It was time to say goodbye to the infamous choo, to cold showers, to the hyenas yipping during the night...and time to say hello to a comfy bed, fabulous food, and more than a few fine beasts.
After a hearty breakfast of eggs, sweet potatoes, toast, and fruit, we loaded the trucks and gathered for a final farewell to the staff that tended and protected the camp, prepared our meals, packed and unpacked our gear, and drove endless miles to get us where we needed to be. To the elders of the village, and to Alais, without whose help none of this would have been possible. A special thanks went out to Peter Martin and the entire crew from Roy Safaris.
The plan (Plan? Really?) for the day was to drive through the Tarangire National Park on our way to to the eighth wonder of the world (in my opinion)--the Ngorongoro Crater.
After some debate, the drivers decided to take a chance on the "short-cut" to the game park...the one that took us six hours last year, when the main road would have taken three! But that was during rainy season, and this is dry...so off we went in a cloud of dust.
After four hours of jack-hammering roads, we pulled up in front of SOPA, one of the stunning luxury safari lodges that dot the wilderness around the park. Look at this:
After making our way through the park, and after a LONG uphill climb, we pulled into our lodge for the night, The Farmhouse at Ngorongoro Crater. Check it out at:
They also grow all the fruits and vegetables they serve.
So...how does a person make the transition from dust and dung, from suffering and despair, to a place of comfort and wealth and beauty? I looked back and asked myself these three questions:
- Did I help even one person in a meaningful and lasting way? I hope so.
- Will I do it again if the opportunity presents itself? Yes.
- Does my heart still ache? Definitely.
Sometimes, it's the thought that counts.
"Give yourself entirely to those around you.
Be generous with your blessings.
A kind gesture can reach a wound
that only compassion can heal."
Tomorrow we'll descend two thousand feet onto the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater. Paradise revisited...