Walking With Cheetahs 2011 travel blog

We woke up this morning, unscathed, from the fierce lightning storm... well it probably seemed more fierce than any other storm being that we are in a tent! However, the farm has lost power. This means no running water, no flushing toilets and no showers... just yet (so we're told).

Aside from the black out and the staff having to try and get the generator back up, the rest of the day was as per usual. Our group had Enclosure Patrol (the task of walking perimiters of each enclosure and checking the electricity is still on). Being as there is no power we thought 'yay, no patrol' hahaha boy we were wrong... All electric fences are run off solar power - of course - so they still have power therefore, patrols are still on.

This time our team was split in two - Karen and I were to check the caracals, lions and two wild dog enclosures. The other team checks cheetahs, leopards and another lion enclosure. It is always daunting when checking the lion enclosure as we have been advised that if the reading is below 3.0 then you run away as fast as you can as it's likely there is little power running through it and it won't stop the lions getting out if they decided they were hungry for volunteers! Thankfully, it all went ok. On the check of the first wild dog enclosure our meter broke. The meter we had has seperate chord that you have to place on a non electric part of the fence to earth it. That chord had snapped off.. damn... we were so bummed about not being able to read the last enclosure that we went back to camp and had a muffin, we like getting back in time for muffins lol

Karen had been suggesting to some staff that maybe they should hold a trivia night, just something to get everyone together for some fun after a long tiring day. Two of the staff members had worked on it and tonight was to be trivia night, they even had prizes!

Tanya and another lady Annette (German lady) were in our team. We had been entertaining Tanya over the past few days on some aussie lingo and one word that she got hooked on was..... doona! Everybody else in the camp referred to them as duvets but Karen and I could only call them doonas so Tanya decided our team should be called the Doonas.

I think our team had the oldest members in it, which we thought could be an advantage if the questions are generic. There was to be a prize for first place, naturally and then a booby prize for last. Chocolate was at stake so we put our thinking caps on (well so we thought the prizes would be chocolate....)

There were to be 30 questions, some questions having more than one answer so the total score could be as much as 60 points. Turns out the questions were predominately on N/a 'an ku se, it's staffe members, residents (ie animals) and Namibia.... we were screwed a) because we didn't have a memeber in the team who had been there for more than 2 wks (some teams had members who were staff themselves or had been volunteering for last few months) and b) we hadn't been paying attention to our surrounds such as the names of animals - one question asked for the names of all 16 cheetahs (we only got 7) or favourite breakfast meal of the head co-ordinator Cila. So what do we do? we made the answers up!!

One question asked for the 3 types of hyenas found in that area.. we knew there were spotted and brown but had no clue on the third. I suggested.... the laughing hyena! Didn't win a point but got a few laughs.

In the end we got a massive score of......... 36! yay!!! so the Doonas won the booby prize which was - a night spent in the watch tower!

The watch tower is a rickety wooden tower on the permiter of the farm and the main road. It's purpose is the look out for wildlife entering the premises through wholes in fences etc. We'd seen the tower and noticed the ladder and there was no way we were either getting up there or if in some miracle we did, there was definitely no way of getting back down unless gravity intervened and we landed face first in the dirt! so no one took up the prize. Besides, Karen and I only had 2 more nights left there so it wasn't convenient.. awwww.

The first prize winners got to name the only animals on the farm that had not already been named... the 4 peacocks! I think one got called Pedro, Ralphy and the other two slipped out mind...

Over all it was a great night, we all had fun and laughter and we think it may become a tradition... thanks to Karen for suggesting it.

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