African Safari – Take One – Exploring “the moment” in search of the elusive Rhino
On Wednesday I went to the Nairobi National Park on my own personal photo safari it turns out is was all about the Rhino. Here’s a quick story about a moment I am sure you can relate to.
There I was peering out across the African plains, when I saw what looked like a mini-bus moving across the bush in the distance.
So, what’s the obvious thing to do? Get closer of course. Well no one was around and I was with Jerimiah, my personal driver… so… I got out of the car and began sneaking out across the Africa plains.
As I moved out toward it, a different local Safari driver drove by and shouted out “be careful” and I nodded in agreement. Just like the Teton Tourist wanting the picture of the close-up bison. Umm, riiiiight…. SO… I crept through the grass and kept getting closer, and closer…
I don’t really know too much about the speed of a Rhino, but it looked so massive I thought I could out run it or at least dodge it around some bushes… until the point when I realized something very bad… I was wearing flip-flops! Toss that one in the “bad idea” category.
And then the moment came. It’s that classic moment when you realize that perhaps you have pushed the boundary too far. You know the one. And it’s actually the moment of being thrilled with the sense of adventure and uncertainty. When you are not sure what the outcome will be. Consider perhaps that last “moment” you had, and what you might have learned from it.
Did I go too far? Get too close? If so what would be the result. A massive Rhinoceros, and me in flip-flops. Hmmmm….
The Rhino sensed me crouched in the grass, and turned toward me with its ears flapping. It suddenly swung its massive body and took a few remarkably quick steps in my direction. Here it comes, being charged by a Rhino in Kenya, by myself, with only Jerimiah my local guide 200 yards away to watch it all go down. “Oh Shit” I said to myself. I quickly stepped back and turned for my run and tripped on the first step. Damn those flip-flops! I looked back and hoped I wouldn’t see the beast about to stomp on me.
And that was it. The moment of fear and excitement, and then it was over. The Rhino continued on forward, making no mention of me again, and plodded along through the plains.
I walked back to the car to continued on my own personal photo safari. Ten minutes later it crossed the road directly in front of us. “Hmmm.” My efforts stalking through the African Jungle suddenly seemed a bit anti-climactic. And then I paused and appreciated the scene, and then laughed as I recounted the scene from Ace Ventura Pet Detective to Jerimiah.
The scene where Jim Carrey comes out the ass of the Rhino in front of the tourist family. Funny what sticks with you. And then we were off down the road… in search of the King of the Jungle: The Lion!
And as I considered the prospect, I pulled out my running shoes and began to lace them up tightly….
– Tim Walther