I was a naïve, bubbly college freshman – out of my element and in a brand new place for the very first time. He was shy and graceful, with a cautious air about him that seemed to shelter a young, playful spirit. He caught my interest without even trying. I was captivated by the line of his shoulders, each careful step he took, and every tilt of his delicate head. He was breathtaking, and I couldn’t tear my gaze away. It was love at first sight.
Lioness in Tarangire / Photo by: Leslie Wainger
Our final “day” in Tarangire was really just a drive out of the park, then on to Manyara Ranch and the affiliated primary school, before finishing up at Gibbs Farm, a resort (the only appropriate word, if you ask me) aka eco-lodge where we would be spending the night before moving on to the Ngorongoro Crater. But honestly, there was just no such thing as making a “clean getaway” from Tarangire, because the wildlife would not be denied.
Day 3 was our first all-day drive, and I loved it. If it were up to me, we would have done all-day drives every day. Of course, if it were up to me we’d also still be in Africa and the safari would never end. If I’d thought Day 2 brought a lot of elephants, Day 3 was the Powerball jackpot of elephants.
One of the best and worst things about living in Africa as an expatriate is the speed at which the unexpected happens. Just going to the shops, out of nowhere I was faced with a tribunal of very young Muslim girls curious about Muzungus (white people). They had lots of the kind of questions that only children have the innocence to ask, such as am I hairy all over and if they rub my skin will it turn theirs white. Occasionally these random riptides in the flow of your day evolve rapidly into what I can only describe as adventures. In the fall, I had one of these adventures that makes Africa for me.