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Monday, May 8, 2017

He Promised Me Africa - Part 1

This goes back to 1999 in Zimbabwe. We were staying at the Elephant Hills Lodge not far from Victoria Falls. At the end of the driveway was a helicopter pad with flights over the Falls. We walked down the drive until two of our guides screeched up in a van. One of them explained to us that there might be hungry critters about. I laughed in disbelief until I saw their eyes and then I got a little nervous. So we crawled into their vehicle. A younger couple sat in the far back bench, eyes wide. I smiled and shrugged as Johnny and I took our seats. I remember thinking, why is this a problem given that most of the estate was a golf course, but I gave the guides credit for knowing more about the area than me.

They drove us to the helicopter pad where a family of warthogs was snoozing. The guides insisted on staying with us...and wouldn't let us out of the van...until the previous tour returned. We sat quietly, wondering what kind of hungry beast might be lurking in the brush around us...and would it charge into the clearing to grab the nearest tourist once we got out?

It wasn't long before the pigs woke up, stretched and looked toward the Falls. I guess they either heard the helicopter coming or they had its routine down pat. Either way, the pilot had to hover over the pad and shout out the open door before the stubborn porkers moved.

The previous tourists got out, laughing and smiling. The guides escorted them to the van and then escorted us to the pad. It was then that we realized that there was room for three people in the passenger seats...and a copilot seat. The other couple scurried into the backseat and waved for me to get in beside them. I started forward to do just that, a little disappointed because the view clearly wasn't as good back there. However without a word, Johnny pushed me into the front seat with the unlimited view windshield and squeezed in behind me...even though I knew he wanted that place as much as I did.

Some lovers give jewelry or roses...my sweetheart gave me this...


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