While my daughter and I are here with all the comforts of home, hubby is in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe at the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage and Matobo Hills National Park. He’s working with one of the Oregon Zoo’s curators on a biodiversity and leopard study of Matobo Hills. He’s reported that working conditions are not ideal. Daytime temperatures sore into the 100’s, and dip into the 90’s at night. While staying at the orphanage, he’s not able to open the windows in his room... well, he can, but he’ll have to share his space and belongings with monkeys and cute lil’ lion cubs.
|Michael living one of his boyhood fantasies... driving a Land Rover through Africa looking for photo opportunities.|
Most of his time is spent out in the back country of the Matobo Hills. I guess they’re camping while in the park, but to tell you the truth, I don’t want to hear the details of that until he returns.
In case you don’t know what my husband does for a living... he’s a hotshot natural history photographer. His devotion to his work, and the extent he goes to achieve outstanding results, continue to amaze me every day. His work is so specialized that he is forced to develop and create equipment to suit his needs. With the tight airline security in force, you can imagine the delays he encounters when traveling internationally. During security checks, he’s questioned, sometimes interrogated and delayed while he explains mysterious photo equipment to personnel. With language barriers, the stress level is high. When I traveled to Ecuador and The Galapagos with him last year, I witnessed a bit of that stress first hand.
While he’s traveling in Africa, we’ve had a few conversations using FaceTime on our smart iPhones and iPads, but because power and internet is inconsistent, we have to go for days or weeks without communication. He tells me that being out of contact with us is his greatest source of anxiety.
I look forward to the day when I’m able to travel with him more frequently.
These are some of the orphaned lions living in the care of the Chipengali orphanage.
Chipengali means “open friendly country.”
I just received more information about this larger lion cub:
“The larger lion cub is 18 months old. This is a bit old (and large) to be roaming with people, but she was so malnourished when she was young that she needed constant care and love and had to fight to live. She is playful but remarkably gentle. Still it is a bit frightening to see her rush over to play since she can knock a person over. She is good with the dogs and small animals. We eat outside and this lion will not try to take food or steal food from the dogs. It’s just weird to have such a large alpha predator with such a mellow disposition.”
I love you sweetie! Stay safe!