The last week I spent at Kruger National Park, the largest game park in South Africa. My host family took me camping there, and it was a wonderful experience. Most of the week was spent driving around the park looking at this country’s amazing wildlife. Here are a few pictures that I think capture some of the beauty we saw.
It was amazing being able to see these animals in their natural habitat.. There is just something spectacular about it, I got the chance to see little glimpses of these creatures lives. I can’t exactly explain why it is so different from just looking at an animal in a zoo. I guess that the best way to explain it is that when I am looking at animals at a zoo they have been taken out of their world and put into my world, but when I get to see animals this way I get a view into their world, I am the misplaced one. I am sitting in the middle of their home instead of them sitting in the middle of my city. There is something great about that.
Another thing I loved about Kruger was that after the sunset the sky turned into a wonderful display of light and design. The stars were fantastic and since South Africa is in the southern hemisphere it is a new sky to me, full of new constellations. I have a wonderful fascination with the night sky although I know very little about it. What I love about stars is that you can’t really take a picture of them. You only get that moment, that night, to see that sky. Far too often I am guilty of wishing moments like these away. I am always searching for the next thing the next moment. I look back and this is my biggest regret, but I hope that I am changing. I have forced myself to stop and enjoy these moments of stars. Mitch Albom explains it well in his book The Time Keeper when he says
“But you grab a moment, or you let it pass.”
The last few weeks I have found myself thinking about the topic of time. Some recent books have been a cause, but also I measure out my time here in South Africa. How many days have I been here? How many days till I go home? I have a sort of panic about my time running out, that I’m not going to accomplish all the things I want to. But I also count until I get to hug my family again, and laugh with my friends at home. My heart is being pulled in two different directions. I realized the other day that for the rest of my life no matter where I am, I am going to be missing someone. This makes me sad, and I don’t really know how I am going to deal with it. But I have decided the best way to deal with is to stop measuring the moments and the time. I have come to the realization that the best way to enjoy this exchange and actually just life in general is to embrace every moment full on. Grab them all, stop waiting for the next one, and live them for all they are worth.