Thursday, February 25, 2010

"God Is watching over us"

“ My trip review of Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary, N/a'an Kuse'. ”

I was wandering
I was wandering alone
Longing for roots of my own
There was no place
No place where I could roam
Is there no one could give me a home?

N/a'an Kuse', N/a'an Kuse'.

I was shaking
I was shaking with fear
Caught in this wire poacher's snare
I was screaming
I was screaming out in despair
Is there no one, no one to hear?

N/a'an Kuse', N/a'an Kuse'
God is watching over us.

I was praying
I was praying today
Please keep all my children safe
For taking that calf for my family,
My life's forfeit, we're just vermin anyway.

N/a'an Kuse', N/a'an kuse'
God is watching over
God is watching over us
Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary.

First verse is written from the perspective of lions who cannot return to Etosha as the park reckons they(5 ) will upset pride dynamics in the park. These orphans, now fully grown, are living in huge enclosures at Na'an Kuse, as an alternative to them being shot. Why is there no room in the wild for them?

Second verse is for Big Mama, a baboon. She had already lost a foot in a poacher's wire snare. When she came to the Sanctuary, Mama had another snare partially embedded in her flesh around her belly. Soon after she arrived, she gave birth. Now Big Mama is undisputed boss of all 17 baboons. She's an amazing creature.

Third verse reflects the feelings of a cheetah mother, whose 4 cubs were caught in a farmer's trap. He incarcerated them in a pit under the trap, for 4 days hoping to lure her back in to kill her. When 1 died of pneumonia, he relented, rang the sanctuary and they came into their care. But mother cheetah had to abandon her cubs, or be shot!

Hope you guys like it. First poem I have ever written.
Sorry about no pictures of Big Mama, the baboon. We were too scared to even point a camera her way!
But a beautiful animal, completely in control of the baboon troop. And easy with us, as long as we didn't mess her around. She's an awesome creature, and I grew to admire her.

 N/A’AN KU SÊ  is Bushman for "God is watching over us."


Friday, February 19, 2010

Meg's triumph.

Meg was rampant!
Reaching out. Struggling towards the future. Every tendril of her young body was heading at last towards the bright light. They can’t hold her back anymore! Not fair to keep a new hope so suppressed. She had the nouse to seize any thing with her own hands, grab hold of any leverage, and pull herself up. Setting new bud aimed at making the most of any opportunity. No artificial aids for her, she could do it all on her own. No one is going to tie her down or put her to the stake!
It was the light that inspired her.
Whenever it appeared as surely it did like clockwork, but every day, just that little bit earlier, urging her onward.
She’d been kicked into the bottom of a hole, and stayed there for too long. Not nice to be ditched down there, dirt shovelled over her, then heaped with chicken shit. Was that deserved? How did someone expect her to grow through all that? Gee, what do you have to do around here to earn a little respect?
She’ll show them! Just a wee drink, to soften her outer shell. A little warmth to get those hormones humming. Suck in a breath and swell. And hey...that worked. That did it for her! She was away. Reaching up, pumping juices through her veins, swelling her buds and pushing upwards and outwards. Splitting her jacket in the process. But what the hell! Getting too bloody tight for her anyway.
 “We gotta do it to get out of this shit we’re in." she thought. No one else is going to do it for her.
Who’s going to notice her if she doesn’t get a move on? They’d just chuck someone else into the manure heap and kiss her arse goodbye.
But she’d show them. She’d show them she had the potential. She just needed a little encouragement. Oh, and that drink of water was sure invigorating. I think that’s what finally kicked it all off. Got her going. Gave her the incentive to set new growth and push up and reach out. But after that,she could do it now on her own! She was away. She had her roots in the shit still, but that would wash away with the new rain. She’d soon shake that off!
Meantime, that light looked enticing. It really was giving her the old come on….
And who was that guy strutting around, pretending importance,cultivating everyone else but ignoring her? Why cut her out? Why overlook her pretty young buds sticking out in front of her? They were new young sprouts, untouched yet by anyone. She needed them to be seen.
So she stretched out for the light again. Pushed them forward….
And the light held her and shared it‘s warmth with her. Feeding her with it’s energy. Suckling, she moved onwards. New horizons appeared. She could go in any direction now as she’d overtaken all her competitors. That smug, arrogant fat arse of a guy was looking her way now! He’d finally taken note of her, and the way she was blossoming. Those buds weren’t so little now either. In fact they were getting to be rather protuberant!
“Blooming lovely.” she thought she’d heard him say, that day when she caught him looking.
Meg was fertile.
She felt a kind of weird pressure building up all over the place. It wasn’t just one little bud doing it either. Quite a few really. Those strange feelings were coming from all over her stretched out body. But it was the briefest of contacts that had set it off. He had buzzed off before she even knew what had happened, leaving her with a desolate emptiness. She’d missed a longer, deeper, more lasting physical contact. It was offered. She’d seen the signals.They were all there…and several times. But she just wasn’t ready. It had to be right.
But now the light was her lover.
It warmed her. It helped her ripen, and keep the Autumn chill away during the day. She could last through the dark as long as the light was there to receive her again in the morning. That comforted her. It kept her strong- allowed her to feel new hope that there was more ahead for her.
Getting out of that shit was worth it. Putting out new feelers in all directions was the right thing to do. Worth the effort. The seed for the future was good.
Meg was happy.

Meg is a friend, who, just like my daughter Elissa found herself made redundant during this past world financial meltdown. And it's tough for a lot of good people these days, trying to get back into the system that kicks shit out of you, squishes you, keeps you down in the shit.
Incidentally, I had been growing pumpkins this season, and had given my plants nicknames. Ha!
So to keep encouraging the girls, I got inspired to write this. And you don't have to be told, that it's about triumphing, by not getting down, keeping the hope alive, and getting out there seeking out every opportunity to succeed.
The 'light' is hope. 


Saturday, February 13, 2010

I love the beauty of a bird's image captured in flight.

Gannets at Cape Kidnappers ,North Island ,New Zealand.The world's only mainland gannet breeding colony.It's a spectacular sight and a trip made more exciting by the tractor safari to get there.3 times we've done that trip over the years.Each time we go back, we appreciate it more.Awesome coastal scenery,the pounding surf that needs to be entered at times.And holding your breath as you slowly drive under towering cliffs of soft crumbly volcanic ash, hoping they'll not collapse.As happened!Wow!Glad we're not under that !

At the junction where the tractor safari drops you off, There's a wee hike up to the breeding colony but well worth the easy effort.
$34 each for 4 hours of out in the open scenery and nature is worth every cent!


Friday, February 12, 2010


Nomadic Matt and Gap Adventures are giving this trip away! Costa Rica Explorer 2 weeks and airfares!And this is what I'm entering- Enjoy.
I need to go to Costa Rica, and say goodbye to a friend.
The image was not clear. My surroundings unrecognisable. Ropes ran overhead, supporting some structure I could only guess was a wooden swing bridge disappearing into the mist, obscuring the other side of what appeared to be a deep canyon. To my right, higher up, other people clustered at the base of another set of ropes, which also ran into the mists.
The vision spun around as I flew down to the base of the hillside. A body clad in a blue top. Dead. Someone familiar, close to me.
Who? Where? What was all this? So real, but so unclear. Why did I dream this?

Waking, the visions clear in my mind, I move on with life but the memory retained.

A few weeks later, awaking I’m aware of a terrible black cloud in my mind depressing me, affecting my mood all day...depression I’ve rarely experienced. So asking myself what’s wrong, the intuitive response is someone close to me is in distress. It’s January 7th. But what can I do about it? Nothing but hope.
We carry on enjoying the Gold Coasts attractions and glorious weather.
Returning home there’s a call from a long time friend, Leo. He relates the news that our friend Neil had died suddenly of a heart attack while on holiday. I ask when this happened.
“January 7th”says Leo. He goes on to tell me, Neil died soon after ziplining in Monte Verde, Costa Rica.

Neil and I had been buddies since way back. Both sales representatives reporting to Leo, our Marketing Manager. Hard to fathom how a friend who you’ve known so long, and travelled countries with, just ain’t going to be around anymore. No chance for farewells.
We’d known Neil and V were off to USA to visit family. And taken notice that they would fly down to Costa Rica to go on a Gap Adventures tour. But that was all we’d known of Costa Rica. And as for ziplines? What are they? We call those flying foxes.

I then remember that vision. I’m not yet convinced it was precognition, but I set out to investigate his death. I google Gap and eventually arrive at their travel forum - The Wateringhole and register. Around that time, I ask on the forum about ziplining. A member posts a link to Monte Verde where I scroll through photos, coming across one that shows clearly my vision. There is a photo showing a suspended canopy boardwalk, ( my swing bridge or so I had thought it,) and adjacent to it is the zipline, my other set of ropes! Things fell into place. The mist is commonly talked about by those who have ziplined. How do you ‘see’ something you know nothing about?Intuition? Perception?

V arrives home distraught. And we visit. Driving there, I’m talking with my wife about the vision, and I say I’m going to ask V what colour top Neil was wearing when he died. So eventually after talking with V, I ask. She says his green anorak because it was so wet and misty. And he collapsed, in the van soon after completing his turn just before the tour was to leave Monte Verde.
“But I’ve just got pics of our trip developed, and you’ll want to see the last photo I took of Neil in the hut where we waited for everyone to finish!”
V showed me his photo. There was Neil standing there ….wearing a blue sweatshirt! He’d removed his green anorak by then.!

I’m convinced now I’d seen a glimpse of the future. I’m privileged to have been so close to my friend.

But in closing, a special word for Gap.
V tells me, that Gap handled this tragedy so well. Badly upset, unable to wade through the hospital and autopsy bureaucracy alone in a strange country, a special Gap representative flew down to help handle it all. V has only praise for Gap.

So Costa Rica is a special destination for me, and my wife, because we need to say a real farewell. I’ve now read so much about the country. It seems a wonderful destination and we’re drawn to it. And for others, this has taught us that life itself is the journey. Travel slowly, long and far!