I freelanced at the Outpost today to help out with a wedding. Because they were so busy it meant that they had no room for me to stay over. I therefore had a genuine commute to work which is about an hour and a quarter from the EcoTraining camp, this is longer than normal because one of the roads is still out of action – it certainly beats any of my commutes that I had back in the UK for scenery and congestion.
The days work wasn’t too taxing, seven until seven on duty. On arrival I attended the staff meeting which started with a hymn and a prayer. Then I was put to work – first up it was simply driving to the wedding venue to set out the tables and chairs. The instructions weren’t that elaborate, “It’s a clearing in the Fever Tree Forest, Sarah has put a stick in a pile of elephant dung to mark the spot”. Luckily I followed some of the guys who had been there the day before so we found it without a problem.
When it actually came to the guests, it wasn’t a case of providing them with a guided experience, it was simply driving them to and from the wedding venue which was about an hour away. We obviously couldn’t just leave them in the middle of the bush all alone so we made ourselves discreet to be on hand in case of any seven ton wedding crashers.
The bush part of the wedding went on until sundown, this meant driving back in the dark which was fine until I got a puncture. Luckily we were out of “Ambush Alley” by this point and on Pafuri Main. I managed to change the tyre incredibly quickly, I actually impressed myself. The guests, all ten of them were great about the whole situation and pitched into help, their mood was helped by Sarah stopping by with a cool box.
The hardest part was guest control as people were having fun, having a few beers and having to pee. There could have been anything in those bushes, you hardly ever fail to see buffalo there plus we regularly see leopard on that stretch of road. Luckily we didn’t lose any guests and were soon on our way.
On the final approach to the Outpost we were getting all the dust from the Landy in front so I explained that we’ll give them a little bit of space ahead. I killed the engine and lights so that we could listen to the night and see the stars clearly. This worked a treat as there was no moon so the stars really stood out. The icing on the cake was a shooting star which got a collective “wow”.
Lovely guests to drive around today and I did manage to slip in some interpretation which is always fun. Once we pulled into the Outpost after the ordeal of the puncture the guests gave a round of applause which was I imagine more out of relief than anything else.
My day at the Outpost was over so I had to make a dash back to camp to take part in the “Trails Group” festivities of “Fines Night”. Driving back in the moonless night heightened my senses. I didn’t want to drive into an elephant, this could be quite possible given that it would match the colour of both the tar road and the night sky exactly.
The fines were not too heavy but all had to be drank out of Wien’s boot. My fines, amongst other things were for having virtually all my family visit the camp during the trails course.
I had missed a lot during the day, the students had gone on a very long walk to Langer Gorge where Jack and Michelle had got engaged and poor Dee was flat out with Malaria.