Thursday, December 01, 2005

Remembering Africa

Today is World Aids Day, but that is not the reason I’m remembering Africa. I am remembering my time there, how magical and wonderful it was, and how it changed my life forever.

One of my favorite memories in Africa was waking up each morning. There was no power in many of the places we stayed, so the only “alarm clock” was the Massai warriors that watched over the grounds at night.

We woke up before dawn most mornings because many animals are active at this time. The first thing I heard many mornings was “hello, hello, good morning!” Most days it took the Massai many hellos before I was awake enough to exchange a good morning back. On the Serengeti after our wake up call, we even got coffee and tea delivered to the tents. We were in the middle of Africa in a National Park where we could hear lions and hyenas most nights, and we were getting hot coffee delivered before sunrise!

Each member of my family loved this little wake-up tradition. We even joked about inventing an alarm clock that said “hello, hello, good morning” and only would shut off when you returned the hello, good morning.

Sometimes we woke at sunrise, and these mornings were the most magical. I would open my eyes, and see the most glorious sunrises right outside my tent. These days I would jump up, slip some shoes on, and run outside to take a picture before the scene changed.
Everyone deserves to see a sunrise over the Serengeti at some point in their life.

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