Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lake Manyara -- Christmas Day, 2006

The leopard having spotted potential dinner:



Towards the hunt:



Making himself pretty;



Stretching his muscles:



The chase begins:







We spent a full day in Lake Manyara NP. It is teaming with life, lush due to the heavy rains (that have been falling like they do in the long rains season), truly spectacular. We saw so much -- flamingos, buffalos, elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, warthogs, impalas, bushbucks, dik-diks, baboons, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys and many other beautiful birds, including hornbills, kingfishers, mousebirds, fish eagles, bishops, buffalos weavers and much more. And we saw a(nother) leopard!

It was stunning to be of and to be viewing God's creation and to feel a part of all the universal wonderment on Christmas Day!

Then we returned to Endallah for a delicious Christmas dinner we consumed enthusiastically after the day's activities.

***

I called home, reaching my family at brunchtime on Christmas day. Everyone sounded convival and full of holiday cheer while brunching on uncle Rich's french toast (as reported by my nephew to be DE-LICIOUS!) and talking and laughing. Mom put me on speakerphone, and I talked to everyone together and each person 1-1.

Sharon (sars-2) says that she wished I was there during one of our family holiday traditions -- a long, usually late-night conversation that happens spontaneously (we usually converge in one bedroom and just end up all talking together for hours). I missed that too.

I miss my family terribly and now I've been away for 2 Christmases in a row and I vow never to miss another ever again.

***

Though I miss my family, I am joyful and feeling blessed to share the holidays with these two families (one Tanzanian, the other Belgian), and I feel truly welcomed and among friends.

***

I just realized, I accidentally put the Serengeti leopard pictures here, not the Tarangire ones; I'll correct this when I find the time. In the meantime, enjoy!

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