The Wilderness Family
My former teammate, Leslie gave me this book last year for my birthday. She has always given me books and sent cards and letters and I do, too. It's in part how we stayed in touch since college and became neighbors in Uganda.
She told me in her inscript that this author is a soul sister and it took me a year to read, find out and agree. Indeed!
Anyone who has raised kids or lived in Africa should read this book. Any animal lover will be so encouraged to read this book! It is the most encouraging thing I have read in a long time. It is worth turning off the TV or social media and transporting yourself to family life in rural Kruger Park, South Africa.
It turns out, the author is the daughter of the director of the film " The Gods must be Crazy" If you don't know THAT movie, you must also take time and watch, as it is a cult classic!
It helps to take time to reflect on modern life and to get perspective. This book lends itself to just such a luxury and necessity. It was personally very healing to me and I wish I could have read this prior to living in Uganda, but hindsight is always 20/20. It would have helped me see that somewhere I forgot the lesson I learned in Girls Scouts: to respect and work around nature. Instead, I became so afraid and frazzled so often! Mrs. Krüger doesn't shy away from saying when she was afraid or hassled, but she does a beautiful job of telling her story of this rather unique life in the bush as a gamekeeper's wife. They raised three girls there too. It is an extraordinary story. I read excerpts to my kids and the two younger want to read it after me.
"We all need animals. Just think how lonely the world would be without them--as Chief Seathl wrote in his letter to the U.S. president in 1855, 'If all the beasts were gone from the earth, man would die from great loneliness of spirit.'" Kobie Krüger
While we did not live in the bush, we had over half a dozen opportunites to visit game parks in Uganda. They have several, but we made it to only three. Queen Elizabeth National Park was the closest to us. These are shots from our very first discovery of the park. Actually, it is named so, because it was here that Princess Elizabeth found out her father had died and she was now Queen.
Always vigilant, Vervet or Velvet monkeys. Ugandans use L and R the same.
The national bird of Uganda is the crowned crane. We had a brood who nested outside our gate, but they seemed more majestic here.
We were fortunate to see the elusive leopard many times, but this was the first!
This was our modest cottage where we stayed. There was a resident water buck who delighted us with his presence!
This was the first time we had experienced a pod of elephants. They went on to surround our car as they gently passed through and we did not take any more photos to keep the peace! It was magical!
An evening shot.
This is my son Micah at age 9 and my daughter Emma Shae, age 6. I love this look of amazement at the thought the wart hog is so close at the lodge where we took our meals.
One of the best things on safari is the boat tour. I love this sharing!
Mallory was age 4. It was very satisfying to share this experience with them.
I absolutely adored the layering of animals. Here are hippos, pelicans and Ugandan kob.
The real heroes are the Ugandans who have lived here for ages and just do their work around the animals!
Then, there were the babies! I have one million more photos, but here is the last for now. The males will kill any male offspring, so the mamas will hide their male babies until they grow to contenders for the herd. So cute and strategic.