Tag: #volunteering

Conversations with Drunk Teenagers at Bar Night

Bar Night (definition): once a week, dehydrated and exhausted, but usually freshly showered wildlife volunteers descend like an avalanche upon a bar in Hua Hin, Thailand (an hour away in a taxi ride that I am sure causes many a taxi driver to question their career decision). From 7:30-10:30p, they take in as many “2 for 1” cocktail specials as possible. 

Prominent activities include: talking about how drunk they are, how much they are in-love with everyone here, taking Snapchat photos, dancing and, much to the staff’s chagrin – hanging like a monkey from the plastic exposed beams and/or curtain rods. 

Being one who values a full stomach, I arrived after dinner. I walked in and beheld a scene that made me feel like Jane Goodall watching chimps. It was awkward, mostly unsuccessful debauchery – the likes that belonged not to Roman Toga Party, but to a Roman Thursday Night. I could only sip my two “two for one” mojitos, and sit in the back, my already greying hair turning more silver the more I thought about being the Jane Goodall of “younger people habits.”

Minutes later a 19 year old man saddled up to me and offered his sage advice:

“You should take it slow, I know a thing or two about drinking”

“Don’t worry, I will, I have been drinking for a while”

“Yes, but I’ve been drinking longer than you (winks at me) – I’ve been drinking since I was 12″

I’m 36.”

Math. Shock, horror, pause. Laughter (on my end). 

Apparently those Jane Goodall silvers had retreated enough to blend in with my subjects. 

No, I Will Not Fall In Love With A Poacher

A co-worker had spent the last couple of weeks of December saying, “I bet you’re going to fall in love with a poacher” (you know who you are), “like you’re not going to know he is a poacher, still…” I tried to give so much side-eye that I thought my eyes would fall off my face.

Cut to Friday, we walk across the path to the bar, and outside there is a Mad Max looking vehicle (unfortunately did not have my camera, but it was a jeep with a hunting seat mounted on the back). My first thought was “who owns the Mad Max vehicle?”, Not putting together that it was for hunting, I was hoping it was more for observing…Or hoping that they had secretly started filming the next Mad Max and maybe Tom Hardy had escaped from set and ran away to our little watering hole. 

I pushed through the doors and came upon a gentleman smoking a cigar, wearing a safari shirt, shorts and one of those old leather safari vests, if he didn’t look so German/ possibly related to Trump, and poacher-ish, it might have looked like a scene from a Vogue, “Back to Africa” shoot. 

I sat at a bar, ordered a rum and coke, which comes as a shot of rum and a bottle of coke. He picked up my coke and said “Shall I poor for you?” Had I accidentally gotten in a time machine and travelled back to 1910? Was someone from NBC’s  Timeless going to show up and make me sign a release?

I asked about his vehicle, and he proceeded to tell me about shooting jackals: farmers call him with a jackal problem and he comes out, chases them down, and then shoots them. Side note – I am sure they are pests, but I feel like there needs to be a better way….

“Must remove myself from situation before I become attracted to semi-poacher and make coworker correct” I thought, politely saying that I had a pool game to go lose. (Second side note, it would have taken a lot of rum to find him attractive)

Safe for now, you know who you are….

FlatTires: How to Make People Who Don’t Have Cars Say “ohhh fun!”

Usually in Africa, where there is one flat tire, there is another, and another and well, you might as well replace all of them at once – including the spare, because with any luck your spare is also flat due to the fact that you forgot to switch it out the last time you had a flat tire.

When we left in the morning we knew our back tire was on the side of “almost flat”, about an hour later, our front tire was what you might call “squished”

Here is Dan, feeling incredibly manly (first tire he’s ever changed), only to realize a few seconds later that while he had done an amazing job on replacing tires, his effort was for naught: as soon as we took the jack off, it became evident that our spare was also flat.

We slowly drove back to the lodge where we replaced two more tires – we stole new tires from other vehicles and left notes on the flats that said “we are flat”

The next day we got another. And, now there is some serious doubt as to whether there are any non-flat tires anywhere on the reserve.

A rolling stone may gather no moss, but a flat certainly does.

Note – this story is actually from last week, but this morning we are replacing another flat tire, with what we haven’t figured out yet, so it’s an appropriate post.