It was just a few months ago that William was working in Johannesburg, South Africa. This month he went back for a conference at Mongena Game Lodge in the lovely Dinokeng Game Reserve in the Pretoria area. He got to go on a couple short safari excursions and took a these photos:
My friend Ibrahim gifted me some yam seedlings after his harvest last year and we’ve had them in storage in the pantry for months. Now that the rains have started, our babysitter Talata suggested I plant them. The next day her husband James showed up with two hoes and we got to work!
Twenty-one mounds and a whole lotta sweat later, the yams were planted in my front yard. I’ll need to weed them every three or four weeks but other than that we just pray for rain and wait for the harvest.
This morning I finally saw (and caught) the mysterious gyirigantoori that I’d heard about from my Mamprusi friends over the years. Turns out this “deadly” creature that they say can cause lightning to strike and inflict leprous wounds on anyone who touches its toxic tail is, in fact, just the harmless Hemitheconyx caudicinctus or African Fat-tailed Gecko. Folks are quite shocked and terrified that I am currently holding it in a box in my house.
I’m excited to be able to add it to the Mampruli-English Dictionary Project since the linguists had never seen one and weren’t sure what creature the Mampruli word described (they had it listed as a possibly poisonous skink).
It was much larger than I expected (7.6 inches) and quite aggressive. It would raise its body, hiss and strike when I would try to catch it. It bit me (I was wearing gloves) and though its teeth don’t amount to much, its grip was really strong.
Whenever misfortune enters a hole, you cut the tail.
On the day of Denise’s Easter Egg hunt we went a bit earlier and took some of our hospital volunteers on a hike to see the escarpment. It’s still pretty dry and brown but Nakpanduri has had a couple showers so the green is starting to appear.