Friday, 9 November 2012

Of Sweaty Palms and Teenagers...

Written on 25/10/2010

Good morning all,

So we're close to being on the move again, Wednesday 27/10/2010, if nothing goes wrong with the travel permits and I can pick them up without a hitch this morning...

You may be wondering just what state of mind we're in... This has always been the most hazardous part of our journey because of disease and the unknown. Malaria and sleeping sickness are 2 major worries for Christine and I, and then there are all the water borne bugs... The 3 major horse diseases, African Horse Sickness (95% mortality), sleeping sickness (high mortality) and billary start now.

Throughout the centuries North/South horseback exploration of Africa has been stymied by this very area that Christine and I are about to attempt, 1300km through the biggest swamp in the world (or so I'm told). We've trained the horses well and are carrying the best medication we can lay our hands on, but the most important of all is prevention. Old explorers did not have the same information we have nowadays and this is what gives us the confidence to bypass diseased areas and not to put ourselves and our horses in danger.

There are such varying accounts of what Southern Sudan is like with the effects of a long civil war and poverty, and yet I'm really excited to be given the chance of seeing it and meeting the people before they are affected by tourism.

So what is the "Teams" reaction to moving on...I'd like to tell you that I'm an old salt and that nothing phases me anymore but the truth is I'm light headed, have butterflies in my stomach and very sweaty palms... Christine has a tummy that requires an ablution facility close by...and she hasn't stopped babbling... Chami has decided to try to run off into the village without that is a first seeing as he suffers terribly from separation anxiety! Nali is brooding and resentful...he reminds me of the typical "American Movie" teenager who has been forced to move to a new town away from his friends and all he's ever known...
Biding time..
After a couple of hoof-falls the road will become our old friend again...meeting new people will distract us from loving family and friends...Chami and Nali will miss their friend Pepsi less...and the challenge of finding horse feed will start all over again (I still don't have a sickle)...

Hold thumbs!!!

William and Christine
Billy writing this email!

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