My baby is in Africa.I have no way of being in touch with her, not that she’s wanting to chat. I’m certain she is otherwise occupied. Once, when she was over for dinner while we were in Florida she was using our wifi to download and read some of her course packet for this trip. It included the itinerary and after she left I saved it to a file. Now I read it, day by day. How pathetic is that? I think I’m one of those helicopter parents: hovering,hovering,hovering. It’s an art form really, to stay aloft and relatively motionless.
Wed 16 May: Drive Maun to Xakanaxa. Travel Day.
Shuttle bus to JNB International Airport. Depart on scheduled flight JNB to Maun, Botswana. Upon arrival in Maun we drive about 140 km’s (4 – 5 hours) to the Xakanaxa region of Moremi Game Reserve. This area is situated along permanently flooded Okavango channels and enjoys a range of good game area, making it perfect as an exciting beginning to our safari. On our second day, we enjoy a boat cruise to the Gudigwa heronries, a profusion of water breeding birdlife.
It’s maintenance week around here. I’ve decided to warm up slowly before racing off to the dentist’s office. First we do the eyes, then tomorrow a new doctor. A new doctor is fairly nerve wracking. I’ve had the same lovely woman as my internist since I was 28 and we were simpatico. I long ago stopped being self-conscious about the annual half hour of maximum exposure and there was no one I would rather have looking at every centimeter of my epidermis under a magnifying glass once I developed a tendency to basal cell carcinoma. The best thing was that she trusted my own sense of things so if I called once every four or five years and said, "Yikes! I need a Z-Pak, here are my symptoms" she would call it in without the usual "Can you come in at 3:45?" One time she even helped me drug that African explorer when she went through a phase where she had a terrible fear of flying. Now I have to start over so tomorrow I’ll go over to Northwestern Medical Center and see my new internist. Who is much younger than me. She probably isn’t familiar with the two pounds a year after age 50 syndrome. She probably has stiff paper gowns and the office is over air conditioned. Oh dear, oh dear. I should probably figure out a new form of mass transit while I’m at it and leave the car in the garage but I won’t. I’d be all sweaty just from getting there. Instead I’ll be 15 minutes late because I will have been circling the block looking for a meter and getting all churned up so I have artificially high blood pressure or something.
So today I went to get my eyes examined and I picked out new glasses. I was initially excited that there was a new vision store right on Halsted so I could walk but it ended up catering to the chic young things who also buy their scanty fitness outfits on one side and their short flippy Betsey Johnson dresses on the other. That meant that all the frames were very expensive and too small to house progressive lens. I was going to do something bold and daring but the cardinal red frames were 380.00. As it was, even with vision insurance, I paid a lot for regular glasses and sunglasses. The optometrist looked too young to be out of high school but she seemed to know her stuff. Called me "monocular." Huh. But then she admired how well my blind eye tracks (It’s always reassuring to hear that it hasn’t taken on a separate life and just wandered off) and she said my distance vision in the one eye was better than 20/20. I knew that. Good for bird watching.
I knew all about the bears and seals and passed with flying colors, even under the auspices of the most senior staff member (27 years). I’ll tell you more about that when my eyes aren’t all weird and scratchy from those yellow drops.
"Be nice to whites; they need you to rediscover their humanity."
Bishop Desmond Tutu
I don’t have any photos that I took in Africa because, of course, I’ve never been. It’s a place I plan on seeing but not yet. So here is a photo of Xakanaxa, (pronounced Kakanaka unless you can do the Bushman
clicks repesented by the ‘x’s) that I found when I googled images on their safari guide’s website.
That’s the camp in the Moremi game reserve in
the Okovango delta where the Snarl sleeps tonight. Part of her responsibility for this trip is to present short informational lectures around the campfire and I know she was working on one about water conservation in the Okovango delta. I wonder if she is doing that right now? (hover,hover,hover)
In early memory
Was ringing round my nursery door
I said take this child, lord
From tucson arizona
Give her the wings to fly through harmony
And she wont bother you no more
(Paul Simon, African Skies)