Camp Life.

It is more like a compound than a camp in my mind. There are only 4 or 5 geologists living here and about 30-40 locally employed men and one woman. There are some who guard the gate and open it if a vehicle is coming in, there are some who work in the garden and care for the plants, some are employed for field work, some fix things and tend to the camp and some work in the kitchen making the meals. When I went to the mess this morning to have breakfast I was wondering why I didn’t see anyone around. Alastair then came in and told me that all of the workers were going on strike and were currently gathered outside of the gate working out their grievances. I was far more surprised than Alastair seemed. He says this is the first time it has ever happened but he didn’t seem too phased by it and even relatively assured that he could settle things with them.
I asked to go with him the next time he went to talk with the crowd and when I stepped out of the gate I was greeted with a bunch of smiles and nods and ‘good mornings’. I don’t think they wanted to fight in front of the ‘white woman’. The spokesman of the group then declared, in Krio, that out of respect for Alastair and his ‘woman’ they would work today and tomorrow and settle their complaints by Monday. In my mind, it was all very dramatic but no one else seemed to think so and everyone went to work. Everyone is very friendly and eager to make me happy. I’m not sure it it’s because I’m new or that I’m a woman or for another reason but I am being brought things like mangoes and bananas as gifts.
This place would be close to heaven for my nephew Max. Besides there being every kind of insect crawling or flying around, there are also little lizards all over place, big hairy spiders, and a little kitten roaming around. I’ve seen monkeys when driving but not in camp yet. I’m sure there’s a whole world of species waiting for me still ☺


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