Before You Shower, You May Want to Use Doom

It’s dark outside, it’s 9pm, a couple of us have been at the beach all day (I know, life is so hard), I get up from the porch and proclaim that I am off to take a shower.

The 24yr old (who, about an hour ago informed everyone that at my age I could be the mother of the 17yr old volunteer who just left) says, “before you shower, you may want to use Doom – there are a lot of mosquitos”

Mind you, she has been at the volunteer house all day, and for the past two weeks I have been waging a losing war to get everyone to keep the front door closed.

“That’s why we have to keep that door closed” I say, “to keep the mosquitos out”

“That’s why we have Doom” she says.

Millennials.

Handy tip – as long as a light is on, most the mosquitos will be attracted to that and will leave you in peace- or distract them long enough for you to take a shower.

Unfortunately, as I type this, I can already hear foreign movement in my room, so who knows what will happen when the lights go off.

FlatTires: How to Make People Who Don’t Have Cars Say “ohhh fun!”

Usually in Africa, where there is one flat tire, there is another, and another and well, you might as well replace all of them at once – including the spare, because with any luck your spare is also flat due to the fact that you forgot to switch it out the last time you had a flat tire.

When we left in the morning we knew our back tire was on the side of “almost flat”, about an hour later, our front tire was what you might call “squished”

Here is Dan, feeling incredibly manly (first tire he’s ever changed), only to realize a few seconds later that while he had done an amazing job on replacing tires, his effort was for naught: as soon as we took the jack off, it became evident that our spare was also flat.

We slowly drove back to the lodge where we replaced two more tires – we stole new tires from other vehicles and left notes on the flats that said “we are flat”

The next day we got another. And, now there is some serious doubt as to whether there are any non-flat tires anywhere on the reserve.

A rolling stone may gather no moss, but a flat certainly does.

Note – this story is actually from last week, but this morning we are replacing another flat tire, with what we haven’t figured out yet, so it’s an appropriate post.

Game Drives: 101

Best things about game drives:

– animals!

– no seatbelts

– basically being chauffeured around

– free Jane Fonda approved (I’m sure she would) “bumpy-ride” complete ab workout 

– pretending you are some sort of professional photographer who knows how to take pictures and just explains the bad ones by saying “argh, he moved!”

Worst thing about game drives (if you have bangs)

– the “Something About Mary” Hair Effect

“he moved”

I Didn’t Want to Get Eaten by a Cheetah Whilst Taking a Photo, So All You Get Is This Terrible Photo

“Please don’t die one of those stupid, highly preventable deaths” is a recurring thought:

– don’t get run over by your own car

– dont die sky diving because you forgot to bring your parachute (or check that it was there)

– don’t not “mind the gap”

– don’t “overwork” yourself to death by not going home, not eating and then turning into an mummified corpse at your desk

– don’t become obsessed with video games and die playing 

– always shut the lid on the airline toilet before you flush so that you don’t get sucked into that vortex that totally does exist

In Africa, the big one is definitely “do not get eaten by a wild animal whilst trying to take a picture of it”. 

If one is in an open air vehicle and an animal approaches and for whatever reason, you cannot get away (always make sure your car has gas) then be very still, at least if it attacks no one will assume it was your fault for wanting to take a selfie with your new friend. 

Cut to today – we came across a cheetah and her four Cubs (note, my phone seems to think I am referencing the Chicago Cubs and it won’t let me uncapitalize the word Cubs). They were lounging in the sun about 30 meters away; we happily snapped away. 

Then they decided to get up, stretch and walk to us, at some point in the walk I realized that looking through my phone lens was giving me a distorted view of how far away they were; I looked up and this giant, recent mother of a cat is approaching the hood of the car, about to get to my, completely open side.

I froze, wondered why no one else seemed to mind (totally different when you know what you wouldn’t be the sacrificial lamb) and thought “I’m missing a great picture, shut it dumbass you need to NOT be taking a picture right now”

She kept walking a disappeared into the bush. Other people got great pictures, but I leave you with this