Kingston and I were walking down the road this afternoon looking for tracks of baboons. We saw some tracks from this morning so kept following the road, and then we saw elephant prints. A lot of elephant prints. I haven’t seen the elephants since I returned in January. Apparently they have been in the villages raiding fields. Well they are back. These are the times when my scout takes full control. I asked what we should do. He suggested we follow behind the elephants in the woodland so we know where they are and at the same time intercept the baboons on their way to their sleeping grove. So…. Kingston cocked his gun and we entered the woodland.
Before I go on let me explain that the gun isn’t to shoot the elephants but to scare them away. We use it as a last resort. Shooting a bullet into the air makes them run. Kingtson explained to me when we began working together that both the sound of the shot and the sell of the gun powder cause this. So we entered the forest…. I was nervous but also excited. Kingston and I have run into the elephants in the woodland a number of times and he has always remained calm, given clear instructions and we escaped their notice without having to fire any shots. After about 00 meters Kingston changed his mind. He said we should not risk our lives but instead go back to camp and wait for the elephants to pass. We got back onto the road and headed back to camp. During the time we were in the woodland more elephants had been on the road closer to camp. So basically when we were first on the road we were between a group of elephants. Mind you I was plugging Kingston with questions about school fees etc…  to figure out how many scholarships the project can give this year, jus jabbering away. I don’t doubt that we would have been fine but could have gotten a little scare.