Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sampling the Serengeti

For those of you who know it, think west Texas without the windmills and with giraffes. (Someone needs to help me understand why wide expanses of land feel the need to populate their plains with tall, thin creatures reaching toward the sky! Gives a whole new flavor to my childhood song of deep and wide!)

The Serengeti elicited various emotions from our safari band of volunteers (two fourth year med students, a soon-to-be med student who is a recent Yale grad, and me). They rode quietly in awe of the "endless plains" as the name translates. I remembered my recent trip across my homeland, shifted in the seat numerous times during the hours-long trek and wished I could have seen more animals.

We did see giraffes and I fell in love with them just as I did the zebras on my earlier excursion. What's not to love? They are dressed for a party, always eating and travel with a crowd -- my kind of creatures!!

The driver and guide were wonderful and given that we managed to finagle (or really, our office manager pulled all the strings) this trip that costs most people somewhere around $1000 to get there and back for around $300.

"Getting there" was an experience though. Landrovers are the transportation of choice for the roads you must travel. And our vehicle this time had more scrapes, bangs and tears than a 9-year-old boy on summer vacation. But we traveled safe ...

And silently. Because even if you have seen west Texas, you can still harbor a sense of awe and between bumps, I did.

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