Keepers' Diaries, February 2014

Voi Reintegration Unit

Managing the morning supplementary feeding times for the Voi Keeper Dependent Juniors is proving challenging. The elephants tend to become greedy and pushy at such times, especially Big Girl Wasessa, and the Keepers try to ensure that they all get their fair share which is not an easy task. The smaller orphans such as Mbirikani (whose foot is still tender), Naipoki, Kihari, Ishaq-B, Mudanda and Panda take theirs first, followed by the next age group and then lastly the big members of the herd, who are let out of their night stockade after the others have fed. It is extremely touching that even Big Girl Wasessa respects the orders of the Keepers, although she could flatten any of them with just one swipe of her trunk. When she is particularly “pushy” at the Handout, the Keepers order her to spend time out, as would a Senior Elephant, and even when this means leaving her favourite calf, Mudanda, she is totally obedient to that command.

01 February 2014

The Orphans started their day with a heavy breakfast of milk, copra cake and dairy cubes. Naipoki, Panda, Mbirikani, Mudanda, Ishaq-B and Kihari were the first to arrive followed by Kenia and her team. The older orphans led by Lesanju arrived next for the copra and afterwards they all played. Dabassa and Kivuko, usually sworn enemies, engaged in a charging and strength tasting game that took almost ten minutes and for the first time Dabassa emerged the winner. Kenia and Ndii had a good time looking after Mudanda, going for a walk around the compound while her guardians Wasessa and Lesanju had their breakfast. The orphans spent most of the morning hours browsing at the foot of Msinga hill. At noon, the milk dependent orphans, led by Naipoki, went to have their midday feed before being joined by Lesanju’s team for wallowing in the waterhole. They had a quick bath and afterwards Sinya led them back to browse, with Mbirikani later leading everyone back to the night stockades.

02 February 2014

The ex orphans visited the stockades in the evening after the resident orphans had gone in for the night. Lolokwe and Ndara were the first to arrive and start eating the crumbs of copra cake left by the young orphans. Emily came in with the rest of ex orphans and they headed straight to the water trough to quench their thirst. The ex-orphans hung around for a little while before heading out westwards. They passed by the older orphans stable where Mzima, Tassia and Taveta came close to the fence to say jambo and goodbye. After a brief greeting of low rumbles, Emily and her team strode silently away.

03 February 2014

Mbirikani is happy when she can share the copra cake with her room mates in the morning. She always runs away and even sometimes heads out alone when the big group, led by Lesanju, comes in for copra. The big ones, Wasessa being the naughtiest, don’t give Mbirikani much chance to share with them. They always push and shove so Mbirikani keeps clear because of the condition of her bad ankle. Naipoki, Ishaq-B and Kihari enjoy every moment, as they are the older orphans favourites along with little Mudanda, who is the darling of all. The baboons, who overnight on Msinga Hill, visit the stockade every morning to steal the orphans copra and dairy cubes. Today Dabassa, Layoni, and Rombo had a very difficult time chasing them away. Layoni was given a break by Kenia, as he spent so much time chasing the baboons away while the others had their breakfast. Kenia stood guard watching a big male baboon who sat on a rock in the middle of the stockade. He was pretending that he was not interested in the coconut cake and the dairy cubes but just busy picking the ticks that were bothering him. Kenia walked up and down waiting for him to make a move so that she could plant some sense in his small head. The rest of the herd continued with their breakfast and then visited the water trough wash it down. In the bush the orphans were visited by three wild bulls that were very friendly. They showed Mzima, Taveta, Tassia, Rombo and Layoni some pushing and wrestling techniques. Layoni, Rombo and Dabassa were like toys compared to the enormous size of the giants. The older girls kept away from the bulls, not being interested in having boyfriends just yet.

04 February 2014

The ex orphans once again visited the stockade very early in the morning to get first chance at the copra. Laikipia was the first to arrive, followed closely by Thoma and after a couple of minutes, Emily with a wild bull in tow. They drank water and waited for the copra and dairy cubes to be served, but the keepers realized what was happening and delayed so that the young orphans were not pushed around by the older ex orphans. After seeing that nothing was coming their way, Emily and her group left slowly and headed west to browse. Lesanju, as if she had communicated with the keepers, came back with all the other orphans whereupon they were given their cake and cubes in peace. A fence maintenance team in Kishushe area of Tsavo West national park alerted the KWS warden that a baby zebra, wandering without its mother, had started to follow them. The keepers with the help of the vet unit, headed off to save the tiny baby. After giving him some milk and water the tiny zebra was driven to the stockades where he met little Ngulia and Lualeni.

05 February 2014

Lualeni the zebra, has his plate full as he plays nanny to little Ngulia, who is still in need of her mother’s milk and he now has to walk everywhere with the new tiny zebra foal in tow. Out in the bush the orphans were happy to be with Emily’s group, all except Lesanju as she feared they were there to try and snatch some babies from her. The two families browsed alongside each other for some time before Emily’s group started what Lesanju feared. Icholta, Thoma and Seraa split Mbirikani and Layoni from Lesanju’s group and started going deeper into the park. Meantime Emily, Sally, Mweya and Morani tried to get Naipoki, Kihari and Ishaq-B out of the herd. On seeing what was happening,

06 February 2014

The young orphans were the first to arrive for copra and Mbirikani enjoyed eating in a safe environment. Kivuko led the middle age group managing to stop Layoni, Rombo and Dabassa joining the young ones before the rest of the orphans arrived. The orphans had a brief play at the stockade and then headed out led by Lesanju’s able assistant Sinya. First they met a wild elephant family and then Laikipia, along with his wild friend bulls. The wild bulls and the orphan bulls had fun playing pushing games with Laikipia in charge. The elephants walked together to the old big water hole, now a dust bath. Mzima, Layoni and Tassia entertained everyone and had such fun it induced most of the group to join in. Later, when Laikipia’s group had said goodbye, another small herd of wild elephants joined the orphans. Mbirikani kept her distance to avoid pushing games or perhaps a mounting by the young boys in the herd.

07 February 2014

Ishaq-B, Naipoki and Kihari are steering clear of Panda, Mbirikani and Mudanda. Naipoki wants to be the leader of this young group, while Panda, who started the group long before Naipoki’s trio arrived, knows she is the leader of the team. After about 15 minutes of having breakfast in peace, the orphans were rudely interrupted by the ex orphans who marched into the stockade majestically and started eating the copra cake. After finishing it, the ex-orphans mingled with the orphans and Thoma and Wasessa started sizing each other up to see who was Mudanda’s favourite. Thoma always tries, but fails, to take little Mudanda from Wasessa. This morning a chasing and wrestling bout ensued but when little Mudanda saw that her Wasessa might be defeated by Thoma, she ran forward and stood between the two and stopped any further combat. Wasessa snatched the opportunity and walked off with Mudanda to join Sally and Emily’s calf playing near the water hole. Wasessa and Lesanju then led the orphans up the hill to browse whilst Ndara led Emily’s group to the bush further down. Browsing was followed by wallowing at the water hole where they were joined by Icholta, Laikipia and the rest of the ex orphans. Lolokwe, Icholta, Mweya, and Seraa entertained everyone with beautiful wallowing styles and Mzima, Rombo, Layoni, Tassia, Taveta and Dabassa had great fun wallowing with their big friends.

08 February 2014

After the young ones had their milk and ate the copra and the cubes, they washed it down with cool water before starting their browsing at the foot of Msinga hill just outside the stockade. Layoni led the way up the hill followed closely by Naipoki, Kihari and Mbirikani. A couple of minutes later Laikipia and the rest of the ex orphans arrived to eat copra and quench their thirst. Thoma and Lolokwe had a wonderful time playing a pushing game and chasing each other around the compound, whilst Emily watched over her calf scratching on a rock. Out on the hill Naipoki took the lead from Layoni, who stopped every now and then to browse. Next they visited the mud hole where they all jumped in and started wallowing together. Wasessa was the main attraction, surrounded by Kenia, Ndii, Dabassa, Lesanju and Tassia, as she showed off several types of new skills. Mbirikani exited early to dust bath and avoid the hullabaloo. Sinya now took centre stage, entertaining the others with her new style of kicking and splashing the water. Kivuko and Rombo stayed on the side wrestling while Kenia and others watched. Wasessa left the mud hole with her baby Mudanda when she saw the ex orphans coming in. Icholta was the first to arrive followed by Mweya and Seraa and they were warmly welcomed by Kenia, Lempaute, Rombo and Taveta before the orphans left following Wasessa towards Msinga hill where they browsed until evening.

09 February 2014

The orphans were up very early in the morning and enjoyed sweet copra cake and the crunchy dairy cubes while waiting for their older friends to join them. Lesanju and her group came in after a couple of minutes and Wasessa disturbed the young orphans peaceful feeding with head butting and shoving to create a big space for herself and Mudanda. Mbirikani was clever and avoided the hullabaloo by taking off as soon as she saw the older ones coming in. She went to scratch on a rock near the stockade mud hole before proceeding to the fence where she browsed as she waited for the others. Wasessa continued bullying, forcing the keepers to intervene and chase her away, which she did not like but she respected the keepers’ authority. When everyone was ready, Sinya led the way to the bush to browse and this time round they headed farther away onto the east side of Msinga hill. There was less activity as it was a cloudy day and they did not even bother to visit the mud hole to wallow. In the evening the milk dependent orphans led by Mbirikani headed to the stockade for the night.

10 February 2014

The day started with light showers as the orphans walked around the compound figuring out what to do next. Naipoki and her friends had a few gulps of water even though it was raining whilst Mbirikani walked around the compound away from the main group to avoid the young boys in the herd who were busy chasing one another. She was afraid Dabassa, Rombo, Layoni and Taveta might decide to chase her for a mimic mounting game which she avoids because of her bad leg. While the older orphans continued eating the copra and the cubes, Kihari and Naipoki walked over to a rock which Kihari climbed and then stood there surveying the others below playing different games. Dabassa then went to scratch on the same rock, Panda joined him and so did Lesanju. The young ones respected their leader by leaving the rock and engaged in a pushing game. Lempaute went to the big rock near the water trough and scratched there. Soon it was time to leave and the orphans walked away with Sinya at the front. They walked along a narrow path on the slope of the hill slowly and carefully as the path was slippery due to the early morning showers. As it was a cloudy day, the orphans did not wallow at the mud hole but had a wonderful time soil bathing and playing pushing games. Naipoki entertained with stylish soil bathing and rolling down a slope. Kenia ended the play session with immense rolling. From there the orphans walked into the bush to scratch their itchy bits on the trees, returning to the stockades happy. In the evening, after the orphans had gone in, Laikipia and Lolokwe visited the stockade and had great gulps of water before heading back to the bush to join Emily and the others.

11 February 2014

The day started again with thick cloud making it a very nice day for the orphans to browse in the long grass in the park. The orphans did not visit the mud hole until 4pm when it was warm enough for a wallow. Lesanju and Wasessa went in first and the young orphans, initiated by Naipoki, had a lot of fun in the hole. Rombo and Mzima entertained the others with a thrilling wallowing game. First Mzima rolled and submerged in the pool, then Rombo tried to stand on his head in the water, but he fell down with a heavy thud, screaming for help and scaring the rest of the group. Rombo saw Mzima shoot out of the waterhole as he struggled to get to his feet, then he too bolted like a rabbit.

12 February 2014

The orphans headed towards the hill on the east of the pack today. Sinya, Wasessa, Dabassa and a few other orphans led the way up the hill where they choose to browse for the whole morning. Kenia, Lesanju, Tassia, Panda and Rombo decided to browse at the lower slopes of the hill leaving those good mountain climbers to continue going up. The ex-orphans took the same route as the orphans, but instead of climbing the hill they took a short cut along the slope to meet the orphans at the foot of the hill on the other side. The two groups split at noon when the orphans went to the water hole and Emily’s group went to drink at the breathers along Mzima springs water pipe line. The orphans did not spend long at the waterhole and by 4pm they were ready to go home, queuing near the fence. Naipoki, gradually taking over the leadership of the youngest group, standing at the front of the line waiting for the go ahead from the keepers.

13 February 2014

The young orphans downed their bottles fast, racing to the copra and cubes and stuffing them down before the older orphans arrived to take over. Lesanju’s group came in and the youngsters soon left led by Mbirikani. Dabassa and Rombo engaged in a wrestling match while Naipoki and Panda decided to chase the baboons out of the compound. Mudanda continued to eat copra cake with the older orphans as she is their favourite. After finishing the copra Mzima, Tassia, Taveta and Kivuko went over to eat some Lucene at the far end of the stockade and were soon joined by the others. Having eaten their fill of the delicious grass they were led to the bush by Sinya and Dabassa. The orphans were lucky to be joined by a herd of wild elephants that stopped to greet them. The two groups browsed along side each other for almost two hours before parting ways. Lesanju and her group rumbled their goodbye and then continued feeding.

14 February 2014

Emily’s group, who have been around for several weeks now, arrived once again to check on the orphans and see if there was any copra left on the ground. When Lesanju saw them she quickly led the orphans away, fearing the older ones intention was to take the young family members from her group. Mzima, Tassia, Layoni and Dabassa were left behind still accepting the greetings from the ex-orphans and when Lesanju realized they were missing she returned to the stockade to get them. She stood on the road and rumbled. Mzima was the first to hear and he started running towards her, his three friends saw him running away and quickly followed suite. After regrouping her babies, Lesanju brought up the rear to make sure that no one returned to Emily’s group. They caught up with the others on the slopes of Msinga hill and browsed quietly until meeting again with yesterday’s wild friendly elephants. Rumbles of joy and trumpets filled the air as they mingled. Wasessa and Lempaute decided to play with the tiny wild calves in the herd. Once again the two groups parted ways at around noon when the orphans headed to the water hole to drink and wallow. Rombo out did all the others with his wonderful wallowing and rolling in the mud skills.

15 February 2014

There was a scramble again for the copra cake this morning. The keepers kept the older orphans back to give the younger ones a chance to eat. The youngest family members enjoyed eating the copra cake and the dairy cubes at the stockade in the morning. Lesanju, Wasessa, Lempaute and Sinya paced up and down restlessly and when the gate was flung open Lesanju was out first with the others hot on her heels. All the younger orphans gave way except little Mudanda and Panda, who are the older orphans favoured kids. The orphans browsed near Msinga for about two hours and as Lesanju was about to lead them up the hill Emily’s group arrived to join them. Icholta, Thoma, Mweya and Seraa started looking for little Mudanda, who is their favourite. When they finally located her there was pushing and shoving as each wanted to have the baby for herself. Wasessa, Lesanju, Lempaute and Sinya had a difficult time trying to stop the big girls snatching their baby and at one time Wasessa and Thoma started sizing each other up because neither wanted to let go of Mudanda. When Emily realized that trouble was brewing she led her group away to avoid further confrontation. Lesanju led the orphans up the hill to browse for the remaining hour before going to the mud wallowing hole. Instead of going into the mudbath the orphans decided to soil bathe and play wrestling games. Mzima, Tassia and Ndii rolled and soil bathed while Taveta and Kivuko played pushing games. Tassia and Layoni had a tough wrestling match and chasing game.

16 February 2014

As is usual the older orphans met the younger ones at the dairy cube feeding area and chased them away so that they could have everything for themselves. Mbirikani, Kihari, Naipoki and their age mates had no option but to pace up and down not daring to come close to the big girls who are usually so lovely but not at copra feeding time. The only young orphans they tolerate are Mudanda and Panda. With light showers in the morning Rombo, Tassia, Taveta, Kivuko, Kenya, Ndii and some of the older girls had a great time playing rolling and mud sliding games around the compound. Sinya and Lesanju led the group away when they were through with the games. Due to the weather conditions the orphans avoided the hill and instead went deep into the park and spent most of the morning hours looking for wild elephants. They were a bit jumpy, scaring each other and breaking into wild runs. Eventually Tassia got fed up of running aimlessly and began to browse alone in some bushes. He was unaware of Mbirikani who had given up running early on and was browsing silently behind another bush near his. All hell broke loose when Mbirikani was scratching and dislodged a dead branch which crashed down missing her by a whisker. She tore screaming through the bushes towards Tassia who took fright and also ran off towards the rest of herd. When the others saw Tassia and Mbirikani screaming and running towards them they did not hesitate but also started screaming and running away. The keepers eventually caught up after more than forty minutes and calmed them down with difficulty. The orphans then stuck close to the keepers for security and they only just managed to avert another crisis when a male Impala almost started another stampede.

17 February 2014

After having a nice peaceful day the orphans gathered in the usual place ready to go back to the stockade for the night. Usually they grab a few minutes to play, soil dusting, rolling in the cool dirt they dig with their tusks, play pushing and wrestling matches, among other things. Tassia and Layoni have made this place their special play ground and immediately look for each other, stepping aside from the others, before starting their wrestling match. The two friends started a tough strength testing game leaving the other orphans mere spectators. Tassia used all his might to win the game but young Layoni gave his all to keep him at bay. At one point Tassia lost his footing and, without wasting time, Layoni grabbed the opportunity and pinned him to the ground. Tassia struggled hard to get up but Layoni made sure he could not and when he finally gave up, Layoni ran around charging, cheering himself with joy. Layoni ecstatically even ran to a tree and started hitting it with his head to see if he could break it down but had to give up as it was time to head back to the stockades.

18 February 2014

The orphans had fun at the waterhole. Firstly they drank, then waded across the pool to check the temperature and finally started rolling on the edge. As they were having fun, Laikipia, leading the ex orphans, arrived at the hole and stood watching how Mzima, Panda, Tassia, Naipoki and Rombo were enjoying playing in the pool. Mzima lay down in the hole, rolling and mud splashing meanwhile Icholta came to stroke him with her trunk. When Mzima turned to see who was disturbing him he saw a huge elephant standing over him and shot up with fright. He soon realized it was Icholta and, after a minute of greeting, invited her to a pushing game which Icholta accepted with gusto. They started sizing each other up. Icholta had the upper hand, being much bigger and older and towering over Mzima as she was standing on the edge of the pool, and she easily defeated him and walked away from the uneven contest. Laikipia meanwhile stood close by and watched how Icholta taught the young bull wrestling techniques.

19 February 2014

After the orphans left Lolokwe led the ex-orphans to the stockade to look for left over copra cake. There was nothing left so Laikipia, Emily, Mweya and Ndara walked back and forth trying in vain to catch the keepers’ attention. After being paid no attention Mweya led the other ex-orphans over to the lucene left behind by the orphans and they all settled down and munched happily. It was rather cool so the orphans waited until around 2pm to visit the mud hole. They were led in by Ishaq B, Naipoki and Kihari who wallowed quickly and then left on the opposite side and started rolling in the warm dry red soil to dry their bodies. Naipoki ended up wallowing twice as she miscalculated the distance to the edge of the pool and in a split second found herself head over heels in the water. She clambered out drenched in thick mud and had to start over again soil dusting. After this minor incident the orphans scratched on the trees near the water hole area before going in the shade to rest.

20 February 2014

This was the quietest day so far, possibly because of the cool weather. Msinga hill, where the orphans usually go, was covered by mist and the orphans seemed afraid to go there. They browsed on the open grassland, not venturing far and staying close to the keepers. Silence even continued until just before they returned to the stockades in the evening when Tassia and Layoni decided to start a charging game to break the gloomy mood. They ran and chased around trumpeting, it really worked as Dabassa, Rombo, Taveta and Mzima joined in and before everyone knew it was time to return to the stockades.

21 February 2014

The rescue team got a message last night about an elephant calf whose mother was found dead in a Dam near the Tanzania border in Kwale County. They arrived in the area very late and had to spend the night at a police post. They were ready early the following morning to accompany the Shimba Hills KSW rangers to where the calf was last spotted. When they arrived the local people informed them that the calf had joined a herd of wild elephants which had disappeared. The rescue team, with the help of two Trust planes, searched high and low for three days but eventually had to give up and leave it to the locals to inform them if the calf was spotted again.

22 February 2014

The ex-orphans visited once again in the morning and shared the copra and the cubes with the orphans. From there the two groups went to eat lucene leaving behind Lolokwe, Seraa and Mzima playing strength testing games. Lolokwe and Seraa started off and after a short while Mzima joined in. Seraa realized she was the only girl there and left the boys having fun. Mzima and Lolokwe engaged in a strength testing game with Mzima trying in vain to win. Lolokwe just let the young bull have fun and even made it easier for Mzima by standing on a slope so as to be the same height as him. Mzima gave up the fight when he realized moving Lolokwe was like trying to move Msinga hill! The two friends walked off together towards the others who were busy enjoying the lucene.

23 February 2014

The orphans were once again were visited by the ex orphans at the stockade in the morning. In contrast to other days the orphans and ex-orphans all had a wonderful time interacting and some of the young family members started play together. First Ishaq B, Naipoki, Tassia, Panda, Sinya and Wasessa caught up with Emily’s calf, Eve, and started teasing her. Eve tried to run away but Wasessa and Sinya caught her by the legs and stopped her from going anywhere. Eve struggled hard, managed to free herself and run towards her mother but she was soon back for more! After a minute or two she started playing a ‘catch me’ game with Taveta. Taveta took the advantage of her being in front and tried to mimic mount, which Eve did not like at all and she ran away once again to her mother. As the young family members continued having fun Kihari stayed close to Edie, who was busy foraging for copra cake crumbs near the fence. Irima joined Naipoki and her friends at the water hole where they downed several gulps of water. The whole group was then led by Emily to the lucene feeding area where they munched away until the keepers called the orphans to go out to browse.

24 February 2014

The orphans left earlier than usual to eat as much greens as possible before the day became too hot. Lesanju led the orphans to the Msinga hill slopes where they found fresh green grass and other vegetation. Emily and her team arrived at the stockade after the orphans were long gone. They first went to drink and then ate the remaining copra and dairy cubes before going to the lucene area. Lolokwe and Icholta started playing a wrestling game as Emily watched. After strength testing for a couple of minutes, Lolokwe emerged the winner and he went on to mimic mount Icholta. After they had finished the game Icholta went to the lucene area, leaving behind Lolokwe who walked over to the water trough and downed a few gulps before following him. Edie’s calf and Seraa also had a wonderful time playing a rolling game. Seraa lay down and let Eve play on her. Edie just stood close by and watched her calf having fun.

25 February 2014

The orphans had a great day out meeting several wild herds. Although they did not stay with the wild herds for long the orphans enjoyed meeting them. After they left, the young bulls in the orphan group celebrated by playing wrestling games and charging. Later at the mud hole the young orphans, led by Naipoki, had their milk bottles and together all went to have fun wallowing. In the evening the orphans browsed silently near the fence waiting to go back to the stockade for the night. Panda saw a big anthill that she walked over to examine, finding some long grass that she grabbed before returning to her friends.

26 February 2014

Lesanju led the other orphans to the water hole just before 2pm when the day became very hot. She and Lempaute were the first to go in and start splashing and spraying themselves with cool mud. Kenia entertained the group stealing the show with her wonderful bathing techniques, particularly as Naipoki, Mzima, Layoni and Tassia, the best wallowers, had been left behind out in the bush. Kihari had a quick bath and then went to dry his body with soil. Those in the pool continued to enjoy bathing until they heard Tassia rumbling from the nearby bushes. They all jumped out of the pool and ran to meet their friends who were running in. After brief greetings, Naipoki, Rombo, Mzima, Layoni and Tassia all jumped in to cool off. Mzima walked around the edge of the pool, sliding in stylishly. The rest of the group also returned to the pool and together the orphans had a beautiful mud bathing session. Kivuko and Lempaute left first followed by most of the others except the late comers, Rombo, Mzima, Tassia and Layoni who were left behind to continue having fun.

27 February 2014

The orphans visited the mud hole at noon. They were visited by the ex-orphans who had also come in to cool off. Afterwards Lesanju and Kihari went to dust bathe on the red soil hill and had a good time together as young Kihari learnt new ways of rolling and dust bathing. Kenia, Rombo, Kivuko and Ishaq B entertained the other orphans with their marvellous wallowing techniques. This attracted Taveta and Laikipia who stopped what they were doing to watch the four friends wallow. Ishaq B and Rombo moved away to leave Kenia and Kivuko enough space to continue wallowing. Later on Rombo, who is the king of the mud hole, was left alone giving him all the space he needed to roll, splash, kick and spray mud all over the place. Even Laikipia and Thoma, who were about to leave, had to stop and admire him. Rombo then climbed out and up the red soil hill, rolling on the warm earth before joining his friends in the bush and finding a log to scratch his itchy butt on.

28 February 2014

Naipoki and her friends rushed out of their stable as soon as the gates were flung open. They raced towards the milk mixing area where they found their keepers ready and waiting for them with warm bottles of milk. They split into two groups. Naipoki, Kihari and Ishaq B fed at one corner and Panda, Mbirikani and Mudanda fed at the other corner. Downing two 6-pint bottles took them less than a minute! They rushed forward again to grab some dairy cubes before Kenia and her group arrived. In Kenia’s stockade there was a fight between Kivuko and Rombo over who would be the first to step out. The keeper who was going to open the gate was forced to shout to them to stop fighting and Kenia also helped by forcing the two to move aside and allow Dabassa to be first out. Ndii, Kenia and Layoni followed Dabassa whilst the two fighters had to follow last. The older orphans also downed their bottles in less than a minute and joined the young group to eat the copra. Lesanju’s group came in later and the young ones went off to play different types of games. Rombo and Panda engaged in a strength testing game which they really enjoyed. Panda pushed hard to keep Rombo at bay but the two were rudely interrupted by Dabassa who came from nowhere and jumped on Panda in a mimic mount. Panda was not happy and struggled hard to free herself and run off to where Wasessa and Mudanda were eating copra. Dabassa did not dare to follow her fearing Wasessa’s disapproval. Emily and her group arrived at the stockade an hour after the orphans left. They had a brief stop at the water trough and then proceeded eat nutritious lucene grass. After eating as much as they could all the ex orphans left except Emily, Ndara, Icholta and Lolokwe. Icholta and Lolokwe decided to go back to the water trough to wash down the lucene with some water while Emily and Ndara continued eating. Afterwards they walked quietly away to join their friends waiting at the other side of Msinga hill.