Now if you’ve been reading this blawg-o-mine for any length of time, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I am not, by and large, a girl who spends a lot of time outdoors. In fact, I believe I’ve mentioned that nature would be ever-so-much more enjoyable for me if it were air conditioned.
And I still think there’s merit to that idea, by the way.
So you can imagine my apprehension when I found myself climbing into a(n) (un-air conditioned) van around 6:30 IN THE MORNING last Saturday so that I could ride around and look at animals in their natural habitat.
THE IRONY, IT WAS PALPABLE.
Heather was insistent that we ride in the same van, mainly because she wanted to hear me say “OH MY LANDS” over and over again.
For the record, I didn’t say “OH MY LANDS” very much at all.
But I did say “OH MY WORD” about eleventy-four thousand times.
Our guide was a guy named Emmanuel, and I can’t even tell you how comforted I was by the presence of someone whose name translates to “God with us.” Because I don’t know when I’ve ever craved God’s presence more than I did when confronted with, you know, REAL LIVE LIONS.
I’m just sayin’.
Once Heather, Carlos, Shaun, Shannon and I were settled in the van, we headed down some bumpy dirt roads. And I have to confess: I started to warm up to the whole notion of spending the morning in nature when I looked to my right and saw this:
That was pretty cool.
And, you know, this wasn’t so bad, either:
Because whether you’re a nature fan or not, seeing elephants about twenty-five feet from your vehicle really is about seventy-two kinds of awesome.
One of the most surreal parts of our excursion is that the guides talked to each other on their cell phones so that they’d know which animals were where. In all honesty I was a bit jealous about their cell coverage because I would have given anything to be able to send Big Mama a text message that said, “HELLO, I AM LOOKING AT ALL THE NATURE.”
And believe you me: when Emmanuel got word via cell phone that there were lions not too far away, our driver took off down those dusty roads at a rate of speed I have only experienced when I was afraid I wasn’t going to make it to a Popeye’s by closing time.
So what I’m saying is that there was a certain sense of urgency.
Because look! Lions!
And Shaun! Who can laugh even in the presence of a high-powered rifle!
Our trek lasted about three hours, and I must have taken 150 pictures. But before you look at a picture of me, I feel that I must explain the kerchief atop my ahead.
Or as Carlos called it: my FundanaTM.
There was never any question that I needed to wear some sort of protective covering on my head. But given the baseball cap disaster the day before, I wanted to wear something a bit more sassy and colorful.
However, since I didn’t put on the FundanaTM until I was in the van, I was unaware of how I looked in a FundanaTM until I saw this picture.
Prepare yourselves, people.
Needless to say, I don’t think it’s a look I’ll be repeating.
But FundanaTM or no, that day was one of the highlights of my life.
Because yeah, the animals were were great.
And that large body of water they call the Nile River? Even better.
But these people?
Hands-down. Best part of all.