Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Balls Deep in the Bush

I sent three c.v.'s, copies of the last six pages of my logbook, and five passport photos to Civil Aviation Authority-Botswana yesterday. When I returned to the office Andrew, wild-eyed and a bit disheveled (he was supposed to be back from the bush on Saturday but trips kept coming up so he had to fly people to and fro while the emails, texts, and phone messages piled up. The life of a owner/manager/pilot is three times as hectic as it is glamorous), sent me to his house to quickly pack a bag. I hopped in the 206 with Vasay (pronounced vasher) the Russian-Kiwi to head to Eagle Island Camp. Talk about an interesting accent. Eagle Island is one of three camps that Orient Express, the world-wide tour company, runs in Africa.

Vasay has been based at Eagle Island for the last year. It's safe to say that he's over it. His Tolstoy is beating his Hillary. But he agreed to stay on until his replacement, me, is up to speed. We spent the day landing at various airstrips, flying scenic routes, and discussing what to do when "Ze damned baboons break into hangar" and destroy the windscreen.

Because I packed a bag on such short notice, I brought the camera but not the cord, so I can't show you the elephant dung that was on the path outside my tent this morning. And even if I remembered the cord, you wouldn't be able to see the lions eating on the zebra that they killed less than a hundred meters from our helicopter two days ago because the hyenas dragged the carcass off last night.

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