Wednesday, September 18, 2013

it's the thought that counts

Our time in Loborsoit has come to an end. We talked late into the night, sharing our thoughts about the work we had done and the journey that still lay ahead...because what would an African adventure be without a safari?
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:

http://www.sopalodges.com/tarangire-sopa-lodge/overview

In this gorgeous setting, we enjoyed a buffet lunch by the pool. And then we were off to the park. Actually, words don't really do this justice, so I'll just be quiet for now:

















'Nuff said??

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:




 This is actually a working coffee plantation where they grow, grind and brew their own beans. Look out, Starbucks...


They also grow all the fruits and vegetables they serve.


 The beds were soft, the showers were hot, and the food raised the bar for The Iron Chef.

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.
If so, then compassion and conviction have silenced the voices of fear and doubt. Faith and hope have vanquished the powers of indifference and greed.

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."
--Steve Maraboli--
*
Tomorrow we'll descend two thousand feet onto the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater. Paradise revisited...
jan


1 comment:

  1. Love the quotes at the end of each post, Jan! Thanks for all the information and fabulous pictures!

    Love, Pete

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