This is a picture of my birthday party. On the banks of the Lomami, we all raised our plastic mugs to toast me, but hey, it’s me that’s proud of them. Two teams were more than two weeks in the forest with no guide except GPS waypoints. So they deserved what was in that empty bottle on the ground!
After the first 11 days two porters came out with rotten feet. They had been with Bernard’s team, on the east bank forest toward the Lualaba River. The team was slogging through swamp day after day. The porters basically sat with their bare feet in the air for two days and are now a lot better.
Bernard came back with his full team after 15 days, but Maurice’s team was gone a day longer. They were to the west, towards the Tshuapa River, and apparently were three days without water! This is rain forest!..,but moist forest and running water are different. There are lianas that we can cut and drink from – but NOT the same as a mug of water. And no water to cook rice or make bugali!
We have to try to improve the interpretation of our satellite images, used to set the routes through the forest. Some people in the USA and Canada are helping us with that right now.