Work life balance can be hard in many industries and for sure it is true in bat research. You find yourself doing working really long hours with few days off, even if all I seem to blog about is braais and nights out But for serious, we often work 50+ hours a week if not more, something I know so many others do in research or ecology back in the UK. We do this not because we are made to but because we love and want to. Even if this means little sleep and long hours in the office combined with long nights in the field. Getting to work in an industry you love is an absolute blessing but your passion means you often spend your free time furthering your knowledge by doing more or learning more rather than taking pure time off fully. But I do try and make time for wellbeing and chilling out a bit more lately and I have been getting back into doing a morning practice of Yoga most days which my back is also thankful for. Doing more exercise like climbing and volleyball is good and as well as physical activity being engaged in something also helps give you mental break.

This week we have had our Director come over from the UK which is great but also been a busy week, will post about that next time though. Joining her for part of the trip was Alan from the UWE water lab as they are doing a project on water quality here in Lilongwe which is exciting stuff. They are also building a lab next to our office so it has been busy there, amazing how quickly the Kumbali Construction Company are working on it and can get a building up. We show Alan around the City and Dom takes Alan to ABC river survey sites for some scoping! I also tell her though to take him and Peter to the Sandwich truck while they are out (as coming back to camp for lunch would take them too long) and they are so happy about it. Bwinos truck was somewhere we came to in 2018 as Andrew the then ABC Research Assistant took us there and they are really one of the best sandwiches you will ever eat, though Alan says it is the best!

We also took him to Nyumba 10 for some darts which I smashed for once woop! Before Patrick departed ‘crafty shark’ Dom managed to find the time to make his King of the Braai Crown as ‘Flint’ managed to get the fire going, saving the braai! He also had his big reveal, as since Chirag and Dan arrived he has been pretending to be Australian. He pulled off a fantastic Aussie accent and when occasionally and without anyone else around he would speak in his normal voice even I forgot he was actually American! Going to be so weird Patrick has departed us as he has been here for a good few months and Dan is only here a few more days so camp is going to a much quitter place in the next few weeks.

In other news, my vegetable patch is doing really well now and has truly taken shape, my tomato plants are way bigger than me and my first tomatoes have gone red! Cannot wait to eat this with the buffalo mozzarella I have in the freezer… superb. I also have three fennel plants which I am looking forward to harvesting. I also am planting some aurbergines which I have not grown before and lots of carrots and cabbage. Me and Dom also went to jazz night and I wore my super silver top which I picked up at DAPP for 30p! We took Chirag and Dan with us as neither had been before, had another lovely evening listening to live music. The others also always get an ice cream for the parlour there and I understand why because it is delicious. I sadly am lactose intolerant so can’t eat that delicious ice cream goodness! Speaking of eating Mara was very naughty this week and ate a whole 1kg of chicken from Brennans house. She was in the dog house for a bit hence her sad stare!