Sherman calls her family's safari
to East Africa "a life changing experience."
From the moment we stepped off the plane into the warm air of Nairobi,
the capital city of Kenya, I knew that this trip was going to be
very special. First off, the airport was very different from any
that I'd ever seen on previous journeys with my family. The airport
was wide open with no closed-in walls. Outside the airport, there
were barely any buildings or large factories. The surrounding landscape
stretched into endless open savannas. For one split second, I was
reminded of the beauty and cleanliness of Canada. At the same time,
as I looked around, I could appreciate the fact that this country
is not industrialized. Kenya is a naturally beautiful place.
The weather remained beautiful during our two-week tour of Eastern
Africa. It did not rain or turn chilly once.
Our tour included two countries: Kenya and Tanzania. Each and every
day turned out more interesting and exciting than the one before.
For two weeks, I spent every day touring. Most days were spent in
jeeps, tracking and observing animals. I saw so many animals that
I never even knew existed. We saw many lions, some eating their
prey. When I saw a pride of lions eating a buffalo, I was amazed.
I realized that I was seeing the actual lifestyle of the animals.
I must admit that I was a bit frightened that maybe the lions could
still be hungry enough to attack us.
We saw elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, hippos, zebras, warthogs,
monkeys and many more. We saw animals living free and wild. Most
animals were sleeping or lying in the sun. Some were running in
herds, hunting or eating.
One afternoon, when we were riding through the middle of a forest,
our jeep accidentally got stuck in a deep ditch at the side of the
road. My family and I all found it humiliating, yet very frightening
when we realized that there was a leopard prowling around us. I mean:
How often is it that you get stuck in a ditch with a leopard staring
at you? Finally, after the driver shifted back and forth, into drive
and reverse many times, we managed to get out.
We saw many
lions, some eating their prey.
Photo by Alexandra Sherman
One day, my family and I decided to go up in a hot air balloon.
From high above, we saw many large animals that looked like tiny
toys. Being so high up, I felt like I could reach out and hold a
cloud in the palm of my hand. I knew that this opportunity was not
offered to many people. So I savored every moment of it. When the
balloon landed, we were informed that we were being given an opportunity
to eat lunch in the middle of a savanna. Of course, we agreed. We
traveled by jeep to a place where there was a long, narrow table
surrounded by tall grass on all four sides. We all sat on the ground,
eating all different sorts of African foods, and enjoying the beautiful
harmony of the scenery around us. I remember being afraid that,
at any moment, a lion might appear and attack us. I reassured myself,
when I saw the two men, with spears in both hands, standing at opposite
sides of the table.
Later on, we decided to visit an African village. We arrived in
the middle of a savanna at a tiny village. The ground all around
this village was pure dung. There were little huts made out of straw
and dung. There was absolutely no furniture inside the huts. I remember
seeing a small child with flies all over his face. They were in
his eyes and all over his body. I wanted to help him and push away
the flies. But he didn't seem to care. I realized that everything
that these people have is only for means of survival. The laws of
these people are far different from Canadian laws. Here the men
have about seven wives, and the men move from hut to hut according
to the day of the week. I found this arrangement very sexist and
I must say that the two weeks that I spent in Africa with my family
are two of the best weeks that I have ever had in my life. I think
that everyone should have the opportunity to explore places that
interest him or her. Travelling can be a wonderful experience, unlike