Thursday, November 04, 2010

A Successful Trip to Africa

I’m back from Africa. The safari was amazing and the hunt for the big five was beyond successful. I saw more animals than expected and developed a love for Africa’s wildlife. I saw animals I never knew existed and found myself absorbed into the culture, nature and the environment.

There is something very exhilarating about sitting in a safari jeep ten feet away from a lion, a leopard, a cheetah and a rhino. There is something even more exhilarating about being in a jeep sitting in the middle of a herd of elephants, watching the beast stare you in the eye. But the most memorial experience for me was the day we saw a kudu ( which is like a very large deer) about ten feet away staring straight into my eyes with its head raised and it’s magnificent spiral rack of about four feet lifted high.

Yes seeing the big five was exciting but it was the unexpected animals, birds and plant life as well as the experience of being in the culture with the African people that made the trip so special. Africa is a beautiful country full of wildness but also a place of poverty and crime. It is an unstable world where many people starve and children go without shoes, food and proper healthy care.

The last day of our trip we went to a cultural village where the people actually live in mud huts without running water or electricity. The huts where made of a stick structure with mud layered to the outside and a grass thatched roof. There was one main house about the size of an American bathroom and then two small closet size stick structures for cooking over an open wood fire and one for a toilet. Chickens and pigs lived side by side with the natives. They had a community well where the women would go and hand pump water to carry back to their huts. There was no running water and no electricity.

Although it seemed so primitive and you could say the people were poor, they all seemed quite happy and relaxed. It was a way of life so far away from the modern world and yet so peaceful and happy. Makes you wonder just what makes for a successful life?

I was promised the big five and I did see the big five but I also saw so much more and that is what made my trip to Africa a success.

Doctor Lynn

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