May 22, 2012

armchair traveler... or i'm still gushing about africa

I never dreamed of travelling... not even as I fell in love with the Amazing Race when it first began. I would watch and soak in far-off places, and be content. If the destination was one my parents had travelled to, I found myself leaning in just a little closer... my Mom's stories coming to life on the t.v. screen. This season, the Amazing Race went to Tanzania, country of my heart. I see those dark faces with white smiles and my heart simply melts. I watch as the racers see the animals for the first time and the emotions teeter on the rims of my eyes. And when the Maasai jump and dance, I hear the ting-a-ling of tin, and fall in love all over again. I saved the episodes on my Tivo for as long as the rest of the family would allow, along with several Big Cat Diary episodes. A daily does of Africa does this heart good, and even a peek can take my breath away.
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Seeing Africa on the Amazing Race, reminded me one of more story... our very own race. We had left the Serengeti, on our way back to the beautiful Tloma Lodge... and it was market day. The big market day. And we had a mission...

A shopping list in Swahili... and 2500 shilling. Each of our three vehicles was its own team, challenged with finding everything on the list, and spending the least amount of money.

Sooner than we could really enter the market, a young necklace-selling man took us under his wing and we promised to buy his necklaces in return for his help. And not five minutes after than and we had a following, some curious and some wanting us to buy their wares! But we were determined and focused on our mission. Two green peppers, two carrots, a mango and a packet of salt. It turned out mangoes were out of season...
A winner was declared (it wasn't us) but the true winner was Mama Ana and her family. We were her miracle, stopping by with bags of food when her family was down to their last bits. But truly, I am not sure who was more blessed by this moment in time...




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2 comments:

Southern Gal said...

You took me there with you. Thank you.

Busy Bee Suz said...

What an experience for you all....a 'once in a lifetime' experience.
Love the photos...along with your words it tells a huge story!
xoxo