Life in Africa

Life in Africa is always exciting and unexpected things can happen, this makes Africa a great environment to work in. Perhaps it is not suitable for everyone: long days, dark days, things happen just on that moment you want to leave, animals escape, new animals come in, loosing stuff, stuff breaks and then another day has passed and your ‘to do’ list is still too long. This can be very frustrating, but if you just smile and surrender to these way of life…tomorrow is another day.

This all happened a few weeks ago. It was a Sunday night and me and my friend just got home from a relaxing day with live music and some good company. After being dropped by our taxi driver, we walked to our house. Our house is situated in the middle of the wildlife centre, this means a firm five minute walk slightly uphill in a pitch black surrounding. Fortunately we brought a light this time and we were able to check whether there were hyena’s in the area or not (yes they do wonder around). We were literally just five minutes in our beds and we heard this enormous bang. In the beginning it was completely silent after this sound, but afterwards we heard the monkeys making alarm calls to each other…Our volunteer manager receives a call and I heard her saying that she is on her way. Before I knew it, I jumped out of my bed put clothes on and grabbed a lamp….…there is a FIRE!!!! Everyone needed to wake up and got up. First, I saw some branches glowing and some sparks, it was not clear whether the fire was on our property. The volunteer manager hurried down with a volunteer to see what was going on, the rest stayed behind and we locked ourselves into the house. This may sound weird when there is a fire, however here this fire can also be a diversion for thieves to get to the house. When I looked out of the window for the second time, I saw this big fire with flames coming out of the tree, it was smoking and glowing like crazy. It looked really impressive and scary at the same time. Can this fire spread, since it is so dry up here…we were not sure what to expect. The vervets, baboons and blue monkeys that live just near our volunteer house were high up in the trees still making alarm calls.

They know exactly when they are in a dangerous situation. Everyone was ready to evacuate, we all carried our valuables on us. Finally, we heard sirens and I received a call. The fire is indeed on our property, unfortunately the restaurant caught fire and is burning down but the fire is not spreading. The fire department stayed for hours trying to get the fire out. Everyone was safe and unharmed, however other things could have happened if the fire started during the day. Let’s not think about that….another day in Africa….

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