Once upon a time there were… well, a bunch of people; how they met was a mix of fate, coincidence, opportunity, and maybe a bit of stubbornness. How they all arrived together in Africa is the mystery that weaves this story. If we had to chose a character to rile everyone up and travel to one of the world’s wildest place, we would say it was the most unexpected one: Mayú – whom I’ll be forever in debt to because if it wasn’t for her, Maximo would have never come to Africa.
Truth is that the beauty of a story like this one, is that it doesn’t really matter who planned, who decided ore even how it happened. The important thing about this story is that 11 people (and later on an extra Laura), with the biggest grin and firm thoughts, all said:
After a few months of preparations everyone put on their migratory plumage and the migratory birds landed in a strange land: Africa.
The first safari in Madikwe was exceptional (including how hot it was), with good spirit; high expectations were fulfilled in less tan 3 hours.
“Ohhhh! Ahhh. Look, look, look! Stop!! Stooop”
“Oh my God that’s amazing look at the giraffes!”
“Mimi take a photo!! Photo photo!”
“That’s a massive ram look at its horns”
“Oh no, too exciting!”
“..CLICKCLICK CLICKCLICK” – said every camera.
“Look at the lions” (Total awe. Total silence – one of the few moments where the characters of our story couldn’t find the words in them).
“We are going to stop here for a sundowner”
“Ale, what to we drink here?”
“Gin and tonic of course!” – G&T the drink that would mark every sundowner, every lunch and occasionally a dinner.
Had we been superstitious we could have claimed the good omen of a great first day and many more to follow. However because everyone is terrified of the urban “jinx” everyone reserved their expectations, thrilled to have found so much in such a short time, daring to dream of what would come next..
There were tense moments, when the leopard wasn’t there, when the buffalo were hiding, when the elephants looked at us in a funny way, when Maria told us off, when Titti tried to share Laura’s dessert. Memorable moments? There were far more! The first elephant, the first rhino, the fifth lion, every sunset, when Ale found Maximo a leopard n the first afternoon, when the elephant calf charged us and fell tangled up with its trunk, when Mowgli found the python, when Momoy’s cell phone went for a dive in the soup, the tree house, the bushwalk, the happiness.
Trying to summarise a trip with so many emotions is nearly impossible. It’s hard to do justice to so many different days, measured in so many different scales.
Everyone took home what touched their hearts, and everyone took home a different vision of a previously unknown world.
Life is made out of moments shared like this, with bunched up happiness radiating from the accumulated energy of those around you. What really matters is to be surrounded by those who fall in love with the bigger things – Like Laura and desserts – or those who thank every god and the Universe for letting live the faces of those whoa came looking to fulfil a dream.
Two weeks for the soul, one family, on wild world. Africa, we thank you.