Posted June 07th 2013 by: Bob House
As I write this I'm sitting on the porch of Eivin's home, enjoying the last of my cigar and glass of scotch. We just finished talking with Samantha (my daughter) on Face Time. She spent about six weeks here last year at this time doing an internship with Eivin and everyone misses her.
The dogs are howling all around me. They are especially loud this evening. I'm so glad I remembered my earplugs for when I go to bed. John, Eivin's grounds and gatekeeper is patrolling the area and will soon settle down in his office by the front gate. Everyone else has headed for bed since Eivin has said breakfast is at 7 a.m. and we leave at 8 a.m.
Did I mention we finally received all our permits? Well we did! We spent the morning first visiting government offices to get the necessary papers to send to Dar Es Salaam. Then we spent the next couple of hours driving from one bank to another trying to use our cash card to pay the $1,000 fee for the Tanzanian film permit. Finally we were able to use various ATMs to come up with the 1,600,000 shillings to deposit in the film boards account. But that wasn't the end of it. I spent the entire afternoon on the phone and Internet working with Beatrice in the Minister of Tourism office trying to get the final permit. The government office, not unlike those in the states, close at 4 p.m. But Beatrice stuck around and after sending me someone else's permit finally emailed me the right one at about 4:30 p.m. Being greatly relieve at finally having the necessary paperwork, Eivin and I (Brad who hasn't been sleeping well decided to forgo) had a couple of beers.
So, tomorrow we all depart at 8 a.m. (Eivin said we'd actually be lucky to get out by 8:30) for the Serengeti. Brad and I had to fork out $3,000 that we hadn't really budgeted for, for a driver and car due to circumstances beyond our control. We will follow Eivin and his crew to the border of the Serengeti where they will enter and we will then proceed to a small village to interview the local community leaders regarding the right of the Tanzanian people to make decisions about conservation and environmental issues based on their own culture and economic needs. Brad and I will travel north, visiting several villages and interviewing community leaders and people. On Wednesday we will head into the Serengeti to meet up with Eivin at the research center. If all goes as planned we will have the opportunity to film Eivin and others put radio collars on some impalas. I say if all goes as planned since Eivin has told us that we should be at our destination each day well before dark so as not to put ourselves in harms way of bandits and others who might set upon us.
Since Internet service is a bit scarce in the Serengeti and where we will be traveling, you may not hear from me as often. If bandits don't get us and we can find an Internet cafe or make it safely to the research center I will fill you in on our further adventures at that time.
Until then, may you all have safe journeys and don't forget to tune in for the next up-date. Since my cigar is gone and the glass of scotch is empty I think it's time to head to bed.
Goodbye for now.
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