Some Paul Simon Song

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Malawi
25th March, 2009

What a great day. We visited Kasungu National Park so that Luke could meet Andr-ea (pronounced in a strange, very un-english, manner for some reason) who is a researcher in charge of collecting details of the baboons that have been released from the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre.

She is a quite extraordinary woman – living deep in the heart of the African bush with only Jane, a support researcher, as help (and companionship). At only 24 she is truly inspiring (we presumed she was this age through carefully working out the dates from what she said – we wouldn’t be as rude as to ask a question like that).

The day was long and although it took hours to find the baboons (I had pretty much resigned myself to not seeing them) we eventually found them with only 50 minutes of light left for filming. Part of the problem was the radio mics interfering with Andr-ea’s baboon tracking device.

To ingratiate yourself to the baboons the first thing to do when they approach is to turn your back on them. They then cling hold and groom you. This happened to me several times and was an absolutely amazing experience.

It was a long journey back through the dense forest and potholed roads in the pitch black (as an aside the stars were amazing). We got stuck in a muddy patch at one point, but somehow managed to free the car.

As a final note I have to highlight the remarkable durability of the rest of the crew. Adam amazingly lugged the heavy HD camera around for the seventh long-day in a row, Marc drove us home safely despite being as shattered as the rest of us and Luke kept his incessant talking going (as a method of keeping Marc awake). His attempt to sing a Paul Simon song will haunt me for many years…

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