Now it is Sunday morning, October 12th (Sri Lankan time). Somehow our time here is a half-hour off from halfway around the world—half an hour earlier for California, half an hour later in New Mexico. Or the other way around?
Two weeks since our very fine, life-renewing, unexpectedly wonderful journey in the Okavango Delta. Seems a long time ago already but forever will remain one of my favorite life adventures of all time.
It’s the big countdown. We have two more hotel days, one here, one in Kuwait; one day spent flying and a lengthy visit to the Abu Dhabi airport (bad timing but huge money saving); and one long long long 24 hours of almost pure flight with a relatively small amount of airport time. We’re a little stir crazy in this Colombo hotel. Only one big excursion out into the Sri Lankan countryside (post to follow) and the rest in this town (another post to follow!).
But for now—a wrap-up of the Delta trip. So the whole time I’ve been writing this the tune “Delta Dawn” has been humming away in my mind’s ‘ear’—when I told Steven this he said “What’s Delta Dawn?” (Kids these days—no experience with the good stuff) so I made him listen and he agreed “it had a good sound to it, alternative more than old!” Okay then.
Delta Dawn, what’s that flower you have on
Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?
And did I hear you say he was a-meeting you here
To take you to his mansion in the sky?
Obviously this has nothing whatsoever to do with the trip but you may as well be subjected to this in your head for the next day or so too.
See, it’s a big damn hot shadeless island.
Day Four: The day was ever so slightly anti-climatic as last days of anything tend to be. We took a four-hour walk across a different island in the morning. It was very very hot with little shade and I disappointed myself by feeling like I was on the verge of heat stroke at the end of hour three. I hate admitting to many frailties yet as they will be coming fast and furiously in the next years I am sure. Hate even more having my sons show signs of concern (even though it would surely be worse if they didn’t!). The walk did offer more sightings of elephants, wildebeests, zebras and red lechwe(s?) and more birds for Scott, so well worthwhile except for that burning African (felt like New Mexican) sun. The guide/poler/wildlife expert with us is in his final phase of studying to be a fully-certified guide which involves much of the training a wildlife biologist would get as an undergrad. His knowledge of both birds and animals and all of the signs indicating their well-being, presence and direction of travel was most impressive.
After another delicious Bush lunch (and just why is nicely-prepared but ordinary food so extraordinarily delicious out in the woods?), we headed back to Old Bridge via mokoro, motorboat and vehicle. Collapsed with food, talk, beer, storing memories, and wondering if we could make it back someday to this very special land.
Botswana is one of Africa’s (actually the world’s) success stories. Good Government is the key to the excellent management of resources throughout this country and the general well-being of the people. I am going to make a wild guess and say that there is a real chance that not only does Botswana have a more effective and honest government than the rest of Africa but quite possibly the U.S.as well. (If I said all of this somewhere else I apologize.)
Just what is life-changing about all of this you might ask? It’s all about the big world picture and where we fit in it I suppose. It’s about being in a country where the natural resources are treasured and nurtured. It’s about coming to an establishment organized to give people without big bucks the chance to come together in an adventure that they/we will remember the rest of their/our lives. And it’s about family and about the friends we make when we venture forth. Thanks Scott for making this happen.