Horned Melons, Lightning Strikes and the Very Obese Croc

I can’t believe we are almost halfway through filming… CRAZY or WHAT?! Seriously mind-boggling. I knew from my last experience that time seems to be moving faster here in Africa… but this is a whole new level.

One thing I will never get tired of is getting close to these spectacular individuals. Their eyes tell a thousand stories and their intelligence is exceptional.

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What a privilege to wake up each morning to feed these beauties:

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Having said that, I have definitely come across some other fascinating creatures this week. Examples include this little colourful guy (a perfect demonstration of how nature is the best designer of us all):

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And this croc. Who is fat. REAL fat. Obese by croc standards, really. He was a problem croc at one of the national parks, having killed a few people (*gulp*) so they were going to get rid of him. The conservancy stepped in and offered to relocate him to a private little ‘home’ in their area. They named him Crispen. Crispen resided alone, until a girlfriend, called Margaret, joined. They lived happily ever after for a ridiculously short period of time, until she decided she’d had enough of his food obsession… and escaped. Crispen has since then been a lone bachelor, but he doesn’t mind, cuz at least he doesn’t have to watch his weight.

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Did I mention that I milked a cow for the first time ever, by the way!? I know I am getting way more excited about this than I should, but oddly enough- it’s something I’ve always wanted to do (don’t ask why). We visited one of the local communities to see how they sustain themselves on a daily basis with crops, farming etc. I was in awe of how much they can get from the little amount they have.

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Also, did you know peanuts grow like this?!

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One of the guys just pulled the crop out of the soil and before I knew what was going on, he was making us try raw peanuts… straight from the ground! In the western world we never ask ourselves where these things come from or how they’re grown, but perhaps we should, because next… there was the African cucumber (also called Horned Melon).

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Had no idea what this thing was, but they grew plenty of them and I was encouraged to bite into it. So good! Like a delicious mixture between cucumber, passion fruit and melon. I asked how long these crops can feed the village for if they ever have a drought, and apparently, some of the things they grow can be stored for up to 3 years. That’s unbelievable, given the fact that these people have nothing else. They have 0 possessions and are more self-sustainable than anybody else I know. Really makes you think.

At the end of the whole experience I helped carry fire wood to their homes. In my usual firewood-carrying manner:

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Speaking of communities, I just wanted to say a GINORMOUS thank you to everyone who has donated to the fundraising project. We are one third of the way to the goal and the girls and I are SO excited for the outcome… Please keep sharing / contributing, as this is making a massive difference already!

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I also feel the need to post the picture below, for all those who seem to think Africa is forever sunny without a drop of rain.

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Reality: Africa is indecisive AF.

A regular day during rainy season goes something like: chilly, cloudy, drizzly, so hot you can’t breathe, so cold you can’t breathe, warm, raining like Niagra Falls on a bad day, lightening and thunder so bad you can’t go out, sunny.

In fact, one afternoon we were filming interviews outside the house and I’m doing my non interesting bla bla, and out of NOWHERE, thunder LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD BEFORE. I honestly thought the entire earth was being bombed for a split second. Thankfully, this reaction happened while we were still rolling:

That was also the week I was 10 meters away from getting struck by lightning. TWICE. OH DEAR LAWWWWD!!!!  (Dear insurance company, I’m only joking, I hope you’re not reading this.)

To make myself feel better about practically dying on two separate occasions, I worked super hard the next day:

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Did you say you want to see MORE dogs?? Oh ok then! This is Spud (or as I like to call him: HorseDog), chilling on our outdoor dining table, as one does:

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Next Week: Tracking with the pros, rhino and ele swims, warthog missions and mooore!

Volunteer of the week

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Paaaaaam Pam Pam P-P-P-Paaaaaammmmmmmmmm!

Pam is a bubbly, hilarious and entertaining mix of awesomeness from the Netherlands. She loves to party and has the BEST playlists on her phone, ranging from African beats, which she calls ‘Shaky Shaky’ to RnB hits that make you wish you were back in the early 2000s.

Pam studies African Studies, has lived in Ghana for a year and is currently writing her dissertation. Pam worked 14 hour days at a market stall to save up money for this trip (#respect) and is taking her dad to Namibia after this experience. My 2 favourite fun facts about Pam is that she can do seriously WEIRD sh*t with her tongue and that she seduces men into loving her forever whilst drunk and then doesn’t remember a word of the conversation. Aaaaah, classic Pam.

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