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Pole to Pole

Day 111: Shiwa

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleStill alive. Cramps lessen but still disrupt the night. Patti is evidently quite poorly and displaying the symptoms of malaria despite taking the pills - 'fever, malaise, chills with sweating and headache'. Looking at Dawood I think I may have been quite lucky until I read that though the incubation period following a mosquito bite is a minimum of five days, 'as long as a year may elapse before symptoms appear, especially if antimalarial drugs have been used'.

Today we see more of the estate, from its own model post-office complete with red letterbox - the postmaster says he's bored stiff there and can't wait to be transferred - to the school where the children are taught to build and thatch using local materials, but lack, according to John their teacher, such basics as 'books, desks and pens'.

David Harvey, meanwhile, is putting 2000 cattle through a dip. This must be done once a week to kill off ticks that can cause death. Africa seems to be constantly in the process of eating itself - from strangler figs to cattle ticks to snakes and cheetahs and anopheles mosquitoes, everything is munching away at everything else. Even as we speak, white ants are chewing away at the wooden frames of the buildings, David reckons that any wood-based dwelling, unless protected against the devouring ant, will have to be rebuilt after two years.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 111
  • Country/sea: Zambia
  • Place: Shiwa
  • Book page no: 252

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