Holiday: Kruger National Park

I start work tomorrow after 3 amazing weeks vacation… and for the first time ever, I am actually kind of ready to face the classroom and kids again.  I’ve rested. And its been good.

A friend and I headed North for the winter – well, we got as far as Kruger/ Sabi and figured its a good place to escape life for a while.  Its amazing what you learn when time suddenly stops and you lose all concept of “reality”…

  1. I have mad bread baking skills.  Who knew it was so simple? Okay, maybe I can’t quite compete with the local bakery’s baguettes (yet), but I was fairly impressed with the loaves I knocked out…
  2. Wide open spaces lift my spirit and restore my soul.  There were times when we literally felt like the only two people looking across the plains of Africa – and I was left with an overwhelming sense of God’s Peace and Love for me.  The scripture in 2 Samuel 22:20 (He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.) played on repeat in my head.  I love it.  I love that I had time and space to mull over those words and simply listen to God’s voice in the vast Stillness.
  3. I can make a mean potjie – without a recipe.  I surprised even myself! But when you have no other choice… well, a girl has to get on with it and light that fire…
  4. I remain surprisingly calm under pressure.  That one really did surprise me.  I didn’t think I was that type of person, but apparently I am.  Elephants crossing roads don’t fluster me and I can handle all tactical driving skills required for sneaking in between the bigger vehicles (while still getting my camera ready for a shot or two). I also go silent in a “crisis”.  Even when the very imminent danger is a vervet monkey attacking my feet. I am not sure if I was more traumatized by the monkey hanging onto my ankles or by the sudden thought that I might be living my own version of Outbreak – and I wouldn’t be wearing a hazmat suit…
  5. There is very little that a good slice of cake can’t fix or make better.  Even the prospect of the Black Plague or some other deadly disease courtesy of before mentioned monkey… and Mugg & Bean, Lower Sabie really does have the best views.
  6. You get to know the local radio station really well.  In our case, we realised Jacaranda plays the same 5 songs at least once every day… One Direction’s History and Imperfect are clearly still hits in Mpumalanga, as is Sade (has she actually made any new music in the past decade??).  Of course, our lasting memory will always be what’s-his-face’s song, Pillowtalk.  I am not altogether sure which drew me in first: his inability to articulate (rek-ah-laas be-hay-vi-yor), the contradictory lyrics (paradise, war zone, war zone, paradise…) or the catchy beat.  I am going with the beat.  Either way, our resolve was broken and we sang along.  Every time it played.  And it played a lot.
  7. The best animal sightings are early in the morning.  Its worth that crack of dawn wake up call.

8. Life is tough in nature.  We had an incredible opportunity to see a leopard kill an impala.  Or rather, we watched as the impala were held hostage by fear, unable to move away, literally stuck in the kill zone until the leopard caught one.  It was crazy to see how these animals could not run away, but instead were compelled to keep moving toward the danger.  Am sure there is a more significant metaphor lurking behind that moment.

9. God has a great sense of humour – one just has to look at the warthog and gnu to appreciate his creative genius.  And then, clearly on the day He create birds, he was just showing off.

10. The staff at Kruger National Park are amazing; we had such a great experience in the Park – every person I dealt with was super friendly, asked how my day was, what I had seen and wished me good sightings.  Yes, the service was Slow on another level, but hey, it is Africa and we are on holiday… and the speed limit is 40km/hr, slowing down is a good thing.

 

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