Hello friends! I’m back from the safari and it did, in fact, exceed every wildest idea of what it might be like and then some. (All links below point to short iPhone videos that will open in a new window)
My mom and I saw lionsmating, giraffes running, cheetahs prowling, wildebeestsmigrating, elephants and babiescrossing, buffalo noshing, baboons commuting, men from the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribe in Tanzania fire-making, and our final sendoff: a Mount Kilimanjaro fly-by from the plane.
It was a profound ten days that I will be forever grateful for, but I have been a little stumped about what to share upon returning. How can I put the experience into words?
A safari is such a privilege, a once in a lifetime experience. Rather than just post glossy FOMO-inducing pictures, the story I feel compelled to highlight is about Cosmos, the guide I rode next to for two weeks. By name alone you can probably see why I chose his jeep :)
"Never Give Up"
Cosmos speaks four languages, so we spoke in Spanish most of the trip for practice. I was reading Paulo Coelho’s book Aleph (in Spanish, with an English copy nearby for looking up translations). The book paralleled our conversations, as it is about travel and adventure as a means to fulfill one’s dreams and destiny.
Cosmos has held a dream close for fifteen years: to become an anti-poaching pilot ranger in the Serengeti.
He spent seven of those years leading treks up Kilimanjaro, now eight as a safari guide. He is saving for this dream while paying for his two young daughters to attend school in Arusha. He practices with flight simulators on his days off, working methodically toward his goal inch-by-inch.
At one point, a German man offered to sponsor Cosmos’ flight school costs, approximately $15K. In a sad turn of events, that man died two months before Cosmos was supposed to leave for training in the states.
But whether looking for the rare leopard in a tree or pursuing a lifelong dream, Cosmos’ daily reminder to those of us in his car was “Never give up. Anything can happen.”
He also said to me on the last day, “Do your best, God will do the rest.” I believe that too. All we can ever do is our best, then be open to receive the rest—from whatever you call the greater consciousness connecting us all—should we be so fortunate. There are no guarantees in this life, nor are we are entitled to anything, but I do believe that if we work from our heart and soul in service of others, we open ourselves up to spontaneous gifts and grace.
Will you join me to help Cosmos reach his training goal?
I’d love to contribute a little something to Cosmos' home stretch of saving for flight school—he’s so close with just $2,500 remaining, and his goal is to attend by the end of this year. (As it currently stands, he’ll need to sell his car to make that happen). Cosmos doesn’t know that I—we? :)—are doing this . . . whatever we raise will be a surprise.
I would be very grateful if you could donate—$1, $5, $10—it all makes a difference.
Thank you so much in advance—and more to follow soon on operation Pivot countdown!