Sitting under the trees on Garbagal reserve
We're sitting under the trees on Garbagal reserve - a dry and thirsty land. Goats and cattle wander around us in search of the tiniest blade of grass. The land is absolutely barren, though we are assured that when the rains come, grass will grow. But the rains are very late this year, and herdsmen are worried.
Prince Damina tells us when the rains do come and grass grows, the reserve will be invaded by herds from neighboring states, even by cattle from Niger Republic. These cattle will help themselves to the grass and when it's eaten, they will leave again.
We discussed ways to protect this reserves' resources and agreed that the Fulani themselves should patrol the borders.
We're staying in government quarters in Guri village, just ten minutes from the reserve. This is a big building with lots of rooms, but in terrible condition. We hired two local women to clean for us then chose rooms and laid out mattresses on the floor. My room has a bathroom with a toilet! Woohoo! But I didn't check well, and the first time I bucket-flushed the toilet, the contents all poured out onto the floor! There was no hose connecting the toilet to the drainage system! So, I looked around and was lucky enough to find the missing hose. I stuffed one end of the hose into the back of the toilet and the other into the hole in the wall. I then tore strips from my plastic laundry bag and wound them around the two ends, but it wasn't enough. Ah ha! Crepe bandages from the first aid box would do the trick! I wrapped the bandages tightly over and around the plastic then lost all control and bandaged the entire pipe several times, finally fastening the bandages with the metal clamps for that purpose. The hose ended up looking exactly like somebody's broken arm! It was so funny! I was cracking up there in the bathroom! Then I flushed, and the water all went where it was supposed to! No leaks! Move over, MacGuyver!
The compressor truck has arrived and the Fulani are gathering. We're still waiting for Aliyu and the drilling rig. More later…