Who is in My Tent?

No – no, seriously? Who the hell is in our tent? This girl – don’t remember her name.* This journal is so I can look back in a gazillion years and know what I was like in Africa at 22 years old.

Well – here’s a shortcut from all the analyzing of my words in a gazillion years:

I. am. a. bitch.

At least today/tonight. this girl – she kind of smells, even though I know it could be a million other things. She’s pushy and has invaded my space, even though she was tryign to get to know people by asking if she could stay in our tent and wasn’tw anting to be alone. She never smiles and has no personality, although if I were nicer tonight and really tryign to get to know her I may find out that she’s a lovely person. Oh, and she has weird hair – like this one blonde piece stuck to the side of her head, with a clip even thoug it looks so perfectly dead that I’m sure a clip is just overkill.

Okay, now that was just mean – the hair bit. I’m letting exhaustion and space invasion make me a mean person.

I feel guilty for the hair comment. Sorry nameless invader girl whose name I haven’t bothered to remember or learn, for saying something you’ll never know I said.

That wasn’t genuine. I still feel bad. I SHOULD feel bad. I’m generally a good, nice, decent person who is friendly and… kind. And I’m not being that person. My mother, when she reads this, is going to be disappointed. She’s reading it now. Hi, Mom. Don’t hate your mean daughter for not liking the space invading girl with the weird hair.

Okay – real apology time. I really am genuinely sorry for being mean.

There. I said it. Now maybe karma won’t kick my ass later on.

SO.

Other than the cramped, smelly tent situation, today has been pretty fantastic. Sort of. Not like mind-blowing, best day ever kind of great – ut good. Definitely a solid, good day full of seeing absolutely mind-blowingly cool things. The driving, however, the endless, bumpy, uncomfortable driving kind of brings the level of Cool for the entire day down a notch or two.

I saw hippos!! And crocodiles! It was incredible. The hippos- they have these massive, reddish/pink eye areas – their actual eyes are dark – but around the eyes, like almost on top of the head, near the ears or something – the second they come up out of the water, it just slaps you in teh face – the red, that is. The crocs didnt really come up that much – just the tops of their heads. But the hippos – we saw them come halfway or so out of the water, open their mouths all the way – WOW. It’s insane. Apparently their jaws when clamped down all the way can put out 1000kg of pressure (that’s something like 500-600 pounds, i think…).

We’re here in St. Lucia right now. There are over 1000 – i thik he said 1200ish crocs in the St. Lucia river. There are something like 900 hippos. We took a lagoon cruise to see them. We – Alana, Gerald, Paul, and I – sat with our feet danging off the edge of teh boat (scandalous!). The breeze tossled my already windblown hair – it was so nice, felt so wonderful, after spending all day in the hot, humid truck. We all got so excited at each siting we had. I felt so… exotic, like I am finally doing something so unique, that so few people, relatively speaking, do. Which is unfortunate – I wnat to bring everyone over here so they can see these animals, this landscape, everything. Africa is my jungle, and I want to swing on every vine.. (I’m tired – forgive my cliched metaphors haha).

I got some awesome pictures. I had to remind myself to enjoy the experience and not just record it. I’ve become obsessed with capturing every individual moment that sometimes I’m surprised when I see the pictures. The pictures will be there, but I want the precious memories, too. I want to bring and share the journey with everyone else, but I also want to soak up actually living in it.

After the cruise, we had something like four hours of free time. Alana and I walked ot the beach. We had heard that the Indian Ocean was somewhere near us… but it was one heck of a hike…. and completely and utterly worth it.

We walked and walked, through what honestly kind of resembled just forest. After a while we began to think we had been given faulty information; there was no way with this scenery that we were anywhere near the ocean. Finally – we saw the mouth of the St. Lucia River… and on the other side – sand. Oh my gosh. I can’t begin to describe the sand. I’ve never seen anything like it. It looked like it went on for miles and miles. But we knew the ocean was right over the edge of the sand, if we could find it. It was flat, too, so you could see forever. Mountains were on one side, the St. Lucia River behind us, sand in front of us and all around us, and somewhere over the horizon – ocean.

When we finally got the to base of the sand – the moment we set eyes on the Indian Ocean, my heat lept. I was speechless. I was just floored. It was so gorgeous. We got there about 30 minutes before sunset. For the first time, I saw and played in the Indian Ocean! Oh man, it was unbelievable… so priceless. We didnt’ think to put on bathing suits, so we did the only logical thing – took off our shirts and dove in! We went in in our bras/shorts. I found myself barely even self-conscious, too. The entire experience was so new and beautiful that it was all I was thinking about, not the fishermen on the beach or the kids playing in the sand. We played, took pictures. The waves were so massive they toppled us over and pulled us under. The water was so warm, completely unlike the Atlantic off the coast of Cape Town, where your feet are numb even wading in the water on the hottest summer day.

After we got out, we watched the sunset. It was truly a special, unforgettable moment. So beautiful. I’m so glad we went.

So the first day = long but good. The drive here was 4-5 hours’ish. We drove up the coast of Kwazulu-Natal. I still would really like to go and spend time there, but it was a beautiful introduction. There are huge stretches of this one particular type of tree – it’s so skinny – it looks like a massively tall twig with leaves on the top. I want to find out what it was. I’ve never liked bush much – trees, flowers, whatever – but I have decided that this is my favorite tree. It looks like it shouldn’t exist, like evolution should have ruled it out, kicked it out, what with survival of the fittest and all. It looks as though it can’t survive much, like I could snap it in half with my bare hands. But its existence speaks of its resilience – it’s ability to survive. I like anything that beats the odds, survives when it shouldnt. I like that kind of strength of character.

Tomorrow starts at 4am. So – sleep time.

Night!
-Cyndi

**Her name is Caroline, and she and I ended up being rather friendly. She’s from Sweden, and she’s a nursing major…. she’s a very very strong Type A personality, which probably describes right there why I immediately didn’t click with her and wasn’t a fan of her. She did come across bossy and pushy and space-invading haha but towards the end of the trip I realized… eh, it probably annoys the heck out of her that I’m always late, spontaneous, loud and unorganized. So then I thought – we can all go around disliking each other for our extreme personality differences or we can be appreciate that the other type lives in this world too. Without people like her, who would be our accountants and stuff??? hahahaha (love you mom)

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Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

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