safari

wind hits perfectly along the face

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under the canopy of the safari boat.

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am i really on the nile?

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the nile for moses?

the nile for the israelites?

the sun heats up on the skin exposed.

i'll choose to rest under the canopy.

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out of the water appears one hippo after another.

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warthogs skip along the bush path.

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two impala look at us as we look back at them.

but wait...

what's that ahead?

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dozens of elephants.

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baby ones. holding tusk ones. fanning ear ones.

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and closer to the water, lie two old water buffalo.

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the younger water buffalo push the elders aside. they are not respected anymore.

the older ones don't seem to bother the elephant herd.

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can a crocodile grow so large?

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can a crocodile start so small?

a bird has always been a bird to me.

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my friend thinks them so valuable she brings her bird book along.

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i'm introduced to the kingfisher: black and white.

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she tells me of the red-throated bee eater. oh, her colors and her mouth.

she's green and blue and yellow and white and black.

such beauty in such a small creature.

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and together the kingfisher and red-throated bee eater chisel away the cliff of sand.

they excavate and go to rest and care for their young.

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the gray-headed kingfisher with his neon blue streaks through the sky.

the terrain repeats itself. untouched by humanity.

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yet carefully crafted by the Almighty.

my mind at rest.

my thoughts are simple.

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who am i to see such a place?

to encounter a magnificent expanse of His work?

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one baboon, no two baboon over the lily pads.

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foam floats along like toasted marshmallow - we hear its a result of the fall.

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someone spots the darter and the african fish eagle.

they sit still. the trees are still.

the water still 'til we come upon it.

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not all the water stays calm.

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it rushes down and splashes out.

we climb on rocks with thrill.

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only in africa will you climb on slippery rocks because the captain tells you to do so!

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the falls tower above us.

one continuous river over, down with strength.

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we turn to leave for this is the epic moment.

but so is life.

a journey of travels.

of moments of sheer delight.

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of glimpses of His magnificence.

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of breathless exhilaration.

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of new lessons learned.

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of a friend pointing something out.

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of missing the moment for being on the other side of the boat.

we have that mountaintop experience.

that "ah ha" heart chatter with God.

and the journey goes on.

but the wind continues to hit my face perfectly.

the sights back, some the same.

we sit in awe of what we've seen.

unworthy of the ride.

undeserved of the natural beauty to behold.

what a ride it has been.

what a journey it continues to be...

{journaled on the nile 21 june 2013}

{this safari trip was in the midst of our compassion international trip to uganda}

{with gratitude for brian kahrs and chris doggett's gift of photography}