This was the last sighting of my brother, from a picture he posted on Facebook.
Looks scary, doesn’t it?!
Don’t worry, I’ll explain –
1) The small whiteboard contains updates to us about his status and then-location, and the numbers are actually GPS coordinates for him to show us where exactly he is in Tanzania, Africa (where he is working for 2 months on a research trip).
2) He looks really covered up, but the reason is because he is hiding from the bugs and mosquitoes that are plaguing him. He says that even when he wears long sleeved tops, the flies bite right through him! The only way to escape the bites is by wearing NS-style jackets, which are thick enough to protect him from the little horrible creatures – although they are too hot to wear most of the time.
Beware… He says the bites are sharp, piercing attacks and feel like needles through his skin. 🙁 He also said he has thousands of bites from the TseTse flies covering his whole body (their bites can be deadly), and they give a heck of an itch!
He was a little miserable, but was comforting my Mom instead, “Don’t worry Mom, at least I didn’t get the deadly sleeping sickness yet. Also, the professor [that he is working with] and another local who was with us are really sick with Malaria. And I’m not.”
Malaria?! You can probably imagine how my over-protective Mom reacted to that consolation. She really was thanking Jesus non-stop the last few days for keeping my brother safe.
From my Facebook status/research: “Internet-ting… Helping my lil brother Thaddaeus Cheng to do research for his trip alone to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater – OMG the Great Migration! Looks phenomenal!!!! Is this what i’m missing out on in Singapore? I really want to pick up my stuff and fly to Africa NOW!!! But I don’t have vaccinations or thousands of dollars to spare 🙁
PS: Book via a Safari operator, TripAdvisor recommends 1) Base Camp Tanzania for a good safari + reasonable cost. Having a good guide will make or break your trip.”
At least, he’s battling the bites for a once in a lifetime experience to (hopefully) catch the Great Migration, happening right now during his short trip to Serengeti.
For other updates I’ve written about my brother in Africa, you can read this post about his journey or this post about the start of it (it also includes a bonus love letter that he wrote to us, haha).