I had the fantastic opportunity this past June to meet our team in Arusha, Tanzania: Deo and his son Fadhil, who not only guide the majority of our Tanzania clients but also run The Wild Source business on ground, along with Mariam and Eva who handle the office. I also had the great pleasure of hosting eight wonderful travelers on safari. My time began with Deo picking me up and taking me to The Wild Source office he recently set up. I spent the afternoon with Mariam and Eva talking about our systems, giving them company shirts, and drinking lots of coffee. They were incredibly welcoming and engaging. They also graciously guided me and part of my group to a native goods market near our hotel. We spent lots of time there.
As our group of eight clients came together and we set off with Deo and Fadhil on safari, a vast journey of the senses began. Indeed, the massive number of elephants in Tarangire was quite the kick off. Oh and the Black Mamba in strike position as our vehicle approached with apparent threat was a real eye opener too. What I love about time on safari is the profound moments; the moment when the vehicle takes a tight turn up a little hill only to come right upon a baby elephant nursing. Mama and babe don’t even flinch and we just stop; humbled by the intimate beauty we get to witness. On safari one seems to give more credence to fully appreciating a moment in time. Perhaps this is the drive for travel. To me it seems travel; especially safari travel is a very intentional journey which requires patience, keen attention and in my opinion, humility. I loved my moments with zebra especially on this trip and surprising sightings of rhino were significant too but most of all I was in awe of the human experience especially when sugared with music; music sweet music!
At one point along our journey, our group of travelers had the shopper’s bug so Deo and Fadhil took us to a market a bit off the path which lent to a much more calm market experience than most. I wasn’t too into shopping so I wandered outside and found a huge number of antique marimba; each a slightly different size and sound from the other. I started thumbing around with the them, Deo did too, the shop owner joined in. Deo and I are sitting on the ground playing music. Well I thought I was playing music until Deo politely asked me to listen to what he was playing. He was actually playing music; really lovely music! So lovely his playing, Claudia, a local who was selling art prints nearby, came over and we danced. What a delight. One of my travel mates Barbara came out of the market and took over my dancing spot. By this time our whole group was outside reveling in the fun. I treasure this moment, this nugget of happiness I get to take with me wherever I go.