09 July 2010

sometimes in Africa...

I am the girl who has always wanted to be a zoo keeper when I grow up. Not just any old zoo keeper – I wanted to feed the lions and scratch behind their ears.. I wanted to give the elephants a bath. I wanted to be friends with the dolphins. I still do. My mom tells stories about her and I hopping on a bus nearly every week when I was tiny and spending the day in the St Louis zoo. I have these memories of holding out my pudgy little hands filled with leaves I had picked all by myself from a tree. I would hold it out, stretching as high & far as I could tippytoe, and silently, a giraffe would bend his neck down to meet me. His long tongue wrapped around my little fist gently taking the leaves from me. It was my favorite favorite favorite place to be.

Now, I live in Africa. Although the animal part of Africa isn’t the most prominent in our focus or our time… it is icing on our African cake. We love camping, and here in South Africa, camping is as easy as throwing our tent and some marshmallows in the back of the car on a Friday afternoon and sleep with the impala and wildebeest that night. It’s a great breathing break from the tension and weight and joy and fatigue anyone volunteering in full time community ministry carries.

Yesterday, my aunt (who is visiting from Missouri) spoiled us with a trip to the elephant sanctuary. Just a 50 minute drive from our house (closer than Sherman Dairy and a day at the beach is from our Michigan home) is a special open place where five elephants live. We got to spend the morning with them... reaching all the way around and standing on tiptoes to brush them down. We learned anatomy and the difference between African elephants and Asian elephants and how waving their ears is actually a way they cool off their blood. We fed them marula pellets and walked hand in trunk together and got sloppy kisses.

Dream come true.

do you think Billy would let me bring home just a couple to live with us always?


  1. beautifully written, friend
    love you

  2. Thank you for the memories...and for sharing your new memories. Love you, darlin'


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