Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This is the second year that all my kids have been in school. So it would seem that I have a lot of real quality alone time with myself. But, I'm really not actually alone all that much. You see, I have a maid and a gardener, they are actually one in the same person. And, that person is a man named Mohammed. He's a conservative Muslim man. And I'm not.

And that's great. Except, there are things I like to do in my own house like roller skate and belly dance. And there are some other things that I won't mention. But, did I mention I don't have tv? So, to be culturally sensitive, I have learned to pencil in these events around his absence.

No biggie, right?

But there's more. Have I ever told you that the house next door to ours has been under construction since we moved in. And when a Moroccan house is under construction, the construction workers live at the house. Yes, LIVE there. So, I currently live next to at least 10 men who are currently working on the 2nd floor of the house, which gives them a clear view into my house 24/7. And this, plus the Mohammed factor inhibit my improvisational "me" time significantly.

All I want to do is belly dance people. Can't I culturally sensitively belly dance in my own home? Alone.

Then, one day I realized that there is one part of the house where no one can see in from the construction site next door, besides the bathroom cause it's a little too small. It's a section of my ginormous bedroom. Yeeeessssss. This is awesome!

Except, I don't have a cd player upstairs. But the boys have a little one somewhere. I frantically look for it. But, it's nowhere to be found. So, I bring the laptop upstairs to play my belly dance music on. But, the "good" computer will only play the first 30 seconds of a song before it mysteriously stops. So I got the older crap laptop that won't run off batteries, so I have to find a transformer to plug it into, so the Moroccan voltage input to my American computer doesn't fry it. So then I'm sneaking downstairs through my empty house, which seems especially ridiculous. When I return, the archaic computer does not automatically play the cd when it's put in. So, I search for an inordinately long amount of time to find a program that will play it. Finally, I'm all set to begin when I look out the window directly in front of me that faces my other neighbor. And a worker is on her balcony. Looking directly at me. In my workout clothes and zils. Crap. I've been caught belly dancing in the privacy of my own home. After I close the curtains, out of nowhere the crap ass lap top stops working. After all that set up. Are you kidding me?

All I want to do is dance.

I bought it on Sunday. My own little cd player that I won't let anyone else in my house touch. And that's how I learned free styling is not free. It costs about $20. And I think that's a small price to pay for freedom.

So now I can put on any funky ass oriental song I want and freestyle to my hearts content upstairs in my bedroom with the curtain closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays when Mohammed doesn't work.

Like today.

And I need my dance therapy to combat my perfectionism. Like, it's killing me how flawed this dance is. And why do I make ridiculous faces when I dance? Actually I know the answer. It's because I always make ridiculous faces. Like all the time. And that's why I'm going to post this right now before I change my mind. And create a new blog tab called Therapy. Hoping that I can be freed of my chronic and debilitating perfectionism through the imperfection of free styling. Not to mention my terminal shyness. Cause I'm pretty sure actual therapy would cost more than $20.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Here Nor There

You know how on your last day of a vacation you can't stop thinking about how it's the last day. And you should be enjoying the moment. But, even though you're still on vacation your mind starts to wander and you can't stop fixating about going home. And all the crap you have to do at home. So you just wasted your last day of vacation because you already checked out. We have 5 more months in Morocco and I'm trying so hard not to check out.

But it's hard. I think more and more about Colorado every day. About my friends there and how much I've missed them. About my house and how I feel like I've been in a vacation rental for 2 years. And while it's nice, it has never felt like home. I miss seeing the mountains everyday. I miss roller derby. I miss English.

But then I think how much I'm going to miss the friends I've made here in Morocco. I'll miss the adventure. And even, maybe even especially, the misadventure of it all. I'll miss the chaotic driving. I'll miss the beach. I'll miss my belly dance class.

But I won't miss French.

I've just learned to navigate life here and now it's time to move back. And I'm totally conflicted about that. But what I don't want to do is check out yet.

And then today I had to go the store.

I had no soap or toilet paper in the house. And as we know, every house needs soap and toilet paper. It was pouring rain. I grab a wet cart from outside the Marjane. And as I make the walk into the store it becomes aparent I got the crap cart. Ok, they're all the crap cart in Morocco, but this one was especially bad. It had one super funky wheel that meant that I had to push it at an acute angle forcing me to engage my abs, arms, legs and butt and that was just to get it to go straight. The result was not so a-cute. But, bonus, pushing that cart was a total body workout.

I went to to make my first sharp left into the soap aisle. It started by me throwing my body way out to the right like a 18 wheeler would do to make a right, except in the total opposite direction. And it ended with me kicking it and then body slamming the whole cart. All with me swearing out loud a la anglais. Of course there are 3 women stocking the shelves in that aisle who stop to stare at me. Then point. Then laugh.

And if you live in Morocco you know you have had this same crap cart and that you too have done the same thing.

I continued to wrestle the cart all the way through the store. Because even though I only came to get a few items, they were spread all over that huge store. (My ass will thank me later.) So finally I get to the check out and put my items on the belt.

Oh shit.

I forgot the toilet paper.

And do you know where toilet paper is from the register? It's clear on the other side of the store. So I ran in clogs past the ladies in the soap aisle. Who again stared. Pointed. And laughed. Because I was doing that cautious tight-ass I don't want to run because I'm running in wet wooden clogs and trying not to fall run. And then I run back through the same aisle with toilet paper in hand. They probably thought I had the shits or something.

Finally, I'm back at the check out. And I'm sick of the crap cart. And scratchy Moroccan toilet paper. I just really want to check out. Though I'm trying desperately not to.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Wanderer

It was Sunday. The kids were cranky. We needed something to do. Something new and exciting that we'd never done before. So we decide to ride Rabat's new tram system and let us take it where it goes.

Maybe I should have brought my reading glasses, cause I couldn't read any of this.

The kids don't care where we're going. They love it. And we end up at the medina. Jade compares the exotic aroma of the old marketplace to a fart. I think that's being way too olfactory generous myself. Depending on the fart, of course. But no matter, the kids are excited to wheel and deal for the cheap trinkets and illegal wares one can find there. What better way to teach them about trademark infringement and copyright infringement? I know Beats headphones, that are spelled BeatZ headphones and sold for 200 dirham sounds like a good deal. But the beat won't go on wearing those headphones. The beat will simply stop when they completely fall apart immediately after purchase. Of course the boys still want them.

Then they see the knives with a big made in the USA stamp on them. Which I inform them there is no way it was made in the USA because it would have cost them more than the $2 to make it because in American they pay adult workers minimum wage, make sure there are no hazardous ingredients like lead and then they have to pay the shipping to Africa. No boys, I'm pretty sure that pocket knife is made in China by slave children who have lead poisoning.

(The boys did buy the knives anyway. I'm just trying to make sure they wash their hands after they play with them.)

While I was informing the boys about the evils of the world and discussing market economics, I lost sight of Craig. Oh, and the girls. In the busy medina.

If you don't know my husband you may not know he's prone to wandering. But the question is, does he or doesn't he have the girls?

The boys follow me as we weave in and out of people and down the narrow medina. Until we get stuck behind the guy languidly pushing his cart of illegally copyright infringed dvds. When we come to an opening and have an opportunity to pass, River and I take it, but Sky doesn't make it. So I'm trying to look forward and find Craig while hanging back to let Sky catch up. Finally we reach the main road and the crowds dissipate in the street. And there 30 yards in front of us is Craig with both girls holding hands and sauntering sweetly toward the smell of roasting chicken.

And lunch.

Which included some Moroccan salad which Sky loves.

So this is the part of the post where I'm going to edit out the conversation my husband and I had over lunch. So, in it's place I'm going to put my recipe for Moroccan Salad:

1 chopped onion
4 large chopped tomatoes
1 peeled and chopped cucumber
1 large handful of chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

And then we bought some dates.

And on the tram ride home, the kids stood right next to the glass to see the driver and all the controls. Except, I only count 3 kids. I'm missing a kid...

Ember, my other wanderer. Thank god not all who wander are lost. You see, Ember was merely dancing around the tram pole behind me. And she knew exactly where she was the whole time.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jenny From the Block

The day was overcast with a chilly breeze. It was Martin Luther King day, so no one had to work, even though all our kids still had school. But most important, it was Jenny's birthday. And all Jenny wanted to do was go to the mall. (And no, Jenny isn't a 13 year old girl, because again, all the kids are in school.) Doesn't every 35 year old woman want to take her husband and two other couples on a trip to the mall? And why the crap would we be so ungodly excited to go to the mall at our age?

Photo from Google Images

Because we live in Morocco. And this is no ordinary mall. In fact, there is no such thing as an ordinary mall in Morocco. And this one was just opened in December and guess who flew in just to celebrate? Jenny. Well, a different Jenny. Jenny From the Block, Jennifer Lopez. The rumors spread. Was jlo really in country? But more importantly, does the mall really have a Starbucks? Now you may not know that there is no Starbucks in Morocco because the disposible cup and coffee sleeve have not made it to this part of the world yet. Or has it?

So the six of us giddy non-teenagers cram in our minivan (aka: Battlecar Galactica) for the hour and a half journey south to Casablanca. Now this could have been the boring part of the post, but no. Because Craig made Jenny a mixed tape, cause that's what giddy old school non-teenagers do. And this wasn't just any mixed tape. It was all songs about Jenny. And that's when we found out Jenny's (how do I say this delicately).....a slut. I mean if you've ever heard the totally 80's rock ballad Jennifer by Styx. And come on, who hasn't? You already know this.

So after rocking out to songs about how materialistic and slutty Jenny is (which our Jenny isn't, by the way) we arrive at the mall. We know we've arrived because the sign says it in Arabic and French. Look how particularly excited Craig and Mark are.

And inside it looks pretty overly lit and generic, like every other mall.

Then we see it. And we confirm the Starbucks rumor is true. It's really true! Look how happy we are. Even though Jenny abhors coffee, it's just a minor set back because she loves the cups.

The mall also has an American Eagle store and everything's on sale.

Including socks! And if you don't realize how exciting a sock sale is, then you don't live in Morocco. Because while it's cold in winter here, the entire country is strangely void of comfy warm socks. Until now. So Jenny loads up.

Then we find Jenny's store. And super creepy guy who wouldn't stop checking out Jenny's cups and get out of my shot. He was lookin' for a Jenny, if you know what I mean.

Then we stood in wonder, wondering why there is an aquarium at the mall. Wow. Maybe they have really, really fresh fish at the sushi restaurants in the food court. And we're starving. So we go check it out.

Right as we sit down, the call to food prayer starts.

And after we eat, we stop at the bathroom, which is located right next to the mosque. (There is a reason I'm including this detail.) Because when we get in the women's bathroom there are women washing their feet. Which makes sense if this were pre-prayer. But it's not. It's post prayer. And what's even weirder. Women were taking of their hijabs to wash their hair, in the sink. At the mall. I totally wish I had a video or a photo of that, but I was too busy staring.

I also wish I had a photo or video of us making the men go into Zara for men to shop together, but I thought Kevin would kill me. In a major way.

Then we saw the second Starbucks. So we went in for another round. Except Jenny who broke from the pack and returned with ice cream, because again she's a freak who doesn't like coffee.

And she says she didn't let creepy guy buy her the ice cream. But come on, I think we all know the reputation of Jenny at this point.

As we're almost ready to leave, I'm a bit disappointed that we have only purchased socks, coffee and coffee cups at this point. Is this what being middle aged gets you? A trip to the mall to buy life's necessities while listening to a mixed tape? Then, right before we leave us girls head into Zara. And I find a cute sweater dress that's on sale. How practical is that? And Jenny convinces me to get the green one, which I buy without even trying it on. Until a couple days later...

Holy crap. I can't wear this as a dress. I look like Jenny From the Block. Standing on the corner of the block. Oh my god, Jenny has totally Jenny-fied me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It Ain't Over

Oh, it ain't over! It CAN't be over! There's so much I still didn't tell you about our safari.

After all I didn't tell you anything about the gorgeous sunset cruise we took in Botswana . See Craig looking all pensive like he just listened to an Air Supply song and is on the verge of tears and is choking them back. Do you?

Photo courtesy of Mark Green

I forgot to tell you that on New Year's Eve we were in Zambia and sat around the campfire listening to Ken's riveting stories about flying on the Concord and Apartheid. Or that we actually stayed up til midnight! (Ok, I was in my tent on the cusp of sleep, but I was still awake. But that counts, right?)

Photo courtesy of Mark Green

Or that at sometime during the trip I started to notice Mark's penchant for taking Air Supply-ish photos of Craig at sunset. Which is a little weird, right?

I neglected to mention how Faith and Sky tempted fate by blowing past that sign urging you not to blow past the sign at Blyde River Canyon, the biggest green canyon in the whole world. Which of course, is in South Africa.

Photo courtesy of Mark Green

Or that later Sky contemplated Evel Knievel-ing over the canyon on this sweet orange moped. But, we thought that would have a far more Thelma and Louise-ish ending.

Photo courtesy of Mark Green

Nor did I mention the time I was so punch drunk taking a shower that I whacked my head pretty good on the shower rod. Which they could hear in the men's room and didn't know if I knocked myself out or if someone needed to rescue me until I started laughing uncontrollably. And then snorting.

I didn't tell you how we horked down on these Botswanian donuts we got at a rest stop. Or that they are like the spawn of donut that mated with a bagel and cream cheese. Totally carb-o-licious!

Then there was that time that the boys went all Lord of the Flies. Ok, it was just Sky. And he didn't kill anyone, but he did start a fire from flint. And that's totally true.

In fact our kids were so relaxed and happy on the trip. Probably because they realized that they do NOT in fact have college funds anymore. So all pressure to make good grades to get into college, well it's now pointless isn't it?

The only small squabbles were who could help cook dinner. Cause they all wanted to help. Which makes me think perhaps I should start cooking outside on a camp stove in the dark lit by a very dim lantern every night.

You know how they say fire and water don't mix? Usually they don't. But, then one day on safari they did. And after I reminded River that holding Ember underwater would extinguish her flame, he threw Ember around in the pool. Consensually even.

Oh yeah, then there was that time that the monkey stole our mango from camp. Which obviously didn't satisfy him.

That brings me to the delicious smokin' hot chicks we scored at camp that totally satisfied us, but totally made the monkey jealous.

Then on the night of Mark and Faith's wedding anniversary we got all crazy! Then we shared a dark chili chocolate bar we'd been saving and snuck into the the posh hotel next door to the campsite. We walked to the end of the dock in the pitch black. Until the boatman reminded us that that was really stupid because of the crocodiles. And then I may or may not have stolen a wash cloth from the hotel. Isn't this how everyone spends their 19th wedding anniversary? It was so cliche.

But I know what your burning question is, who won Team Man or Team Wild? I was thinking it was a tie, until the night before we left when my legs started to swell up with mosquito bites. Which only got bigger and itchier on the long, long plane rides home.

And on the plane, that's when I discovered my biggest and itchiest mosquito bite. And it was on my ass. Realizing it ain't over, 'til it's over. And sadly, it's over. (Even though the itching wasn't for some time.) And the winner? Well, that would be Team Wild with the last point scored in the ass in over time.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Just a Housewife

We said a sad goodbye to Ken and Jess on the morning we left Zambia. We gave them the money we had left as a tip, reserving just enough for the visas that we would need to cross into Zimbabwe. That's where our long journey home would begin. We'd fly Zimbabwe to Johannesburg, Johannesburg up to Paris and then after a long layover there on home to Morocco. But we still had to cross the border into Zimbabwe. Crazy, screwed up, currency-less Zimbabwe where 90% of its people are literate, which is unheard of in Africa. But, oh, equally unheard of, 95% of its people are underemployed. Which I can all say freely. I'll explain later.

So we get on the bus and head for the border. Passing the wild monkeys and ladies balancing baskets, duffel bags and their extended families on their heads. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but I'm sure these hard working women could do it. We fill out the immigration card on the bus. There's one question that always confounds me on such documents. Occupation. What do I do anyway? And this is when I start to over think things. Who am I? I haven't yet called myself a writer because I've never earned any money for my writing. So after a mini-identity crisis, I settle on mother.

We file out of the bus and into the immigration office to get our visas and our foreignness bumps us to the front of the line. The officer processes our kids first. Which throughout Africa involves a lot of very loud stamping of passports, visas and miscellaneous papers. Then he gets to my passport and immigration form. And he mumbles, laughs, scratches out MOTHER and inserts HOUSEWIFE. Instantaneously I was both demeaned and approved for entry. Housewife? I am not, nor have I ever been married to my house.

Our friends the Greens, are in line immediately following us. Now, Faith is the editor of the Embassy newsletter. Turns out that anything related to journalism in that box gets you another form to fill out. One that says that you will not take pictures or write anything about Zimbabwe. Which she signed in trade for her visa.

But I'm just a housewife.

The last of our cash was used up on the visas. We're headed to the airport, but we want to make one stop. So we ask the driver if we have enough time to stop at the market and still make it to the airport in time. He says we have about 20 minutes to spare. But of course we're broke. And they don't take credit cards in these markets. But what we do have are 6 unwashed bath towels we've used for showering and at the pools for the last 2 weeks. Now I brought our old thread barren towels with us on safari and at this point funky does not even begin to describe their stench. So I bundle all our towels in my arms and we head into the market.

Now I am a terrible bargainer. I like set prices where I can simply decide if I want something for that price or not. But since all I have is towels this makes the process so much easier. And you're like who the hell is gonna want those towels? Except everyone does. In fact, all the vendors are salivating over my towels and trying to get me to trade my towels with them. And they'll do almost anything for them. But I'm looking for one thing. Remember that zebra I didn't get in Zambia? I have less than 20 minutes to find it and more than 40 vendors to bargain with. Can it be done? And as it turns out? I'm the freaking queen of skanky towel husseling. Seriously. Next time when I get a visa form and they ask for occupation I'm going to write SKANKY TOWEL HUSSLER.

Check out what I scored in trade for 6 grungy towels.

Not one, but TWO zebras. And not pictured is a bracelet Ember got and a necklace for Sky and some small trinket for River which I can't recall. (And no, not the carpet.)

And you know what? If I was a writer I couldn't have told you this story at all. So I just got a new appreciation for being a housewife. And I'm startin' to think this is a pretty sweet gig. After all, my house doesn't care how much time I spend in it. It doesn't care if I roller skate through it. Or if I don't clean it. Or appreciate it. And most of all? Most of all I can write anything, anytime, anywhere and I don't have to answer to anyone. So, yup, I guess I kinda like being just a housewife!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


When we crossed via ferry from Botswana into Zambia it happened. Instantly, we were millionaires. See the Kwatcha, which is the currency of Zambia, is so worthless that there are 5,000 to one US dollar. Craig starts demeaning it even further by referring to it as Crotch-a. The truth is we hardly have any cash left at this point. So now, we must decide which kid isn't going to college because we just blew their college fund on an African safari? I think I'm gonna say Ember. Because by the time Ember makes it to college I think pole dancing might have earned the recognition it deserves and she can earn a scholarship to be on her school's competitive team. Or maybe the Mayans are right and we don't have to worry about anything past December 21, 2112.

The day we arrived in Livingstone Ken hears that that very same morning, a girl was bungee jumping off the bridge that connects Zambia and Zimbabwe and that the cord broke. This rumor was all we knew at the time. Until a few days after we arrived home in Morocco and found out that this rumor was absolutely true and that the 22 year old Australian woman had miraculously survived both the fall and the crocodile infested waters below that she plunged into. Back in Zambia we didn't know that, or the fact that she was fine, there was a video and this was about to become world news. And the next day when we went to Victoria Falls we saw the bridge where it had all occurred just the day before.

Now, I grew up around Niagara Falls, which I assumed (mistakenly) was the biggest waterfall in the world. It's actually ranked number 3. Although, it ranks number one as the cheesiest most touristy wonder of the world, infested with casinos and wax museums on the Canadian side. And that fares better than the American side of the falls that is infested with drugs. Guess which waterfall ranks the second biggest in the world? Yup. Victoria Falls. (The first biggest, depending on your source of course, is Iguazu Falls in Argentina. Or Brazil. Also depending on your source.)

So, after growing up near the glitz and disappointment of a tourist attraction that was more about drugs, casinos and wax museums, I was delighted to be greeted by this small, simple, completely misspelled sign and some monkeys. Nature as nature intended it to be.

Wow. There aren't guard rails or signs to keep stupid people from doing stupid things like standing on the rocks in the rapids at the top of the falls right before the water plummets off the precipice.

And this was the moment on safari when I wanted to kill my husband.

Look not a casino or wax museum in sight!

And there is no Maid of the Mist boat tour with rain coats crowding the shot. But, there is a guy renting umbrellas and raincoats before you cross this bridge. But why in the world would you want to stay dry when it's freakin' hot outside? Except for the chick we saw who had full on make-up with her hair straightened to Jennifer Aniston perfection. She rented a raincoat AND an umbrella. I wish I got a photo of her. Thus starts the regret over photos I did NOT take while on safari...

Here we are wet and soggy and not looking anything like Jennifer Aniston.

Then we headed over the bridge where the bungee incident occurred the day before. Kitty corner from me on the Zimbabwe side of the bridge is where the bungee cord company is. And there is a long line of jumpers waiting their turn. I don't know if they didn't know or if they figured lightening doesn't strike twice. At the time, I didn't think of taking a picture or video of the bungee jumping. Which I now regret. But, I was too busy clutching Ember tightly to my chest while she looked down at the bungee jumpers swaying as they were being hoisted back up and begged me to let her do it. I do not regret saying no.

Here River is strattling both Zambia and Zimbabwe at the same time.

When we headed back to the parking lot there were lots of vendors. I wanted this funky straw zebra really bad, but they wanted $40 for it. Dollars not crotcha. It would've been cheaper if I bought it at World Market for god's sake. So I passed. Good thing too because I ended up getting the deal of a lifetime in Zimbabwe. Of course I didn't know that then.

That night Jess and Ken cooked us braai. What the crap is braai you ask?

First there are the onions caramelized in golden syrup.

Then buttered potatoes.

Then sausage and steak cooked over an open flame. A really big flame. A flaming flame.

And as we chowed down on what was an absolutely amazing meal capping a gorgeous day where no one fell into the rapids and over the falls to their death. Then, the really loud club music started from a couple of campsites away. So I ask you. Did we really have any other choice?


So we raved.


The kids did anyhow. The adults. We pondered the fact that even though we were millionaires in crotcha. We were broke in US dollars. But in memories? We're definitely millionaires!

Stay tuned for Zimbabwe...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Savanna Dry

We'd converted our money from Rands into Pula, the currency in Botswana. The first night was spent in a dirt camp ground where it promptly rained after we pitched our tents. And by rain, I mean pelting monsoon rain. But it wasn't all a wash. We huddled under the tin roof of the outdoor kitchen with a fabulous bottle of Tall Horse while Jess cooked up bangers and mash. While we made coleslaw, which the wind blew over. And then we remade it. Then finally after a couple of hours and an incredible dinner, the storm blew over. And it left a mud puddle shaped like the continent of Africa.

Here Sky and Ember are showing you our coordinates on the map. Ok, so they're not. Cause they're in the Congo on the map. Unless that's Cameroon. All they knew is they were playing in mud and no one was stopping them.

In the morning it was time to pack it all up and head to a campsite further north which would hopefully be drier. See, this was actually the second night of rain in a row and we were feeling a bit soggy. Ok, completely waterlogged.

When we pulled into Elephant Sands, the skies were sunny. And right in front of us was an elephant in the campsite. What are the chances right? Well, actually in Botswana they're pretty good. Because there are over 100,000 elephants in the country. And the campground didn't have any gates to keep the wild life out like the other places we had stayed. But I didn't actually think about that until later. Much later.

See the elephant behind Grandma Barb and Grandpa Dale? That's where we ended up pitching our tents.

It was one of the hottest days of the safari. It was like Africa hot. And savanna dry. Perfect for drying out. Except that after we set up the tents in the mid-day sun, we were marinating in our own sweat. Would our smell attract or repel the wild animals? I'm not sure. But they had a pool where we could cool down. Which is right next to a watering hole that the elephants frequent. So what the the odds that there's one there drinking there when we go?

Apparently, pretty good.

Mark caught this thirsty elephant on film. Now that's my kind of Elephant Bar.

That afternoon we went on a game drive just down the road in these cool open air jeeps.

Awwww. Slow down. Elephant crossing. Isn't that cute?

Check out the serene giraffe. This is awesome!

Oh my god! Is that a leopard? Amazing!

Wait a minute, we're right near our campsite that has no gate. And so is he. Wait just a second. Just a day or so ago we discovered that the Boomslang is an indigenous and very poisonous tree dwelling snake. Which made all of us crack up. (You may want to refer to my post Space for what boomslang is slang for.) But right now, that's not really funny. Ok, it's still totally funny.

So this is the point of the game drive when we stop and get out of the jeep to have a a cold drink brought along by our guide. And perhaps you're thinking, whhhaaaaaaaatttt? Just like I was. There's crocs, leopards, black mambas and boomslangs out here. Thank god he packed Savanna Dry. Which looks like a beer, but it's a hard cider.

And it took the edge off and I relaxed a bit.

So then I was totally fine with Craig posing for a picture at the edge of crocodile infested waters. Why not?

And so what if Jade is standing on a termite hill which would only make her presence more aparent to predators especially while wearing my very noticeable red t-shirt because we fit in the same clothes now?

And psheeeesh, we probably won't get stuck when we drive through the croc infested waters. Right?

And I'm pretty sure it's fine that River stands up in a moving vehicle driving over rough terrain loaded with wild animals without even so much as a car door to keep him from falling out. After all he doesn't have enough meat on him for any animal to be interested in eating him, even though he is conveniently snack size.

And hey? Why don't we stop again and all get out and pose for pictures by this tree like we're in Disney's Animal Kingdom? Except that I'm sure Disney would have charged me at least $10 for that Savanna Dry.

But that wasn't the case.
Cause this is Africa!
Tsamina mina eh, eh
Waka waka eh, eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa...

We made it back to camp unscathed before dusk. We had dinner with a bunch of suicidal moths who kept throwing themselves into our drinks and then my mouth. Yeah, even the moths are hard-core in Africa. I contemplated showering off my stank until I saw the huge African spider that must have been contemplating the same thing in the bathroom. So I headed to bed, stink and all. It was quiet and peaceful. At least it was for an hour or so.

Until, Craig heard a noise and got up and looked outside the tent. And there 25 feet from our tent was an elephant outlined by the light from the stars which were amazing that night. We watched him until he sauntered in the direction of the watering hole. We drifted off until about an hour later. That was when we heard the roar of the lion. And we didn't open the tent to see how close it was. Cause right then, I didn't want to find out the answer to whether lions are attracted to human b.o. or not.

NEXT UP: Zambia


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