Monday, October 9, 1995
Camp Okavango - Cathy Gets a Big One
Edward has taken the Beast and left. He will meet us Wednesday at our next (and last) mobile camp in the Kalahari. We board a six seat uncovered powerboat for a three hour cruise through the delta to Okavango Camp. I am reminded of an airboat tour through the Everglades, but as I watch the towering grass and papyrus fly by, the comparison fades. This is truly a strange and wonderful place.
The water is crystal clear. Giant storks and cranes are all around us. We startle crocs and hippos as we speed past. Around a bend we encounter an elephant, standing belly deep in the channel.
And clearly visible under all that water, the white sand of the Kalahari, silently absorbing the entire flow of the river, until it ultimately emerges less than a 100 kilometers distant, a dry and desolate desert.
|Cathy's Fish - Wayne hangs his head in shame|
|Cathy Celebrates Her Triumph|
Back at camp, I celebrate my catch at Obie's bar with an Abelours (12 year old single malt scotch) served neat. Before dinner, I toast Cathy’s success with another. More South African red with dinner. We converse mostly with a Spanish doctor and his wife from the Canary islands. When I tell them my occupation, they want to talk about Bill Gates. They are stunned to learn that he is a trans-sexual. I am compelled to tell them the whole inspiring story, so familiar to all Americans in the high-tech industry. How Bill (then Wilma), a comely, curvaceous, and brilliant young programmer, finding her ambitions blocked at every turn by a sexist, male dominated computer industry, dropped out of college, flew to Sweden, and had the operation. The rest is history. The doctor is skeptical, until I ask him if he has ever heard Bill’s voice. He wants to know if there was a malpractice suit. I am amazed at how little they know about Bill in Spain.
That night I wake to see an elephant, in the light of a full moon, walk by the front of our tent, then pull down branches and eat them just outside of Wayne and Cathy’s. In the morning I learn that this is Bigfoot, a 42 year old bull elephant that has taken a liking to the trees in the camp. We are the same age. I wonder if we have the same birthday.
NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: This is a back-post / cross-post from my first on-line journal/blogging effort - a journal of our Southern Africa Tour in 1995. Originally posted to an abandoned domain (NetSnake.com), the term "blog" had not yet entered the parlance. I am migrating the original posts to this blog. Links to the original journal Date Index or Africa Tour Home Page will likely eventually disappear. The images from the original post were graphics and screen caps from video which I am leaving in it's low-rez glory for historical integrity. My intent is to also add some of Sigrid's higher quality scanned photos to these blog back-posts. The difference in images should be obvious.
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