Written by Jaqueline Strong
I understand from those that care
This document is very rare
But comments found within its pages
Improve safaris through the ages.
As usual I lay them out
As plus and minus, turnabout.
……first-what can I say
Their kindness takes my breath away.
First Albie – love and hate as ever
Whose rude remarks are very clever.
He takes as good as that he sends
And his hand he gladly lends
When guests like me show weakness trends
Peter, my adopted son [Along with Albie from day one]
Who shares with me his wife and child
And on me love and thanks is piled.
The varied staff in every camp
Who aim to please and light a lamp
To see me safe from insects, lions and damp
……is vast and rolling
With vistas green unfolding
With forest, grass and Bush
All either brown or lush
What will I do without this environmental crisis
That I will surely miss
And last of all the wildlife
From elephants to insects bountiful
With various colors shapes and sizes
Forever offering surprises.
How can the world at large reject
Ignore the “save the life” projects
Which if they do, time brings regret
Now a chance to be quite picky
And pick up issues hard and sticky
Like Albie’s attempts to murder me
On three occasions – yes, on three.
First a pothole hit at speed
Missed his eye he did concede.
Second, a thorny bush he missed
And caught me soundly on the wrist.
Third he watched me and my chair
Turn upside down in the night air.
But redeemed himself with after-care
Then the buffalo affair
When screams did fill the evening air.
A staff member in the night
Had given a buffalo a fright
Who caught him soundly on the hip
A hefty blow not just a clip
Which sent him on a first aid trip.
One night a pride of lions brave
A fright to the whole camp site gave.
Prowling near on silent feet –
I lay and listened beneath my sheet.
I loved the sound, the growls and coughs
But Albie worried lots and lots
That I was scared and full of doubts
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP
No doubt on reaching home at last
“What was your favourite”, folks will ask
And difficult as it may be
I think I’ll mention two or three.
The lovely doctor on the plane
Who chatted and asked me for my name
The rose petals scattered, Oh sublime!
To welcome me for the last time
The venues, every one so good
With top class beds and staff and food
The staff there-in, who to a man
Give help and kindness when they can
Rescued from the river and
Abandoned by its mother
Soon adopted by another.
And then there was the crossing famous
Spoilt by this ignoramous
Who left the card out of her camera
And got no photographs – oh damn her
Then Albie’s photo inspiration
With time lapse at a hyena location
Baby hyenas came to spy
The camera looked them in the eye.
My favourite beast, the leopard seen
Beautiful and sleek and lean.
The session with the artist Trai
Who photographs a different way.
The final drive, to say “goodbye”
A lion kill we did espy
And last of all the highlight (flickering)
Of time with Albie laughing and bickering
Thank you Africa and everyone
For forty years of AWE and FUN!
I feel so generous for two pins
The pluses over minus wins.
Oh go on let me make your day
(I’ve gone quite soft Albie would say)
The plus points now do get my vote’
Come on Albie, please don’t gloat’