Friday, August 29, 2008

Night and Morning at Ndarakwai

The night sky was clear with more stars than I have even seen. The Milky Way looked like a solid silvery white band in a sea of stars in a closely packed speckled pattern. I woke up at 3 AM [the remains of jet lag] and walked down to the dining area which is adjacent to a creek. There was a rusting sound coming from the bank below me. When I shone my flashlight in this direction, I saw a bush buck[like our deer] grazing on the shore. The light does not startle him and he continues on his way. I return to my tent,which is more like a suite with separate sleeping and sitting, toilet, shower and sink areas, falling back to sleep immediately. I am awakened by a beautiful bird call: chi,chi chi, teacher,teacher,teacher. The notes are clear and are repeated in multiple variations. At first light[about 6:15] I dress quickly since it quite cold [mid 40's] and return to the dining area. In the tree above me a family of blue monkeys were feeding on the dry seeds. With a cup of hot coffee in hand , I sit and watch them only a few feet away from me and they stare back at me. It is a curious encounter between primates. We are joined by many species of birds and I am wishing I had brought my binoculars and a Tanzanian bird book. Breakfast consists of juice, fresh fruit, coffee or tea, eggs as you like them, toast, muffins and home made jams. What a lovely way to start the day!

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