Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
- Mark Twain
I'm so excited to tell you that today I sent off my deposit to join my dad on safari in Kenya and Tanzania next summer! Aaaaahh!! Here's a little background info - my dad was born in Tanzania (the son of Methodist missionaries) and he and his brothers were sent to boarding school in Kenya. They lived there until my dad was about 17, then came back to the states to live. After being gone for about 30 years, he was able to go back - with my brother and me - 10 years ago. It was truly amazing to hear him speaking Swahili, which came back to him rather quickly! Our trip planted an idea in his mind - he wanted to find a way to turn his love for photography into a business, and to share his love of Africa with others. It took a few years, but he has become successful at running photography safaris that showcase the raw beauty of Africa, and I'm so happy and proud of him! As I write this, he is leading a small group through Rwanda to see the gorillas. Rwanda! After doing this specific safari for the first time earlier this year, he told me that it was absolutely life-changing to get so close to wild gorillas, have a little time to observe their true behaviors, and fantastic to see that they feel safe enough to not be scared of people.
Africa affected me so deeply - it really felt like the beginning of time to be out on a game drive, searching for animals, looking in every direction and not seeing anything but the wild! Fabulous trees, birds singing and cackling, baby animals figuring out how to run...I've never felt such a deep mixture of wonder and fear at being out in nature.
From the first deep inhale of the rich air in Nairobi, to the Masai bomas we visited, the smells were so new and pungent. The earth after a rip-roaring thunderstorm. The smell that thousands of wildebeest and zebras generate on their migration. Oh, and the poop. I wonder how, while watching the Discovery Channel shows, did I miss seeing all the poop and bones that are out on the plains?
The people we met along the way were incredible as well. So friendly and beautiful, the children running out to wave at us as we passed through their tiny villages. The vibrant Masai robes of red and blue - I'll be bringing one of those home again for sure! Oh man, I am soooo excited! I can't wait! I can't wait to go with my dad and my camera (last time I was there with film - not so 21st century-friendly, hence no picture up top), and see what's waiting for me over there! Yippee!