I left Libya after nearly two years under a small cloud. We’d been busted by the police for brewing beer and it took a couple of extra weeks for our Mister Fixit to secure my ability to leave the country. By that time my return visa was out of date and my employers felt it would not be wise to pursue a renewal. So I worked at the head office south of London for a couple of months before picking up my next assignment, South Africa. (When the case finally wound through the legal system in Libya I reportedly received a five year sentence, suspended for five years.)
South Africa was a welcome change – green fields instead of sand and commercial beer instead of home-brew.
The party I joined was living in converted caravans (trailer RVs) and it was all pretty bush. When I arrived the crew was without a cook so we were a bunch of about 15 guys trying to cook for ourselves. As you might guess, our meals weren’t the healthiest at that time – lots of barbequed red meat and beer.
The first survey area I went to was in the North West Province. The crew was camped at Reivilo, a small town about 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Vryburg. The town was originally established in 1883 and renamed twice the last time after the Rev A.J. Olivier (Olivier reversed is Reivilo). At least, that’s according to this Wikipedia article.
As my faded memory recalls, pretty much every afternoon at around 3:00 pm, the clouds would build us and a series of thunder storms would roll through. The noise from the rain and thunder rendered our seismic recording an exercise in futility so we’d return to camp, and face the prospect of cooking once again.
In this photo, the sun is setting as the storms break up and start to clear out.
At least in South Africa I wasn’t confined to my Olympus XA, much as I loved it. Here I could take my Canon AE1 Program. Later I picked up a Canon A1 and by the time my assignment ended, two-and-a-half years later, I owned two Canon T90′s.