it's been approximately 1 million years since i posted here. the internet's been terrible again in lubumbashi and since my vacation i've been so busy during the day that in the evenings i want to just watch dvds and zone out. and since i pretty much commute from my bed to my desk to my bed again it's hard to think of anything interesting to say. (the whole 5 meters between my bed and desk does make for a very very short commute.... too short one might say. sometimes i forget to put on shoes.)
but i did head back to serengeti for an fzs workshop. these are some photos. it's funny... i spent 80% of my time there in meetings and 95% of my time in congo in front of my desk or asleep, but you'd think from this post i'm out frolicking in the wilderness!
i guess it gets back to what i mentioned in my post in december... most people work to live and in my case it's not really any different... the only thing is the my work puts me a bit closer to the places i want to do my living.... and my living can be quite extraordinary.
case in point: even though we just had a couple hours to set out in the morning before meetings, it was pretty amazing to catch a glimpse of these three male lions loving on each other. we found them making their way across a big open plain. three bachelors. they couldn't help but stop and cuddle every few minutes! they'd walk apart and then get in really close, rubbing cheeks and sides against each other... and then just drop down and start wrestling. so so cute.
you could almost forget, just for a second, how extremely scary they are.
i was lucky to be in seronera, the middle of the park, to catch part of the great migration. this is when wildebeest (aka. gnu) and zebra move across serengeti in tanzania, north to the mara in kenya and then back by the thousands. they lead the charge, but the predators that hunt them follow eagerly. seemingly endless herds of zebra and wildebeest with their young is already pretty dramatic... and then to consider that every night they are getting picked off by lions, leopards, hyenas, wild dog, cheetahs... it's the definition of drama. (and yes, the sky really was that color... a storm was on its way.)
but the eles... they are my favorite. growing up in thailand we got so used to seeing elephants everywhere. petting them, feeding them bananas, seeing them in rural towns and villages... i didn't feel any more scared walking up to an adult elephant than i did a dog! i can still remember the feel of their wrinkley, leathery skin and thick hairs, and that they like to be scratched, the way their trunks curl around your hands or search your pockets for treats. the way their eyes are a warm reddish brown color and seem a little too small for their bodies, but their long long lashes make up for it. i didn't realize until recently quite how amazing and unique that experience was. i have been so close to elephants and yet i am still drawn to and in awe of them every time.