Monday, March 3, 2014 – Arusha to Karatu

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Fischer’s Chameleon (and Megan’s hand)

I will warn everyone in advance – no photos of cute children this time. Only one photo of our wonderful safari this morning in Leonard’s front yard searching for the elusive old world chameleons. For those of you who are not reptile aficionados you may not understand, but these chameleons are the most fascinating and wonderful of all lizards. And amazingly, or perhaps thankfully, Megan is as interested in wildlife, and reptiles specifically, as I am so we were on the hunt together. Yesterday we were able to catch one and enjoy its company for a brief time before setting it free again on it’s tree, but today, we spotted three of them in the front yard and caught another that you see here on Megan’s hand. They are truly amazing and a vestige of some time long ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth, or so it would seem. At least it’s fun to think that way. So here it is in all of it’s full living color(s) along with Megan’s hand:
We spent the rest of the morning (when not on wild animal hunts) with the Temba boys (and by the way, Lennox is 8 years-old and not 11 as I mistakenly typed yesterday) before they had to leave for school and then ran errands with Leonard in Arusha. A trip to pay the tariffs on the Land Cruiser so when we get stopped at the police roadblocks for their “safety inspection” (otherwise known as a shakedown) they won’t be able to find any deficiencies. We were stopped about 1 km after we left Arusha and quite happy to have had the stickers appropriately attached so they just smiled and waved us on our way.

It was uneventful trip across the Rift Valley here towards Lake Manyara and a gorgeous day. The view of the lake from on top of the rift was as amazing as ever and the lake was filled with flamingoes making it look like the water had turned pink. Since it’s the wet season everything is lush and green and coming into Karatu through Rhotia Valley reminds me every time what an truly beautiful place this is and how lucky I am to be here and to keep coming back.

FAME has continues to grow, now with the ORs up and running and a third volunteer house that Joyce has built. Megan and I will get to work tomorrow bright and early and how much we’re looking forward to that. We’ll be here for four days and then off to Oldeani and the Rift Valley Children’s Village on Saturday for a mobile neurology clinic. We hope to take the day off on Sunday and then more mobile clinics next week to the villages along the upper rift.

Thanks and more to come,

Mike

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