As an employee hands me a blanket ( it is gray with the words “Aquila Safari Adventure” etched on on it), a camo-green Jeep barrels into the park leaving a cloud of dust behind it.
As we hop into the car, the pinks and oranges of the sky are just peeking through the clouds like they are waking up from a deep slumber. As soon as we start off -- boom! Animals right away. Fat, greasy hippos and loud, colorful birds.
Snap, snap, snap goes my camera.
More animals. Big, gray elephants. Skinny, clumsy ostriches.
My mom turns around, asks with a smile on her face, “Cam, you warm enough?”
I am too busy enjoying the scene to respond.
I suddenly hear a pitiful moan, and turn to see my little brother sleeping with his head in my mom’s lap. She whispers, “He doesn’t feel good,” before returning to stroke his hair. I knew that he had been sick for the past week with a high fever, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad. We also got to the park super early, so I know that he is super tired. As the African landscape zooms past, the animals grow more colorful and unexpected. Their screeches grow louder as we drive faster.
More animals. Protective, loud rhinos like a baby defending her cupcake, and spotty, tall giraffes, as tall as Shaquille O’Neal trying to fix a lightbulb.
An hour later, as we pull out of the gates, I turn around and see my little brother still sleeping with a fever. It makes me sad to think that he missed all those exotic animals. I sighed, “I guess he just missed everything that we flew half-way around the world to see.