I talk so much about the cheetahs, Tyson and Atheno, lately that sometimes I forget to mention the other kinds of animals I interact with daily. I've discovered a sweet pair of meerkats that I love to visit. They were originally names Hansel and Gretel until Hansel was discovered to be a girl, so now they're Hannah and Gretel.
Last night Marieta had a braai--a sort of barbecue they have here. They cook meat over a fire and people laugh and talk and drink for hours while it cooks. Namibians work hard but they play hard, too. I'm sure there are more than a few headaches today.
A couple of highlights from the party: At one point I was talking to Conrad about a dog with epilepsy. I had a glass of wine in my hand, and suddenly I heard a "glug-glug." I thought, "Someone is refilling my glass." But I looked and there was Lexi, the Great Dane, with her huge tongue all the way down in my glass. Apparently this isn't the first time she's shown an affinity for a nice dry white wine.
Later I was talking to Nica, Marieta's 10-year-old granddaughter, and we noticed the 13-year-old son of one of the workers performing antics for her. I whispered to her that he obviously liked her and was showing off. She looked at me doubtfully and then she got it. "Oh," she said, "just like the boy peacocks who spread and shake their feathers for the girls." Clever girl.
Dinner was good (although not until 10:30 or so) but the highlight of my meal was getting to give the baby baboon, Ollie, her bottle of milk. She closed her eyes and sucked and then just drifted off to sleep in my arms. Heavenly.