Thursday, December 07, 2006

The best day of my life

I’ve been thinking about my time spent in Africa a lot lately. When it is so cold outside, and I’m cooped up in the office most of the day, I can’t help but remember what an incredible time I had there. It was the best experience of my life, and the very best day of my life happened while I was there:

I was newly engaged, E had proposed the night before, so I still felt all the giddiness and excitement of my new ring and the wedding to come. We woke up to the usual “hello, hello, good morning” we heard each day, because in the African wilderness there are no alarm clocks other than the Massi that watch over the camp.

E and I rolled out of bed and looked out of our screened-in tent to see the African morning still dark. We dressed quickly, and followed the Massi to the jeeps (we needed to be escorted because we were in an area that was inhabited my wild animals). We wanted to get an early start today, because many African animals were active at dawn.

E and I piled into the jeep with my Mom, brother and cousins. As soon as we left camp we saw a heard of elephants right next to the road. As all three Jeeps slowed, we each stood up and poked our heads out of the roof to watch these majestic animals. We watched and learned for over thirty minutes, until finally moving on.

The sun was just rising as we drove into Tarangire National Park. We stopped at water holes and open fields to watch animals living in the wild. Each time we stopped we all stood up, took photos and looked through our binoculars. Our guide Eric told us about behaviors and things to look for when watching these awesome animals.

Pretty soon the sun had fully risen and we stopped at a beautiful lookout for a picnic breakfast! We looked down on a scene that looked to be right out of the Garden of Eden. Elephants we walking, ostridges were keeping on eye on things. Zebras were grazing, and the more we looked, the more animals we saw. After a fantastic breakfast we hit the road again.

Pretty soon we were viewing animals we had yet to see there, baboons were hopping from tree to tree, lizards we sunning themselves in the sun, and marmot type creatures were spying out of their dens. We even saw a camillian before it disappeared into the brush once again.

The entire day we were joking and laughing and singing, and I was in bliss knowing that I would never forget this day.

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