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A Birthday in the Bush

 

I cant believe I have already been in South Africa for almost 3 months now and in the bush for 2 months! A blog post has been way overdue, but it does take sometime to settle into a new place and get a routine going.

The days here almost blur together and the weeks pass by so quickly. Never has time seemed to move so fast as it does here, which is incredibly ironic as this place is know to run on “African time”. I think a proper definition for Africa time would be something like, expect nothing to really get done on time and everyone kind of just goes with the flow of things. Anyway, time moved so quickly that I almost forgot that I was turning 23 soon! I’ve been very fortunate to have spent all of my birthdays so far surrounded by friends and family, so this was my first birthday spent abroad. Living in the bush, you cant exactly go to a club with your girlfriends to ring in the big day. So I decided to start out the big day as I do every day here in the bush, with the elephants 🙂

After a good few hours roaming around the bush stalking the elephants, like the huge creep I am, I finished off my observation with a big wet kiss on the cheek from my favorite elephant Jabulani. I then spent the rest of the day reading over some papers and doing some boring research things that no one really wants to hear about I’m sure (trust me not even the researcher wants to talk about the research some days). As I headed home for the evening, my roomie told me to quickly get get dressed and ready to go out somewhere. Some days you just really need a trip into town or some time off of the “farm”, and a birthday was a perfect excuse to do so. After an AMAZING dinner and some drinks with a few of my girlfriends we decided to head back home. Now the day had been jam packed full of guests staying at the lodge, so that meant a long day and night for the rangers and chefs. Usually everyone heads right to bed on those nights, but to my surprise, all my friends were waiting up for us to get back with a few drinks in hand. After a birthday cheers, my friends surprised me with a cake and I got to not only hear “happy birthday” sung to me in english, but also in Afrikaans! How could a birthday abroad get any better than that? Well, my amazing family somehow managed to contact my friends all the way in Africa and had them bake me a beautiful cake, complete with flowers a card and of course some elephant decorations. I am so incredibly blessed to have made such amazing friends so quickly here and have such a supportive and loving family back home. Thank you everyone for the amazing birth abroad!