Don’t Fence Me In: Time for Manual Labor 

So, what exactly are we doing here, you might ask?

Well, today was one of those days where we learned some obvious lessons:

At about 8:30am, Ebin, the ranger in charge of the volunteers says, “who wants to go for a walk?” I gladly put up my hands, jumped out of the car and looked ready for heading out into the game reserve.

“You see that fence?” He asks, “follow it with the hedge trimmers until you reach the end and get to the lodge”

I should add, there was no mention of distance, and we didn’t ask, but we definitely could not see the lodge. So, three of us headed out with two hedge trimmers and one tool to test the voltage along the fence. Our aim: to trim back all plant life from the fence.

If it’s one thing I’m good at, it’s killing plants, so I happily chopped away, not minding that I was sending electric shock waves through my body due to my erratic cutting habits that involved constant contact with the electric fence.

It should also be noted that we made a crucial mistake: the description of “walk” didn’t involve a descriptor like “long”, “epic”, “Timbuktu” – so we didn’t even take water. 

At one point we came across some bones and a shoe and casually wondered if they belonged to a lost volunteer.

Proof of Life photo #1

Eventually, Ebin came and rescued us from the midday sun and we chugged down water while he drove us to another fence whose wire needed tearing down. Again he asked for volunteers, and again Kerri and I jumped down from the truck and sacrificed ourselves – only this time we were smart enough to bring water.

We were not however, smart enough to bring food and pretty soon our trembling hands (from the electroshock therapy) and our hunger were making us pretty pathetic volunteers as we pulled up wire and bundled it into batches in the midday sun. 

Proof of life photo #2

Fortunately all this manual labor was rewarded with a night in the lodge, where we all ate a brilliant dinner and watched Norman the Elephant walk in front of the swimming pool.

The day ended with Dan (whose back looks like what happens when a British man tries to get a tan and instead winds up with a patchy burn) emphatically pleading “bring me your cheapest bottle of wine”

One thought on “Don’t Fence Me In: Time for Manual Labor 

  1. This is one of my favourite blog entries and I’m sat here in the dark with no crickets chirping, just the sound of the road outside, trying not to laugh too hard and wake my flatmate up. So many lessons learned that day and the ending sentence just nails it!


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