My 1990 Zambia Chimpanzee Chronicles, Part II

To refresh your memory of the first installment of my Zambia Chimanzee Chronicles, .

The chimps have met us gently, taking our hands on theirs. Sandy, one of the 14-year-o1ds, has a cold. I work on his ears and he hugs the wire and sticks his ear out to me. Cooo reaches out and grabs the money out of my pocket. Sheila rescues it just in time.

From 5-6 p.m. is the time the chimps try to break out, so David must go carefully around all the cages checking the wire. We make a tour of the 7 acre enclosure. An enormous wall surrounds it, 15 feet tall with electric wire planned for the top. There will be a lower strand of electric wire at 5 feet. The resourceful chimps will most likely break off branches and lean them against the wall to scale it. David feels that they should know the wire is electrified before they get up to 15 feet, touch it and fall back so far.

Only the gate remains to be finished, and the roof of the cement holding areas, and the wire around the top. David figures another 2 months.

The area is heavily wooded and grassed. We sit around the outside table in the twilight discussing TTouch and TTeam.

Sheila treats all the Zambians in the ranch compound (village) and is very interested in TTouch.

8:30 p.m. Darkness descends. The 9/10th full moon lights the African night. We go into the house for dinner of boiled potatoes, stew, squash and mixed veggies. And directly after, fall into bed. The generator is turned off and we wash up by the light of the kerosene lanterns. Our rooms don’t have mosquito nets. I learn the next day that malaria-carrying mozzies don’t buzz and don’t leave an itchy spot. Who knows if we’ve been bitten or not. Within the first week that Tracy arrived with Mark from England, she contracted malaria. Tracy had only been on anti-malaria tablets for a week. Same with me. Tracy’s malaria started with intense fever and dizziness. It lasted about a day, which she spent mostly sleeping and returned lightly a week later with weakness. David and Sheila get malaria frequently in spite of 16 years of anti-malaria tablets.

© 2011, Linda Tellington-Jones. All rights reserved.


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