Miscellaneous Adventures at Kasanka

One night last week, I was halfway through preparing myself a delicious dinner of minestrone (complete with carrots, green peppers, and green beans) when there was a knock at my door. The cook from the Conservation Centre had brought me what appeared to be a giant hunk of meat. She asked me if I ate bushmeat, and after some consideration of the circumstances, I told her I would. It turns out that they had found a puku that had been snared just outside of the park, near the Area Warden’s house. Apparently poaching in that area has gotten pretty bad; and several snares have been found over the last few weeks. So I decided that even though the puku was poached, since it was already dead it should not go to waste. So I cut off a chunk of puku and then discovered I really had no idea what to do with it. I only rarely have meat at site, and never have I had to prepare it for myself.  Even in America, I only rarely prepared meat for myself. I was also faced with the additional challenge of time. So I decided to marinate the meat, cook it a bit and then throw it into my soup. Since it was already late, I only allowed the meat to marinate for about half an hour. I think that if I had allowed it to soak for longer it would have been even better. As it was, it turned out pretty tasty, but the meat was still very chewy.

I then left Kasanka for a week to visit Lavushi Manda National Park and the Bangweulu Wetlands. I wrote a separate post about this adventure ( http://wp.me/p1ujt1-1z ). So I returned to Kasanka on Tuesday. The electricity is still not working, which is definitely a hamper to work. I was looking forward to a full night’s rest, without having to worry about getting up early or anything. Things were going well until I woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of a thunderstorm and thought I felt something crawling on me. After a few brushes I realized there was in fact something crawling on me. With dread I turned on my flashlight and confirmed my suspicion: my house was filled with mposhi, the small biting ants that invade houses from time to time. I had a run in with them a few months ago. This time was worse since it was pouring rain, and it was almost 3 AM. I got up and knocked on my neighbor’s door to get the key for the guesthouse. I spent the rest of the night there and spent the next day sweeping up spider carcasses and other bugs from my house. Needless to say it was not an awesome night.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to continue my quest to visit all the stops on the Nsobe Sitatunga Route and work on the conservation plan and other information for Open Africa. I was glad I got to check two places off the list – Lavushi Manda National Park and Lake Waka Waka. I will be writing a more in-depth review and posting it on my other blog soon, so stay tuned!

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