seen as a tourist.
Still a good day.
Nice bird shots today, otherwise a quiet day.
When we stopped to walk around we often found old hunting camps or shot gun shells, etc.