Safari Journal Part 10

Part 10 of my Safari Journal

Tanzanians Hunting Mouse

We have returned to camp. Solomon is preparing lunch. I sit and write in my journal as I wait. A vervet monkey comes really close and sits down. After I inform him that his younger brother was a meal earlier in the day, he gets up and walks away. I forgot to tell you that when we returned to where the Hadzubes live the other hunters had caught and were cooking a vervet monkey. I actually tried to forget it because the head was kind of looking at me. It was also looking at it’s other half, the cooking body. What if your soul stays with you until your entire body disintegrates? What was he thinking? “Damn, I’m skinny” or “If you would have just asked I know where a whole family of dik-dik’s live” or “So, do I taste like chicken”. What if it wasn’t his time to go? Do you think he comes back in the kitchen of that little kid from the sixth sense?

As I look up into the world I see very many colors here. Greens and browns make up most of the terrain but there are also yellows, from the yellow fever tree’s, and the bright blue of the sky. I wonder what colors the animals’ see, if any? They are camouflaged from us most of the time. A hyena standing near a tree is almost invisible to me. Mongooses on a termite mound can only be viewed when they slink around. What do I look like to them? Do they see the colors of heat radiating from me? Can they see the bright blue aura of my dream coming true? Can they really smell fear? What ever or whomever created the earth really put some time into it. Let’s see…I’ll give the tiny mosquito the power to damage the entire human population and I’ll give the human population the power to destroy everything including themselves. This thought process only defeats me. I have been struggling with “The meaning of life” since I was young and I believe it will contribute to my mental demise. I’d have to say that this one unanswered question is the reason that I do not fear death. I live with the hope that I receive the answer when this life, as I know, it retires. I cannot seem to accept Descartes “I think, therefore I am”. That is a cop-out. He spent most of his life pondering God’s existence, to the brink of his own insanity and then decides that is it easier to accept that there must be a God because he has the power to think. Why was he given the power to wonder about it if he was going to give up so easily? I guess we all set up our own boundaries about what we are willing to accept and on what we will not compromise. OOOPS, another tangent that I have fallen victim to.

The next morning, we are taking a walk though an area very close to our campsite. There is a mountain stream that runs throughout the area. All along the banks there are women supporting huge baskets on their heads. They are doing laundry and gathering water for use in cooking. Right across from them are cows and burrows drinking from the same source. This stream gives life to many. As we continue there are fields of green. Gebra tells us that these are the onion fields. One major crop in Tanzania is red Bombay onions; this explains why they are in my breakfast, lunch and dinner. People are working in the fields, everything is done by hand. Nowhere in sight is a puff of smoke coming from a tractor or plow. A fifty-pound bag of onions gets about three dollars. The people working the fields would not believe that during certain seasons in the U.S. one onion could cost almost as much.

Several children walk by to see what we are doing. I take my micro-cassette recorder out of my backpack and they gather around. I record “Jina langu Kimberly” and play it back for them. Their eyes get as big as saucers, they have never seen or heard anything like this. I offer the recorders mic to one young boy and say my name is Kimberly again; this time he follows me up with “Jina langu Joseph”. I rewind the tape and play it back for him. Joseph has never heard his own voice recorded before. The children now all want to participate. I record them all. They are giggling and the sound is sweet to my ears. After several times of recording and playing back they start to say “Jina langu Meathead” or something because after they do they all start laughing really loud. I warn them that it’s not nice to say bad words. They have no idea what I am saying so they continue playing with me. Our group is moving on so I must leave the children. It was nice to have someone my own age to play with!

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