Why the camel?... page 2

On with the show!

At this time, there was a fair bit of interest in our work in the media and on the local scene. At least once a week, group of journalists, off-duty soldiers or schoolchildren were shown around the hospital.

After a few months, we fell into a steady working pattern of dissection, sketching and rendering. I usually had at least three or four pen and ink or watercolor renderings on the go, so if I got stuck or bored with a piece, I could go on and make progress elsewhere, then come back to the 'troublesome' piece with fresh eyes a few days later.



My cool, subterranean basement office (cool, because my previous upstairs office was not air conditioned...)  

The project was only supposed to go on for one year, but within months Malie realized that there was more camel than we could cover in such a short time and so funds were solicited from the sponsors to cover an additional six months of work. Malie ended up writing the chapters on the skeleton, joints and muscles as well as parts of the digestive tract, the urogenital tract and the central nervous system. When her sabbatical year was over, there was a two-month hiatus: just enough time for me to return to North America to experience reverse culture shock, pick up more art supplies, and embark on a two-week backpack adventure in Egypt before resuming work on the project. The last six months of work were carried out under the direction of Braam Bezuidenhout, also from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Onderstepoort. He was accompanied by his indefatigueable wife Hannie.

While Malie had a no-nonsense, 'steady-as-she-goes' work ethic, Braam was a little more relaxed about his progress; when he felt stumped, or just needed a break, I knew I could find him outside the hospital building with his binoculars looking for unusual birds, or perhaps catching a few winks under his desk. They are two of the most honest, caring and hard working people that I have known and I treasure the time we spent together in Beersheva.

Braam, with one of the juvenile camels purchased from the local Bedouin and embalmed for dissection. The strong nuchal ligament holds the head erect.  


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