can you see that giraffe behind that enormous cloud of dust?

i originally intended the title of this entry to be ‘i went on safari woohoo’ or maybe ‘swimming with crocodiles’ or even ‘sara got eaten by a lion’ but we didn’t see any lions or crocodiles. and we got covered with dust.

the story really begins the afternoon before, when we unpacked our smushed bodies from the taxi-bus in kabarondo only to discover we’d missed the last bus and would have to take motos down the 20km dirt road to giudi’s house at the entrance to akagera national park. what would be a 20km mud puddle in the rainy season felt more like the oklahoma dust bowl as we skidded and coughed our way through drought-ridden fields – a sharp contrast to the lush rainforests we’d seen just days before.

a cold bucket shower took off the thin coat of dust and we all crashed early in anticipation of a 6am start. at 6:30 our rides (douglas and neil and their respective pick-up trucks) had yet to appear so we walked to the intersection in town to meet them. at 7 we started to worry they’d gotten lost or eaten by the dust, but there was no service in these boondocks, so we walked 2km to a big tree where the locals promised you could get a signal. at which point two 4x4s rounded the corner, tires spewing dust behind, we hopped in and off we went (on safari woohoo).
the safari was my first and i understand why people pay gobs of money for the experience – bumping along on and off tire-track dirt roads, gorgeous scenery, rugged terrain like an suv commercial, sun beating down, scanning miles of dried-up brush for a glimpse of antelope or buffalo, batting off flies and the dust kicked up by the car in front. i felt like robert redford. or ernest hemingway.

i’m on safari the giraffe woohoo

buffalo antelope? baboon

but after an hour or so the dust became unreal, sticking to our faces, swirling up behind my sunglasses into my eyes, filling creases (NOT wrinkles) around my nose and mouth. we searched for one lonely giraffe for ages and when we finally saw him it was all i could do to open my eyes. after that we made our way down to the lake in search of hippos. despite the cautions of our guide, we got out of the cars for a closer look. that was when we finally got a glimpse of each other – and burst out laughing. the dust had made us all look like old ladies with bad mascara jobs. we took more pictures of each other than of the hippos. to top it off – sarah (vso sarah, not sister sara) and cathryn and douglas in the front car were sparkling clean. their truck had kicked up the dust cloud that ours had been driving through for three hours.

covered with dust the culprit occupants of the unfortunate car

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~ by aliciawolcott on July 29, 2007.

One Response to “can you see that giraffe behind that enormous cloud of dust?”

  1. we look hot.

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