Damian is home from sixteen days in South Africa with a small school group. Among the highlights of his trip were meeting his penpal Bheki in the Kliptown Youth Project in Soweto; finding a fossil primate tooth, seeing all of the "Big Five" including two leopards in a game reserve; climbing Table Mountain in Capetown, visiting Capetown's Malay quarter, and seeing rock hyraxes.
Damian's the one standing on the chair in this picture. This is a day they spent painting houses; Bheki is in the green shirt beside Damian. The lady holding the chair is the house owner.
Here's a leopard the group saw on a night drive. These animals are shy and usually really hard to find.
Alas, somewhere in the game park, near the border with Botswana, Damian lost our camera. This is the same camera that leapt from my pocket into a stream when my horse bucked in Botswana last year. I discovered the loss half a mile farther on. A week later the guide retrieved the camera and sent it back to me. Not only did it still work, the pictures I had taken looked great. But now the camera has won. Apparently it really, really wants to live among wild animals in southern Africa.