Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)
- TITLE: I Can't Wait!
By Mona Purvis
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See lions, giraffes and zebra as you move silently through the bush. That is what our stalwart safari guide, Buck Aroo, announced in the pre-dawn light as Ethyl and I sipped coffee strong enough to eat with a spoon, and chewed rusks hard as the canvas-covered saddle that now held me.
“Do you think Bubu knows where he is going?”, I whispered to Ethyl as she dug into her bulky, bright-orange purse pulling out a half-eaten roll of Lifesavers.
“I hope it is to the nearest Waffle House! I'm starving!”
“Who's fault is it that we missed breakfast? I told you this is not a Carnival Cruise!” I responded. Ethyl moved at a pace all her own.
“Silence..we are going to investigate a recent kill site.” The armed game scout took this whole jaunt with solemn determination.
Ethyl and I were off to see wild, romantic Africa, sitting ten feet high aboard the six-ton BuBu, leading a caravan of eight elephants in search of a lion that just killed a Bongo.
“Hold tight, everyone. We will be crossing the Zambezi River here. It's safe. Hippos and crocodiles are no threat to the African Elephant,” said khaki-clothed, Buck Aroo, as we plunged into the murky water.
The first thing I will do when I get back to Birmingham, Alabama is cancel my subscription to National Geographic. Yes, take Irma Martin off the list. I'll even live without The Dog Whisperer. Lord, just get me and my sister safely off the back of this pachyderm.
“Ethyl, you can open your eyes now. We're back at camp.” I sighed as I scrambled down and my feet touched sweet earth.
Ethyl blinked in the blinding heat, pulled the schedule out of her purse and mostly fell off Bubu.
“Wait until I tell the girls, back home! They won't believe it,” she exclaimed.
“Tell them what? How you spent a day tracking lions on an elephant's back with your eyes closed? This is the absolute last time I let you draw me into your vacation fiascoes. Do you know how close I came to being crocodile-bait?”
“Oh, Irma...how you carry on. You'll feel better after our siesta. What's a sundowner? We're on schedule to meet at 4:00pm to go on a sundowner. That sounds just lovely, doesn't it dear?” Ethyl pointed to the colorful brochure.
The daily routine was dictated by the African bush with waking at dawn with the animals, set mealtimes and a rigid schedule only changed by harsher-than-normal weather. The weather so far on our ten-day excursion had been hot and dry. We only had eight more days to go.
Off I went to our 'Hemingway-Style, luxury-tented-camp in the African bush' pulling my blue-haired sister along. Two hours sleep in this heat sounds like Heaven.
As soon as I got settled down to nap, someone was shaking my shoulder. “Hurry, miss. We leave soon.” The scout left some tea on the table along with a basin of wash-water and exited the tent.
I looked over at Ethyl who was fast-asleep, mouth wide-open. I made a decision for the both of us. We'll see them at dinner. They can tell us all about it.
Tomorrow we will be going to the Masai Mara to see the wildebeest migration. The following day we will be canoing to view game from the banks of the river. Somewhere in our schedule we are going Gorilla trekking in Tanzania's, Mahale Mountains. At some point we will be sleeping in giant tree houses overlooking the Grumeti River.
I can't wait, I thought as I turned over and scrunched up my flat pillow. I can't wait.
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