Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rhino! Elephants! Cheetah!

Jambo to all of our H2O for Life friends!

We are on break from Safari taking a couple of hours to regroup and rest a bit before going out again. This is a perfect opportunity to bring you all up to date on Wednesday's ALL day Safari.

The Masi Mara is a magnificent place. It is breath-taking and words can not describe the beauty of the land, animals and people. I really believe that when God created Africa, or whomever is the creator in each of our individual beliefs, He was having a great time and has proven a wonderful sense of humor. Giraffes, zebras, hippos, lions, wart hogs, hyenas, elephants and countless others are uniquely different and surprisingly similiar. Survival is the goal but getting there involves an amazing hierarcy. Lions rule but the numbers of zebras and wildabeast leaves on to wonder if they might not be in charge based on their control of the land.

The sheer size and expanse of this area leaves me speechless but I will try to convey some of our experiences of our all day safari. We were in the van and ready to go by 7:00 a.m. Our van has a pop-top roof so we can stand up and gaze the landscape through the roof. All of you students would laugh at how excited a group of adults can get when one of us spots a lion or elephant.

We had a wonderful experience with a group of elephants. They are huge yet so quiet and graceful. We spotted a family of elephants and Christopjer was able to get us very close to them. They then started to come toward us. (Thankfully, I was sitting in the back and Steve would have been the first to be crushed.) I am estimating that we were 10-20 feet from these giants. It was thrilling! They really don't pay attention to us but there is a reason for the strict rules about leaving your vehicle while on the Mara.

Speaking opf leaving your vehicle, I am wondering howmany of you know what a "short call" might be. Let me give you a hint. The H2O Team is not taking pictues of latrines. The are probably 50 miles apart.

The morning went by without a single Zebra sighting. I was beginning to wonder if we were even going to see a herd of Zebras. Boy was I wrong. We came over a hill and as far as the eye can see we saw zebra and wildabeast. Hundred of thousands of them spotted every inch. Amazing! Awesome! Spectacular! We drove for miles during the afternoon and they never left our site.

We eventually made it to the Tanzania border and had our pictures taken at the border. It's not everyday that you be in two countries at one time.

Our last big excitedment for the afternoon was coming in contact with a family of Cheetahs. We were only 10 feet away from them! They could care less about us but we sure enjoyed them. Lastly, we spotted a Rhino on the horizon. I was surprised to learn that the Rhino spends his life living alone and is known as a solitary animal. Sounds loney and might be why he doesn't hesitate to let birds land all over him. We all need a friend.

Time to get back for an afternoon safari. Tomorrow we are back to work and leave the luxury of a flush toilet and ice.

We all have children whom we left to come on this trip. We send our love to our families and since I am writing today's blog--a special shout-out to my two boys, Joe and Danny. I love you both and miss you terribly but I will have wonderful stories to share on my return.


We also managed to see a once in a lifetime event when the wildabeast and zebras started a river crossing. Hundreds of these animals patiently wait their turn to cross the river and then they just seem to fly over the river. I don't know why they cross and it begs the question, "Why did the zebra cross the river?"

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