Snap, Crackle, Pop!

February 22, 2017
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Funny thing about an imagination, it has a tendency to run wild.  Having 1,821 pounds of sheer force snap, cracking, and popping your body in half felt like it was one rice crispy that was touched and it broke in half .  It didn’t hurt at all, but what really hurt is all they did was take pictures and laugh.  My dad was assigned his first assignment to Nairobi, Kenya in the years of  2011- 2012, where he spent 14 months in Africa and my mom, sister, and I spent the entire summer during that year there.  However, this past 2016 year he received his second assignment to Africa, we were there only 9 months.  Again, my family and I spent only 2 months of the summer vacation in Africa with my dad.

There were many adventures. My family and I did a lot of things such as taking safari’s on both trips.  We visited a Masai Warrior village. Volunteered at a special need and a baby orphanage. However, during the most recent visit, the safari consisted of many different occurrences, such as rock climbing the Devil's Tooth (a small mountain), and hiking through a muddy river revien which was all in Hell's Gate National Park, and my “death” more or less.  My sister and mom did rock climbing on the devil's tooth, my aunt and I stayed on the ground because the people that were holding the ropes on the ground looked smaller in size than us, so we decided not to climb.  There were all types of African insects and spiders up there on those rocks, so I definitely was not doing that. 

One part of the safari consisted of a boat ride (the boat was a small skinny blue boat with like 5-6 white seats and it had a rusted brownish motor), on Lake Nakuru where we all went around to different little islands and saw giraffes, wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, men chest deep in the water net fishing for fish that looked like they were made of silver and much more.  Then we went around to a different area which looked like a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean, this area had a whole bunch of burnt black dead trees that were emerging out of the water that looked like my absolute worst nightmare.

I kept on hearing grunting and saw water that was splashing a little bit right in the middle of all of the burnt dead trees, so I asked the guide what that was grunting and splashing and he said it was a family of hippopotamus and their babies, he asked if we wanted to get closer and see, of course I said no and of course my family said yes (majority rules, of course), as the guide began struggling to start the rusty crusty motor, one of the female hippos got too close for comfort to the boat we were in and sprayed water in my face and grunted I started crying and was wiping the tears and snot out of my lake water face with my shirt like it was tissue.

Hippopotamus are herbivores (an organism that only eats vegetation) but they will bite a crocodile in half if they even attempt to harm any of their babies/family for an “easy” meal. While on Lake Nakuru the fear that I encountered knowing that these hippos were bigger than the boat that I was in, created a fear beyond belief, which caused me to start breathing hard, uncontrollable crying.  My family was telling me to slow my breathing and calm down but that did not help.  The guide that we were with was somewhat familiar with the territory and how close we could get to family of hippos.  I didn’t actually die obviously. All that was racing through my head at time was whether or not the very large mother hippo was going to bite me in half, chew me up, and spit me out or snap my body in half as my bones crackle . That’s the funny thing about an imagination, if you have one they can run wild.

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