No picture today, I'm afraid. The wireless is down at Harnas for several days and so the women in the office have been kind enough to let me use the wired computers. But I can't input pictures from my camera to this computer. Ah, Africa.
I arrived last night (Friday) and promptly realized that I'd left my adapter back in Windhoek at Casa Blanca. Fortunately, I found a volunteer leaving today who sold me hers. So I have power but no internet for awhile. So it goes.
The first creature I had to find--even before any person--was Pickles, my African dog. It didn't take long. I spotted her little white body across the lapa lawn and called to her. There was a pause during which she tried to place my voice, and then the streak of white. She practically knocked me over, despite being all of about 20 pounds.
One problem, though: I had been warned that Pickles had been "adopted" from Marieta by a mechanic here named Conrad, and he might not be too happy with my kidnapping Pickles from him for 3 weeks. I braced myself. When he finally showed up after work to the dinner area, Pickles went wild to see him, and it became clear to me that he adored her and vice versa. My heart melted and we worked out a deal: I would get custody of her during the day when he worked, and he would take her home to sleep each night. It was lonely in bed last night, but we did the right thing, as any parents would: think of the child first.
Last night was heavenly. I spent the evening with about 8 staff members from Harnas--many of whom have been friends of mine for several years, including Marieta (newly nicknamed Mamba). We spent hours eating, drinking, and laughing while I got filled in on Harnas gossip and wild stories. Every once in a while a silence would fall as we stopped to listen to the lions roaring back and forth to each other. It doesn't matter how often you hear it, the rumbling roars of the kings of Harnas fill you with awe and wonder.
I put my head back and closed my eyes and felt so happy to be home in Africa again.