It is an unusual day when I have to drive to many sites to conduct a survey. The dirt road is particularly rough on this section and all who are in the vehicle are being rattled like peanuts in a tin can. A noise is heard underneath the vehicle and I stop suddenly. It sounds as if I might have a flat wheel. I step out of the vehicle as do all the others with me. The source of the noise cannot be seen. There are no flat wheels thankfully, and we all get back into the vehicle to carry on with our journey … further into what looks like a special place in paradise… it is so green… and the noise from the vehicle has stopped.
A few seconds later someone mentions the elephants and I look to my left to realize that we had stopped and stepped out of the vehicle like people from the city… only caring about whether we were obstructing other vehicles, but totally forgetting the place we were in. The elephants had been there all the time…hmmm I wonder what would have happened if we had found we had a flat wheel… and then noticed them only a short distance away…
The elephants are busy munching on the trees and stripping the bark as I slowly drive past. The dust raised from my vehicle wheels almost reaches them, but they are not irritated. There is a male Thompson Gazelle that is bang in the middle of the road and has turned towards me, almost daring me … I edge forward and he slowly gets off the road with his head held high … almost as if to say: “You know you can’t touch me.”
I edge past him and continue on my way. The team with me is talking about adventures in the Garden and all the theories people have about how to tackle an encounter with a wild animal… until they have an encounter themselves… then all the macho drains out of their system and they either fall flat on the ground, or disappear faster than any of their friends can say jack sprat… only to find out that the scuffle they heard from the bush was just a rabbit… Hilarious!
Or the ones who make a bush-stop for breakfast and only realize that they had the company of a pride of lions (please note… a pride, not a bunch, not a troop, and certainly not a group) on the other side of the bush the whole time…after they finish breakfast… hmmm… who wants to become breakfast?
But then the journey ends. We are at our destination and work begins again…. The network signal strength needs to be increased… and soon, another beautiful day is ending in this great and beautiful corner of God’s Garden.
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