African Safari – Part Ten
“A life without stories would be no life at all. And stories bound us, did they not, one to another, the living to the dead, people to animals, people to the land?” ― In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Alexander McCall Smith.
“Dumela, Mma, dumela, Rra,” Cook Pauline said when Peter and I arrived for breakfast.
“Dumela, Pauline,” we replied.
It was the morning after a very memorable night before, and we seven — Marilyn and Peter B, Charleen and Arden, Bruce, Peter and me, plus Guide Russell and side-kick Kate — again had our tea, porridge, and toast on the edge of the river. A tiny campfire warmed and cheered us on this, our final morning in Linyati Camp. That we’d had uninvited dinner guests the previous night was evident. The marshy area just beyond the dining tent was trampled into a gloppy green stew by the elephants.
As we prepared to leave camp, Pauline enveloped we three women in warm hugs, while her helper stood back smiling. Camp director Max and aide Jinx nodded goodbye solemnly. I hoped that the gratuties each of us left would help Max buy another cow for his fiance’s dowery, so they could marry and live happily ever after at Linyati.
When we took off from that BandAid-sized airstrip I knew that whatever else our safari held, I would never forget those three days.
As Precious Ramwotse mused in Alexander McCall Smith’s Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency, “We don’t forget…. Our heads may be small, but they are as full of memories as the sky may sometimes be full of swarming bees, thousands and thousands of memories, of smells, of places, of little things that happened to us and which came back, unexpectedly, to remind us who we are.”
There’ll be more stories from Botswana, but for now, tsamaya sentle.
Photos courtesy of, P. Blitz