I got a fuzzy Thuraya (satellite) call from Maurice this morning. His team is out of the forest and waiting for dugout pickup way up the Lomami. I hope I got the location right. I relayed the message to Ashley via email, that he picked up on his satellite connected Bgan.
Maurice’s team taking off to start their reconnaissance circuit three weeks ago. They are in the small dugout, the large one is in the foreground.
Exploration groups are spread over all three major Rivers and their tributaries during this second mission. Along with Ashley and John the field leaders are Bernard , Maurice, Dino and Kahindo.
I got an even fuzzier Thuraya call from John yesterday. He had been walking for the last three days through swamp and has another five days to go under thick swamp canopy (no satellite connection). Tomorrow I will post the news and photos John sent by Bgan. He is in the northeast sector of the landscape, an area turning out to be quite different from the rest of TL2 and not what we expected.
More fresh killed bushmeat in Obenge. The new agricultural project will make bushmeat less essential. This is a water chevrotain, a beautiful doe-eyed, water loving ungulate.
Ashley spent more than a week in the village of Obenge before heading further up river. Obenge is getting organized to be our base camp . Here are his thoughts:
“The more I learn about this village the more I realize that this is the wildwest !
The village is full of bandits. Apparently for a lot of these people, if they left and
went to Ubundu or somewhere they would be arrested. Half of them seem to be
bloody murderers or some such. Very odd. A village in the middle of nowhere,
that no one takes any notice of, A perfect hide out.”
Major Ranger shows off his ivory. He is in the middle with the army belt around his neck and arm slung around his woman. Our Crispan is looking a bit uncomfortable at his side.
“I’m now getting info that there are 35 guns hidden in various houses here. These are army guns- AK 47s – elephant guns. People are quite nervous. These are the guns Colonel Thomps left behind and that his second in command, Major Ranger is still using. We got to get the military down here to take them. The sooner the better. However, not so quickly that we do it wrong: we don’t want the military getting all these guns and going on a hunting spree themselves!”
Soon we will all meet up in Kisangani, all of us except the “permanent” team that has taken up long term residence at Obenge to establish our base camp.
Our Obenge Long Drop : essential first bit of construction in any camp.