Something Borrowed – Day 12

Posted on March 18, 2012

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logged Cordia in the forest

logged Cordia in the forest

Last night I asked the project director if there was any ribbon on site or whether the villagers in the centre a few miles away might sell some. I’m fast using up the Elastoplast he bought me and I need to be able to mark and lay out all of my plots by Friday. He flatly answered no. Then after dinner he disappeared and produced a checked shirt.

“I’ve had this shirt since I first took my position here”, he said. The shirt is about five years old and is one of his favourites. But alas the collar has a hole in it which is gradually widening and it’s falling to pieces. “So,” he said: “You can have this if you can find a pair of scissors to cut it into ribbons.”

I successfully finished Line 5 today thanks to Geoffrey’s donation. When I returned to camp, sticky and grubby, I could see Geoffrey sitting in the Banda – the small straw-thatched hut in the middle of camp. I hollered as I emerged from the forest out of breath: “Geoffrey Saki-yako ecco danya Kibrani!” Which means your shirt is hanging in the forest. He laughed heartily.

I’ve got to wait two days before we head into Masindi for the weekly shop, when I can stock up on something else to use as markers for the next area N5. Until then Lines 1 and 2 which I will plot tomorrow and Friday will also be dotted with the camp director’s shirt.

I’m quickly learning that each transect line comes with its own problems. Line 5 has a lot of thorny branches and I felt like my arms were shredded to pieces today. Some tree species invariably grow these thorns to protect themselves. But they are lethal.  You certainly don’t want to fall on a bundle or get caught in the eye by a branch. They also have an annoying way of penetrating deep into the fabric of your clothes too, so you become attached to the branch. You have to pull out the thorn before moving on, otherwise you’ll scratch yourself badly. Move way and you’ll just pull the whole branch with you and won’t get very far. I did this several times. Moses just shakes his head, I hate to think what he thinks of my forest etiquette. I must look like a fish out of water.

Line 2 is on the agenda tomorrow. I wonder what horrors it’ll have in store for me?

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