Friday, July 18, 2008
Before I forget...I better tell the croc story that I promised to post this week. Last week, when Dwight was in Mutarara, he met a man who runs a crocodile hatchery. Basically, he harvests croc eggs along the Zambezi River bank, then hatches them out. He feeds the hatchlings high-protein pellets, and when they’re big enough to fend for themselves, he sells them to croc farms in Southern Mozambique and South Africa. (They’re raised for their hides.) Last year he hatched out 19,000 baby crocs!
Besides being a great breeding ground for crocs, the Zambezi River is also a vital source of water for many people. With a scenario like this, as you can well imagine, there can be some serious croc-human problems! So, every now and then, the government has to send in someone to hunt down problem crocs. Apparently, the witchdoctors (traditional faith healers) in the area “own” their own crocs, which they use to fish for them and or carry out “missions”. Before the government sends anyone in to croc hunt, they first meet with the community and tell the witchdoctors to be sure they “call” their crocs in so they’re not mistakenly killed. Only then is the hunter allowed in to the area to do his job. I guess you could say that these are no ordinary crocs!
Tip of the Day: Did you know that if you turn a croc egg upside down, the embryo will die?
And speaking of reptiles—much smaller reptiles, this week we discovered Les (click & scroll down) still lurking in the plant beds by our house. One of the guys was watering around our place the other day when he called me, quite excitedly, to see the chameleon that we rescued from certain stoning about a month back in a local community. This guy had, of course, already wet Les thoroughly because initially he didn’t see him. I’m not sure if his colouring here is a result of feeling threatened or trying to blend in with the leaves below him. Maybe a bit of both.
Who says you shouldn’t look back while running away??
Non-reptile news: There has been some fairly good progress on the house in the last few weeks, though it’s hard to capture it all in a photo. Most of the brick work is done, and the plastering and wiring are now underway. The trusses will be assembled as soon as those skilled to do so have the time (you know there’s too much going on when...).
We decided to help Furede, an employee of many years, to build a stronger retirement home. This week the window and door frames for his home were completed. He sure was pleased!
I’ll finish off with some art work and a sunset. This is the beautiful paint job done in the mission’s primary school by a team that visited from South Africa 2 weeks ago. They did similar work in the nearby preschool that the mission is rehabilitating. I’ll try to get photos of that up next week.
And here’s the most beautiful art work of all. God's.