Monday, November 12, 2007

The little things in life

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while! I was planning on using this as a record of my first field season, but it just hasn't happened. Firstly, everything here is always hectic, and secondly... life in the field is tremendously dramatic and exciting when you're there, but in actual fact, when I try to explain what's been going on, I always realise how incredible boring it is. Here's my basic schedule:

06h30: wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, pack equipment for the field
07h30: leave for the field
07h40 - 08h00: walk from car to field site, taking two trips because of all the equipment
08h00 - 12h00: trap lizards, getting sunburnt, exhausted and often injured in the process ( I consider a day that I don't bleed as a day wasted)
13h00: leave field site, get back to the house and process samples. If possible take a nap on he dodgy futon couch thing (photos will be added as soon as I get home to faster connection speed!
14h00: start other work - either processing lizards - which can take hours, or else walking around the farm for a few hours with traps, trying to get extra lizards.
17h00: start finishing up the previous days lizards, do readings on the other student's lizards
23h00: bed

That's it, 7 days a week! if it rains, I'll use the opportunity to catch up on sleep, get my work done slightly earlier and take walks for fun instead of for work. Nothing too exciting to write about! Occasionally something will happen - like I'll be bleeding more profusely than usual, or the time I got sunstroke and was unable to sleep for 3 days because I was too burnt to lie down in any workable posiion. Or the power failure the other night, which had a nasty effect on our food which i only realised 2 days ago, after cooking with some of said food and becoming violently ill for two days. There was also the day I pioneered a new lizard-trapping strategy, of hiding in bushes and then jumping out to scare lizards onto traps. it worked very well until I realsied that sme of the farmers from next door had just driven past, and found me tumbling out of bushes to be mildly amusing!

I can't really think of anything else interesting.

Its coming close to the end of this season's work. I'm a bit stressed, I have a lot to do in the next 3 weeks, and am not nearly where I need to be. We lost 6 of the last 8 days to rain, which also doesn't really help too much! I can't wait to get home and see everyone again, but I'm also dreading all of this being over. Its kind of nice, being in charge of my own schedule, knowing that if I don't work hard enough I have to answer to myself. I've also grown to like the farm, its really beautiful, especially at aroun 5 or so in the afternoon, when I take a walk, and its all quiet and cool, and still. I really love the fact that if I can't sleep, I can also go for a walk, without worrying about anything more than disturbing a sleepy kudu along the way. It took the farmers next door 5 weeks to realise that we were here, we're so isolted. It'll be hard to go home to the noise and the rush of joburg, where there are people everywhere and traffic and the noise which gave me such a headace when I went home for a couple of days a little while ago. The idea of having to switch my priorities from catching lizards to having a social calendar and christmas shopping and having people around all the time... I miss the people back home lke crazy, but I'm not sure I can handle going home just yet!