21 Mar 2014

Kame Kake on the move again...

Last week was good but tiring. Often the hardest days work are also the least fruitful. On Monday we left camp at 0450, arriving at the nest site at 0550 only to find Kame Kake had already left. We followed their tracks and they crossed 3 trails by the time we caught up at 0659. But they didn't stop; in fact, they didn't stay in the same place for more than 30 minutes, during which time I was standing and filming, trying to make the most of what time they spent interacting. We walked so far and in such a zig-zagging trajectory that they afternoon team didn't find us. We waited until 1300, then left and hoped that the afternoon team would find Kame Kake. It took until 1440 to get back to camp, so I was on my feet for almost 10 hours, and walking for most of that. Ok, I exaggerate, I did sit down for 15 minutes while filming some grooming. When the bonobos travel so much, it's hard to film and there isn't much to film. Thankfully the focal data went well.

Sakamaki went with the University of Kinshasa students to Iyondie this week. I'm on my own, talking to Zamba (the cat). Not too lonely yet though, bonobos and data entry fill my days. Today a mason and his helpers came and laid some cement in the common room. Only 2/3rds had been done before, but now that Sakamaki is going to set up a new solar panel system he needs the concrete floor to sit the 6 hefty batteries on. That's his project for next week. I think at some point while I'm here they're going to replace the roof. It's not too bad, but when it rains heavily there are a couple of leaks. Best to do it now when there aren't too many researchers.

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