Just Go Go Go!

2016-07-17 09:38

In what can only be described as the triumph of optimism over experience, the last week saw my family, once again, driving through the Kruger Park in an effort to distinguish between rocks and what could be the ears of a lion. Or is it a leopard? No, definitely just a tree. I think.

And then, as if this wasn’t humiliation enough, when 3 hours into this mind-numbing, eye-deceiving boredom, we arrive at Skukuza camp to meet friends, their list of sightings, true or not true (I suspect the latter), made me feel like a Jewish male in a gym change room; exposed, and well, inadequate. “We saw a lion doing a headstand with an impala balancing on its back legs, while a hyena and a giraffe danced to the finale of Grease. It was awesome! And that was before we even entered the Park!” they boasted with the delight of those who know they have the winning hand. “Well,” I counter, “We saw people who had seen lion… that’s something, isn’t it?” I counter. And, unsurprisingly, when I glance at my children, I see their sad faces, and I know, that I have disappointed them once more. And I vow under my breath, not for the first time, that we will not be doing this again.

And yet, despite the fact that I never see anything worth bragging about (I am beginning to think it’s me), the joy and serenity of being in the bush in South Africa is one that cannot be explained to someone who might not have experienced it. It is an alternative and magnificent reality, where the whole family is focused on the present, on the same activity and where the Zumas and the Hlaudis and the Guptas hold little currency (excuse the expression). It is where, for a brief time at least, the natural order of the world is restored, and though often seemingly cruel, is as nature intended it.

To add to this, many areas of the park have little cell phone signal. Which means that it is also a time of hope. Hope that when one stumbles into range, and your phone shudders to life, and in doing so lets you know that it has received breath, that you will read that Zuma had found his missing moral compass (he knew he put it somewhere) and has mustered up the dignity to resign. Hope that the ANC leadership has seen the errors of their corrupt and shameful ways, hope that freedom of press has been restored to our young democracy and that the NPA had decided to respect the judiciary they were created to serve.

Because when one is out of contact, truly anything magical can happen.

And yet, when I stood on a rock and pointed my cell phone in the direction of Nelspruit (along with other pathetic addicts), what I encountered instead was the devastating news that 4 South Africans had been arrested on terror charges, that Hlaudi and the SABC were defying the instructions to report with honesty and integrity and that the NPA was taking the Supreme Court ruling to the Constitutional Court where both time and public funds would be wasted. All in the effort to do the bidding of the man who is meant to lead the country and not destroy it, as he and his accomplices are doing.

And as we continued our drive through one of the country’s treasures, where the highlight of our spotting would be the sighting of some hippo bones (true story) and where were the kids would humor me and say “Awe cute!” (there was nothing cute about dry bones rotting in the African sun), and “Well spotted dad!” all just to keep my spirits up, my mind wondered and emptied. And somehow the immortal words of Dr Seuss kept finding their way back;

The time has come,

The time is now.

Just go, go, go!

I don’t care how.

You can go by foot.

You can go by cow.

Marvin K. Mooney,

will you please go now!

And for a brief moment, while my phone registered “Emergency calls only”, I allowed myself to believe that the words of the poet would be carried by the birds of the park. That they would find their way to the ear of the President who would finally hear them. And he would assemble the NEC for his announcement.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

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