Sunday, 15 March 2015

Mphamvu's Progress

One of the major things that have happened while I have been offline, is how well the youngest orphan Mphamvu has been doing. When I last updated he was just starting to socialise with the other orphans free-contact style (with no barriers between) in the outer boma.  I have summed up a few of his major developments here:

Walks outside the outer boma with keeper (mid November 2014):

Mphamvu had been enjoying socialising with the other elephants at lunch time and during the evening, but he was not quite strong enough to go out on the long walks with the other orphans. However, it is important that he could have bit of variety in his environment, to graze in different vegetation and to be able to mud wallow in new area. So after the other orphans set out on their morning walk, Keeper Eldridge coaxed him outside the boma using his milk bottle and led him to the Ox-Bow just outside the outer boma. He soon realised this new area was very interesting and enthusiastically began grazing on the soft fresh grass by the water. He then spent a few hours in this area, coming back into the boma peacefully with the other elephants at lunch time. His condition improved further and gaining strength every day.

Here Mphamvu is being coaxed out of the boma with his milk bottle and enjoying the variety of grazing at the water

Friday, 13 March 2015

Mother's Day present idea: Mini Scrapbooks

I've been dying to get some scrapbooking on here, but with my crafting stash stuck in South Africa, living in Zambia AND currently blogging from land of reliable internet (England!) it hasn't been easy! With Mother's Day fast approaching I thought it would be a good time to share some mini books I've made for some special mothers in my life; my mum, my "mom" in-law, as well as my sister and my sister in law, who both have very young boys and so are new to being on the receiving side.

These are mini books using 4" x 4" pieces of chipboard, held together with book rings, decorated with scrapbook paper, mini pockets, and lots of embellishments from my stash!  I first made the books, and then managed to find a Kodak kiosk and pressed the option for "wallet" prints, which are the perfect size (2" x 3") as I made most of the mats (spaces for the photos) 3" x 3". I found the wallet size fitted the best as it left space for either captions of the photos or journalling - the all important personal touch! Every page has either a tag hidden behind the photo mat, flaps or a pull out mat, to fit in even more memories. To finish them off I added a little charm or bead to hang from the book ring, and ta da, a thoughtful personal keepsake for mums to treasure forever!

My sisters mini book: BEFORE

Monday, 3 November 2014

Meet Mphamvu: the latest addition to the orphans!

A few days after my last post, we rescued a little two and a half year old baby elephant, and this feisty little thing has taken up most of my time since! (Hence the lack of days off… and blog posts!)

Meet Mphamvu...

We heard reports of a lone calf wandering for a few days near Ngoma (in the South of Kafue National Park), but attempts had failed to track it down.  However, on the 17th September, The Kafue Research Project team spotted 2.5 year old calf wandering alone in the open about 15km from the Kafue Release Facility.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Bit of British in the Bush: Toad in the Hole

One of my husbands favourite British meals - I used to make it frequently in South Africa. But moving to the bush without a proper kitchen (especially no oven!) I thought I wouldn't be able to make it again. After attempting to cook brownie mix on the fire (by hollowing out oranges and putting the mix inside, closing them up and wrapping them in tin foil) we had an excess of chocolate brownie mix which we just threw in the cast iron black pot, known as the "Dutch Oven" (not in Australia apparently!) Anyhow, it cooked quite nicely.  So when Theo came back from the ration run with some sausages I thought I may as well give it a try. Its always a surprise what he will bring home from  Itezi Tezi, our nearest town with a very small "supermarket!".

Wildlife this week!

This week has been an interesting one for wildlife around camp! Here are some of the animals we have seen...

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Bush Breakfast

This morning was an easy going Sunday morning sleeping late in our tent... well 7am at least (the bush is noisy!) After wandering back bleary eyed over the sand and dry grass from the bathroom, we decided coffee was in order. Not wanting to bother getting out of our PJ's and walk over to the main camp, we decided to give the Kelly Kettle another go (after a bit of a slow start!)

Reality of Rescue

"Don't count your chickens…" was the cautionary message send out to our WhatsApp group when there was excited chatter about the future of a baby elephant that had just been rescued. 

Theo's first rescue with the Elephant Orphanage Project happened while I was visiting family back in the UK, so all I had to keep up with events was the group. With a few fuzzy photos, the story unfolded... A baby (around 18 months old) had been spotted by local villagers,  wandering around without a herd. As she had been spotted a few times they contacted ZAWA (Zambian Wildlife Authority), and so contacted GRI and the EOP.  After Theo and the team got to her, they saw she was severely emaciated and dehydrated, and had likely been without a herd for some time. She was rescued and brought back to the Kafue Release Facility.