Wednesday, 14 October 2009

One week today!

So we survive a week with nothing too nasty to report, but at the same time I guess only limited success on our main missions at this early stage - finding a house, a car (or maybe even two) and lots of birds. Still, I think it's fair to say that we're already feeling much more at home here now though, for Kitty at least, familiarity seems to be breeding more than a little boredom. Hopefully we can find her some daily entertainment/education with small friends sooner rather than later - though it is half-term here so nothing to look at right now. She did enjoy a 'cold thing' (i.e. ice cream, but don't tell the Mancub...) and play at a local cafe this morning and was quite taken by watching the fundi's working on the land rover engine outside this afternoon, but something more structured or at least involving suitable friends will probably be better for all concerned!

So what progress can we report after one week? Well, a good 20 or so houses visted, two or three of which might be OK, but all have one or more drawback at the moment - our current favourite (with fantastic views of Meru and a garden with mangos, bananas, passion fruit and a great big old leopard tortoise that gave the Mancub a fright - "'Tone! 'Tone!" as an apparent large stone started ambling under the bush!) isn't available until the end of November, and we discovered another couple of people who are interested in it too today... We shall see.

On the car front I've test driven 5 or so - one land rover with gears that needed ifnding rather like a lucky-dip and very loose steering, and several Suzuki Escudos which seemed much nicer. Anyone know anything about them? It's not quite the same as trundling up to a dealership and asking what's available - lots of phone calls and rendevouz in random corners of town, plenty of friends of friends and no guarantees anywhere to be seen...

And for the bird front, still no expeditions - though I managed to see a lovely lilac-breasted roller on my way to a garage today and whilst trying to revise a paper this morning I enjoyed a constant stream of European Bee-eaters over the garden. Once we've sorted some wheels we'll have to hit the bush properly to find some study sites - and once my research permit is sorted too - the problem is actually not at this end at all, but Aberdeen are being very, very slow making the final payment and we could be returned home if I do any research without a proper permit. Though this seems unlikely as I had a productive session at TAWIRI (TAnzania WIldlife Research Institute) the other day and hope to have not only got myself invited for the mad wetland bird counts in January (ever tried counting all the birds on a soda lake with more than a million pairs of flamingos nesting there? With a heard of buffalo breathing down your neck? Lots of fun!) but also it seems like I might get invlved in some basic ornithologal training with them too. As ever, it looks like I just need to make the right contacts with the right people, but I had at least been given some useful introductions before my visit.

Anyway, must post now before the power goes again - a combination of no water in the hydro-electric stations and high winds right now mean the power is rather dodgy at the moment. Hence no post yesterday, and it's already been off 5 or 6 times whilst I type!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like fun, and good to know children can be bored no matter what new experiences you throw at them...hope there's a nice something for her to slot into soon.