Living in the Garden

When I woke up this morning and prepared to go to the village church just across the reserve boundary, I thought to myself, how lucky I have been to have spent this much time in the garden.  Where else in the world will one find a place where human beings actually live in peace with the wildlife to the point where there is no fear between them? 

Reminiscing, I remembered driving down the road from a meeting with my boss last week, when we almost ran over a giraffe. He was there all along… just so well camouflaged and so still, we did not see him.  And as we slowed down to a sudden halt, he just gracefully and calmly walked off the road as if to say: ‘Ok, I know you need to use this place.. here you go…’ No fear from him, even though by the time we stopped we were no more than 3-4m away from him. 

Even the Zebra grazing right by the side of the road only moved off when the giraffe seemed to want to walk over them… totally unconcerned about the human beings in the strange creature that we call a vehicle.

Giraffe and Zebra in the Garden

Giraffe and Zebra in the Garden

Where in the world would a human habitation area be in the middle of the wild, have no fence surrounding it, and still be considered safe enough by its inhabitants to go jogging in the evenings? I would love to hear that story.  Only in the garden, I tell you.  Only in this big old garden called Africa… and so my wild little piece of it so close to the middle – Serengeti, Tanzania.

Let’s be honest here.. I have not yet got the guts to go jogging through the bush, but I will walk to the mess or office some 2-400m away from my house on a good day.  So as I watch my colleagues jog for miles round the hill I marvel at their confidence and strength. My thoughts are: ‘What will you do when you come across something dangerous and you are already tired of running?…’ Hmmm… I guess the most dangerous thing alive is ourselves… but that is a topic for another day.

…. As I drive past one jogger one day I slow down to reduce the amount of dust they have to swallow from my vehicle wheels, and cheekily offer them a lift… devil that I am… Of course they would like a lift, but how strong is their will?  They smile and keep going, without missing a beat, and I wonder how much further they have to go on their obviously over 3-4km run through the bush. Clearly their urge to be fit and healthy is stronger than their fear of the wild.

So I drive on home as I think: “Today is a good day.  There are no technical emergencies, and I can run on the spot in my house thank you very much… and do my 15 minute workout in total safety, then settle down to a good movie on one of my satellite TV movie channels.”

I thank God for paradise, where high tech and wild all blend seamlessly into one, none interfering with the other, and where I can turn to bed each day for a deep contented sleep through the night… to the sound of my favorite Dikdik couple chewing on the fallen marula fruit under the tree outside my bedroom window, to the sound of lion calling some distance away, and to dreams of the Seacom fibre optic link finally getting here…

Wanna share my life?

Come … walk with me in the Garden

Copyright (c) 2009-2010. Ophelia Swai. All Rights Reserved

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8 thoughts on “Living in the Garden

  1. Adam Maina August 9, 2009 at 12:46 pm Reply

    Dear Ophelia,

    Thank you for this treatise Ophelia. I thank God for the privilage of walking this beutiful garden two years ago and experiencing the marvel that is the Serengeti. It is even more interesting than you are disclosing you, remember that night with the safari ants, they are all part of this beatiful garden.

    • daphinas August 9, 2009 at 1:57 pm Reply

      Thanks for reminding me! That should be some story! 🙂

  2. lydia August 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm Reply

    thanks for sharing your life it is fantastic i read and feel like am right there with you my freinds love it you are a great writer. we have been laughing so much thanks alot keep us posted

  3. Rugambo August 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm Reply

    I commence by clicking your blog with an energetic smile and a second moment of day dream I cannot explain.

    I honestly believe that not many will envisage your blog the same way as those with the opportunity of a journey through the Garden; our darling Serengeti.

    Not forgetting, the equilibrium it allows.

  4. grace March 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm Reply

    Hey Ophelia, just stumbled on your blog through Jean’s. Wow! Can I come and live with you? I guess I have to settle for your blogs which are very close to the real thing. Thanks for posting

    • daphinas March 16, 2010 at 4:18 pm Reply

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      … and enjoy the garden! Maybe one day you will see it live 🙂

      If you want it…you can get it

  5. Emelina Minero June 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm Reply

    “Where in the world would a human habitation area be in the middle of the wild, have no fence surrounding it, and still be considered safe enough by its inhabitants to go jogging in the evenings? I would love to hear that story.”

    I’m a jogger. This sounds both enlivening and frightening, to run near wild animals. And inhabiting a space that seamlessly entwines technology and nature. That sounds like a perfect mix to me. 🙂

    • daphinas June 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm Reply

      Hi Emelina,

      It sure is a perfect mix. Nothing quite like it. Glad you enjoyed the experiences 🙂

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