Plots Completed – Day 15

Posted on March 18, 2012


This morning I was planning a lie in. It’s incredible how much a week’s worth of walking will take it out of you. I’ve calculated that this week I walked 50km in five days in 30 degree heat. The plots in W21 are finished and I can now think about the arduous task of cutting my own lines in N5. But alas the birds had other ideas, I awoke startled at 0700. One little fella decided to start squawking outside my window and pecking at the netting on the window. It was no use even putting the pillow over my head; he reached an octave that could penetrate lead let alone wood and fabric. His call is really unusual; he sounds more like R2-D2 out of StarWars than a bird. Vernon if you can enlighten me on this species I’ll be most grateful.

Budongo Conservation Field Station - the Banda and main house

Budongo Conservation Field Station - the Banda and main house

As soon as I flung open my door to scowl at the culprit, the cheeky bugger flew away (laughing at me, I’m sure!). So, making the most of the early start I planned a day of admin and household chores.

I’ve tidied and swept my room, done my washing, ironing, cooked lunch for myself and have just completed inputting five day’s worth of data. There’s something immensely satisfying about ticking things off a check list. I’ve got a stack of reading to do, today and tomorrow. Budongo has a small library with past Masters reports. Yesterday evening I flicked through a few and found some interesting findings on Cordia in the different areas of the Budongo Forest Reserve including the compartments I’m investigating. It’ll be good to see if there are any papers which have been cited, that I may be able to use for my research.

The weekends are quiet at camp, the local students go home to see friends and family and sometimes the western students take a trip up to one of the national parks or the capital, Kampala. I know Geoffrey would like to see me get out of the forest; but to be fair, I’m in no rush to head into a smoky city and there’s a lot to do in the remaining 6 weeks. The weekends are the perfect time to check the data I’ve entered for typos and mistakes and to blog. The fresh air here has done me the world of good, and although physically I’m a little tired, mentally I feel the most relaxed and switched on I’ve felt in years.

I can’t see me going anywhere unless it’s to extend my visa – which is another saga I am not looking forward to. By the middle of next month I will have to bus it back to Kampala to line up at the immigration office. Apparently the queue can be very slow and very long. So if I have to leave camp and travel that distance, I’m going to make it worth my while and crowbar in some interviews too, which will fit in with the second half of my study. Every day is a working day in Budongo, but to be fair, when it’s work like this, who’s complaining?