Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Another Goodbye

When I began this trip,the days stretched out in front of me forever, and it seemed impossible I could fill all those hours. Yet here it is, seemingly a blink later, and I'm walking around Harnas saying goodbye once more to the animals I love.

I began with Zion and Trust. Trust still won't come to the fence--blames me for the shock he got--but he comes close and makes noises. Zion came right to the fence and let me scratch him. Any day that starts with petting a lion is going to be a good one.

I spent the morning with Koema, introducing him to new volunteers so that he'll have people to love him once I'm gone. There are some good people here now, and although it breaks my heart, I turn his care over to them with trust. There will be some tears, though, when I kiss him for the last time.

Koema and his soccer ball
Carolyn and two of her vol friends came by the garden and played with Koema. They get to do pretty much what they want on their last day. They said what they really wanted was to see the tiny cheetah babies. (Marieta has been keeping them pretty tight, but they knew I had access.) I told them they had come to the right person and took them into Marieta's kitchen, let them see and touch the babies, and take pictures. I think they enjoyed it. I've tried to stay out of Carolyn's way and let her have the authentic Harnas experience, but once in a while, it's nice to use my position to do something good for her. I hope she's had a great time, and I hope she'll remember these weeks for the rest of her life. Harnas had a huge impact on me, and many volunteers come to me and tell me the same. They thank me for the book. It means so much to me. That's what I did it for--to spread the word and spirit of Harnas.

Now before I start yelling Hallelujah, let me continue with my day. After lunch I took two volunteers who had approached me yesterday out to see Atheno. They had heard about him on a German TV program, but didn't know where his enclosure was or how to approach him. I took them out, called for him, and like the star he is, he came strolling out of the grass purring. He stayed with us for about 30 minutes and let them take pictures, cuddle up, and pet him. I think they'll be back.

It's been a good day. I know I'll come back some day--don't know when yet, but in the back of my mind, I'm thinking maybe Christmas of next year. I have to have some kind of goal to make it back so that the depression of returning to real life isn't so overwhelming. I feel more at home here than I do in my so-called real life. There are no politics, stresses, or race riots here. I know it's a bubble, but it's a good one. I wish it would never end. But I also wish I could bring you all here and introduce you to my babies. I wish we could all sit around in the grass, playing with cheetahs during the days--and drink wine while we listened to the lions roar at night. BB


  1. Sign me up. I want to experience this so badly. So sad that you have to leave but so glad you got to go again.

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