b e a s t i e s

[ 19:48 wednesday 29 november – mole national park , northern ghana ]

the amber sliver of moon seems held aloft by a cacophony of insects and nightbirds . from time to time the indignant screech of a monkey echoes through the trees .

this is my final night here at mole after five days of immersion in nature . i’ve been staying in the small government-run hotel perched on an escarpment above two waterholes on the southern side of this large (5000 square kilometre) reserve . the savannah stretches to the horizon in every direction . each morning i awaken in my cabin and open the door onto my balcony to see warthogs scampering about , herds of elephants playing in the water , antelopes grazing . i recommend this to anyone who wants to wind down a bit . there’s also a swimming pool which feels absurdly decadent .

yesterday i went on an eight hour foot safari with zak , one of the wardens . we set out at seven in the morning when the air was dewy and cool . it did not remain so for long . we covered a lot of ground literally and metaphorically . more learning for me . this was the first day of rammadam so zak blithely went the whole day sans water .

yesterday three students from the czeck republic arrived . one of them is an entymologist specialising in diving beetles . he spends most of his time crouched beside the swimming pool fishing things out and peering at them .

i didn’t intend to bring the computer with me … but i wanted to keep going with the circus constitutions i’m working on and this has proved to be a good place to do it . being away from email is retreat enough .

a couple of days ago i spent the afternoon in larabanga , famous for its mud and stick mosque which may or may not date from the fifteenth century . i spent a lot of the time talking to the salia brothers , who seem to have organised something of a revolution in the village . previously most income from visitors would go straight to the imam and a few “guides” . now the majority is directed to community funds which have been used to rebuild the school amongst other things . it’s caused some ripples though . an interesting visit .

i leave for tamale at five tomorrow morning .

: cH

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