It is 4 AM and the roosters are already rocking this hilltop. Given the depths of poverty in Zimba District, the quantity of livestock is remarkable. As it has been explained to me, livestock are only rarely to be eaten. They are four-legged bank accounts. Should the rains not come in November, livestock can be sold, and food purchased. Successive seasons of drought are then a calamity, of course
Last night was our third evening in Simalundu overlooking the Zambezi Escarpment, and our 14th night camping in the African bush. Today, we will drive the 50 km or so but 2 or more hours back to Chuundwe. Chuundwe is where a clinic has been built; but, it has yet to open due to a lack of water. We failed to identify any good drilling targets in Chuundwe in the first few days of the program, but will give the exploration effort one last chance before finishing up on Saturday. On the way, we will explore in the village of Chililankumba where we hope to find another river-connected alluvial terrace to site a well.
We are all beginning to let ourselves think about a shower, clean clothes, cold beer, hot coffee, and some communication to home. We are also doing some mental calculations to determine if we have enough fuel in our Jerry cans to get all four vehicles back to the Lusaka/Livingstone Road.