I was hoping to see some wildlife while here. So far I have missed chances to go view the big cats, elephants, and whatnot. I have seen some zebra, hippos, deer-like things and a lot of birds, snakes, and insects. I had an altercation with some wild donkeys a little while ago. I say they were wild because I was told that they do not belong to anyone. You’d think that in rural Africa I would not have to cheat but I’ll take the win anyway.
Anyway, I was all alone on the homestead, typing away on a new siSwati manual for the new kiddos coming in June, and I heard what sounded like a group of cows trudging through our corn. I looked out and saw a little family of donkeys wandering around. Being a townsperson I could only guess that this was not alright and decided to get them out. I opened the gate and ran out after them throwing rocks and yelling (in siSwati I might add). They ran all the way to the far end of the field and so I followed chucking my rocks which just bounced mildly off their backs. I finally got them turned around and through the gate. But now they were in the homestead. I had forgotten to open the main gate. By now the dogs were awake and helping me. They did a good job rounding the donkeys up while I ran to open the gate. It was pretty easy to shoo them out. I just flailed my arms smacking about while the dogs barked. It may have been fright or a last ditch attempt to cause me trouble, but one of the donkeys screamed and let loose what must have been the whole contents of its gi tract. I proudly missed getting shot but ended up stepping in it anyway. You can’t win all the time. Once it was all well and done, I thanked the dogs and looked around to see if anyone had seen/heard the ruckus. Happily I didn’t see anyone or hear laughing. I get enough humiliation when I go to the dip tank and chase the cattle.
On a more serious note, I keep reading about poachers getting killed in southern Africa. A few got it here in Swaziland a couple months ago and I see 5 were killed in a gun battle with rangers in SA. I know that cancer and impotence are bad but are rhino horns really the answer? And you don’t have to convince me that ivory looks pretty but I think it looks more majestic on a live elephant’s face. I would have thought that poaching their own rhino species to extinction would cause some of the governments in Asia to take at least a real stance on the demand for and illegal importation of rhino horns. Maybe spreading a ridiculous lie in Africa that the severed right hand of Asian apothecaries cures HIV would highlight the issue and bring more attention in Asia.
It seems to me that the situation is only feeding on desperate people in both continents and causing them to partake in illegal activities which may kill them. Who knows? Maybe rhino horn does battle cancer. Maybe it cures impotence (I hope not, I’d rather not have our next generation relying on rhinoceros horn. Besides from tv and magazine ads, other options are much cheaper and readily available). Back in the day, in the time when today’s traditions were born, people who used it may not have had cancer. They may not have worked long hours with carcinogens either. I am not a medical researcher and I do not know the benefits of ground up rhinoceros horn. What I do know is that while I am here I want to see a rhino that isn’t lying dead with part of its face cut off. I’m sorry if that sounds like I am putting my viewing pleasure ahead of someone else’s health benefit, but really I’m not (Oh snap! That had a double meaning. And both are true!)