I hope everyone had a good New Year’s Eve. It was wonderful here.
Marieta had the Bushman set up long tables out on the grass the lapa area and the cheetah enclosures (I'm sure the cats were a bit confused all night). All afternoon, they roasted three sheep and twelve chickens on spits over fires and the kitchen people prepared a feast of side dishes. Spotlights and candles were set up all over, and someone worked as a disc jockey near what used to be the outdoor dining area but what became for one evening our dance floor.
Around seven guests and volunteers began arriving. The volunteers had decided the theme was a masquerade ball, and they had all made masks decorated with whatever they could find. Feathers from the aviary were popular—as was some glitter from the children’s school. This picture shows a group of them showing off their masks.
Before dinner the Bushman children did a series of African dances to entertain us. No music--just handclapping in various rhythms--like their own sets of drums. They were so great—had on traditional costumes and really stomped and clapped their way into my heart.
Lots of eating, drinking, and laughing all evening, and then there was dancing under the stars for hours. Finally, at what we agreed was midnight (there was no Dick Clark and a lighted ball in Times Square), we all stood in a circle and counted down from ten. It was a memorable way to bring in 2012—a New Year’s that will stand out in all our memories as beautiful and fun and a bit exotic.
Today everyone looks a little worse for the wear, but we all agreed it might be our favorite New Year’s celebration ever. It’s hard to top dancing under the African stars while the lions roar in the distance.