Today I had to do it. You that have children or grandchildren or have yet the memory of having them will understand when I say that there is only so long that you can tolerate an incessant “Can we go today, huh, huh can we please” hounding , so today we went to see the worldly famous giraffe “Gambit”. I fired up the car, packed a safari lunch, headed east to the land of Gambit. Two hours later with a paralyzed posterior, we entered Mansfield Park, paid our $150 (Fortunately those were Rand $ or I don’t know when the ranting would have ceased) and was out the door in search of Angie’s favorite of favorite God’s creations.
The owner, (as you might grasp by the owner taking charge, this was not what you might be imagining as a full scale animal sanctuary with road maps, pictures of the animals you might expect to see and the robotic instructions of “and don’t feed the animals or get out of the car and stay on the roads”), anyway the owner, in his Afrikaans, barely understandable voice, gives the following articulate instruction to his animal kingdom, “go around the buildings and drive along the fence, but don’t go down the hill, that is reserved for the 4-wheelers, and then you should see Gambit.
I said, “I understand that one is able to pet this critter, is that correct?” “Yes”, he responds. And then with some hesitation he says, “He likes the females more that the males so you might be careful; he gets a little too friendly some times”. With some confusion as to the meaning of that statement, we begin our search for Gambit. However, the search was short lived for almost immediately there he was before us, just standing there as if to say, “Where have you been? I have been waiting for you.” Before the car has come to a full stop, there is Angie opening the door, all tensed up as if to spring upon this creature. Quickly she bounds out of the car, and I think for the first time realizes how big her dream-come-true really is. As she stood there gazing upon and up at him (and that pronoun really does reflect its gender) he begins to slowly amble towards her. When he got as close to her as he could without stepping on her, he stops, gazes at her as to size her up and then slowly lowers his head and extended his nose for her to caress, which she did ever so gently. It was truly a romantic moment. Of such a moment, I could not resist a photograph for which both posed so well.
Following the posing episode, Gambit, as if reaching for an offering, began to nuzzle Angie’s hair. Whether he thought it was a gift from her to him I don’t know, but Angie did not stick around to see either.
Then Angie decided that I needed to have my picture taken with her new found love. Reluctantly, I conceded and went to extend my greetings to this 20’+ giant. However, Gambit took one look at me, looks again at Angie and then turns around and walks off. I have never taken any pride in my looks but this was the ultimate of slams. Depressed, I suggested we go see what other animals were lurking about that may be more my type – we found a couple of monkeys and zebras who had no interest in me either. I am told that there are elephants some where around here that I can ride; I think I will try that.
Not Gambit, but gives some perspective
as to their size.
|We weren't able to identify this one.|
|The beauty of the terrain|
The Resort in Mansfield Park
Today is Saturday and it is one of those cool, windy, dreary days that invite you to get out of the apartment and do something, so we did. We pointed the car out the gate and down the road to where we knew not. Sounds like one of those songs from eons ago; some you of our vintage may recall some tunes to that affect. The car took us out of town, into the countryside where the upper echelon wage-earners live, and down to the sea shore. There we found the Indian Ocean all lathered up with waves like towering, angry walls of water lashing at the beaches. Occasionally, one would see small needles of rock, mere remnants of the massive rocks they used to be, extending above the crushing waves as if beckoning for a hand to rescue them. Located above and out of reach of the fury of the waves sat picturesque homes watching unconcerned.
Further along the coastline we observed sand dunes with sand sifting over their surface as if they were in a rush to get nowhere. Seagulls stood at their base with their faces into the wind as if this was a calm summer breeze.
In all, it was a nice day to go for a drive and see this beauty that God has so graciously allowed us to see and we thank Him for that.