Saturday, December 29, 2012

Africa Normal

Things are really different in this world, but it's never hard for me to make the transition once I get here. It's just a matter of thinking in the "Africa Normal" mode.

a peacock shows off on the lapa lawn
In the US we are obsessed with safety. Heaven forbid you should drive to the neighborhood convenience store without putting on your safety belt--or ride your bicycle in your driveway without a helmet on. At Harnas, though, you might find yourself standing on the sidebar of a truck, dodging thornbushes as you careen down a bumpy, winding dirt road, holding on for dear life.

Baby caracal Annabel at play
Speciesism is rare at Harnas. For example, yesterday at lunch I shared my waterbottle with Rica, a baby baboon, and later on a bushwalk, Atheno had a drink from it. Never did it occur to me to wipe the bottle opening before I drank. We're all friends here!

A kiss from Atheno
 Dinner conversation usually avoids things like world events and focuses instead on such issues as poaching or the lax laws in South Africa that lead to inbreeding in lions. And oh yes, we talk about the food. Last night Erin commented brilliantly that there was an "overexcitement of condiments" in the food.


Conversation comes to an immediate halt when the lions roar. Everyone stops, listens, and tries to determine if it is Zion or Macho who has started the symphony. Then we bask in the music. After 2-3 minutes, conversation continues where it left off.

Zion enjoying the morning sun
 Fashion is something very different than you'll find in Paris. Tank tops and shorts rule, and the value of clothes is determined by the experience they exemplify. My favorite shorts have a mended "L"-shaped scar that marks the spot where Martha tore a large hole while play-attacking me on a lion walk. They're a prized possession because of this.

And finally, at any given moment, you can stop, listen, and the odds are pretty good that you'll hear Marieta somewhere on the farm, yelling at a Bushman.

An update on Pride: Erin has stayed two nights in the Lifeline area to try to catch Pride when she comes to get the bait meat. No luck so far. I'm planning on joining her tonight. Hope for the best!

1 comment:

  1. You mean you don't get up every morning to put on your face and your high heels? Shocking, Barb; just shocking. But totally my kind of place. :)