A Ranger Remembers – Part 3
My room was small to say the least. “Doesn’t matter you’ll not be there much”. I was told. And that was true. When it rained, which was not often it leaked. When the temperature hit 35 degrees and more, which was often, could not step inside. When the spider and snakes made it a home, which was all the time, you wanted to be outside anyway! And if inside, we shot holes in the roof trying to drive the nasties away. Across the way and only slightly better in condition were the “senior” ranger rooms. Lex Hes, Ken Maggs and Map Ives.
We had a communal outside shower. Like the rest of the camp, there was no electricity except between 4:30 and around 7:00 PM, when we had the guests out on game drives and the generator ran. Hot water came from the donkey. One of us had to ensure that the guy in charge of the boiler did in fact stoke the fire at around 3:30 AM every day!
We shared toothbrushes and shavers and the insects and reptiles that enjoyed a damp climate. Maybe that’s why Mad Mike never shaved – but then he was hairy all over! And when the water stopped, we had a bucket hung in a tree. After all cleanliness was next to generating tips in a hot GVV!
It was unwritten law that you did not retire until you last guest had done so. On a few occasions, when the morning wake up rounds were done, guests and rangers were still to be found in the Boma! Sometimes the morning wake up was not done at all, because the appointed ranger was still partying in the boma! Time and again, Dave and John had to point out that guests were paying good money for a professional safari and we should not be so irresponsible!
Written and Photographed by: Peter Pyburn