(maasai boy laughing monduli chini, maasailand. pic by craig doria: www.craigdoriasafaris.com)
game over, oh bestests. the joker's been slapped onto the green velvet covered bridge table. holidays are officially over and it's back to school for all the naughty wicked people. it's come as rather a rude shock, it must be said. the last two days i have sat staring at paper after paper in a blank way in long school meetings. it felt like staring into an old landrover engine which needs fixing. haven't a clue. can't. not interested. get a mechanic. yawn. which reminds me of the time when i did my safari guide's licence in zambia many moons ago....part of the course was Mechanics. god forbid.
question 1: how does four wheel drive work? (4 marks)
(how easy does this get, she mused, clapping her hands happily in her head)
answer: well. you pull the littlest gear lever back to where it says 4WD and make sure the hubs are locked if you are in a toyota and not a landrover.
question 2: describe the workings of an internal combustion engine. (2 marks)
(wtf? sinking feeling. bewildered and sweating palms followed by resentful anger directed at all males of our species. in her head.)
i surprisingly passed the exam, believe it or not. (do you know what a dendrocygna viduata is, people? i do. it's a white faced whistling duck and dontcha forget it, you hear? it takes you places in life.) i did not pass the walking exam. i didn't even try for it. only the driving one. you need to know how to shoot a .375 for the walking one. and you need to be able to shoot down charging buffalo or elephant in the walking one. i can't shoot a gun which is a super sized confession for the daughter of a professional hunter. (well. i CAN shoot a lever action .22 so there) anyway, i always preferred taking the old ladies out who couldn't walk anymore (why on earth had they booked into a Walking Camp then i hear you say? well quite.) i liked the old people with hip transplants and dicky hearts who had a perverse interest in mopane trees and squirrels. i remember once seeing a herd of kali cow elephants cross the track way ahead. i stopped the landrover and said to the dear little old lady next to me, "we're going to go the other way, ok?" she nodded her head happily, replying " whatever you say dear." you might think i was chicken but i wasn't. i had a keen sense of self preservation. those elephant on the 05 were kali as hell. they took no prisoners. i stayed well clear of those bastards....(i have just asked safari craig if he has any pictures of charging elephant. he sniggered, " i have more pictures of charging elephant than you can poke a stick at." i said: "i want a vicious one." he said: "i can give you vicious. lots of vicious."
(charging elephant, lake natron area, pic by craig doria: www.craigdoriasafaris.com)
i have poked my head into my classroom once. i have searched long and deep inside of me for that old spark of inspiration and am happy to report that way down in the ashes i see an ember glowing. it just needs a little bit of wind, some twigs and fear to get it firing again. where is that charging elephant when i need him?
toodely toot oh best beloveds, bisous X.X.X. sparky, red hot ones, on yer lips x j