Thought I was back, but I’m not quite acclimated yet

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I was wondering how long it would take me to get back into my normal routine, and thought I was back in rhythm last week. My new printing apprentice, Whitney, has been organizing my print shop for several months, and we finally got around to moving the presses to their permanent locations last week. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until Monday night. Sherri was out to a movie with her friends and after I went home, fed the dog and had dinner, I thought I would go down to the Buckhorn and catch Monday Night Football and have a glass of wine.

As I was walking up Main Street, several people were walking across the street and asked me why I missed the chamber mixer? I’m thinking that it is next Monday, and then it dawns on me that I’m a week off. The mixer was at the Palms, one of my tenants, and I should have been there. My apologies to Nora and Andrew.

I took malaria pills for my trip, two days before the trip, during the trip and a week after getting back. I didn’t think the pills affected me, that much, but I did have vivid dreams while taking them. Sherri was a little off her game, sometimes waking up confused, but seemed to function just fine after she caught up on her sleep. I’m having doubts about the long term effects on my memory. It can’t be that I’m getting older and jet lag has become something that affects me for more than a day and a half.

Having vivid dreams while camping out in Africa was interesting. I wasn’t too worried about the wild animals while sleeping in a tent in the Serengeti. We were the last tent in the camp, but the tent was made of thick canvas and there were strong zippers on the door flaps. If it was dark and you stepped outside to walk to breakfast or dinner, someone would be standing there to escort you down the trail. I’m not sure what help the escorts would be against a lion or some other wild animal, because all they carried was a flashlight and a long stick.

Sherri asked about the safety of the tents and was told not to worry, “the animals never touch the tents.” While travelling in the Land Cruisers we would see lions, cape buffalo and hyenas pretty close to our camp. You could hear the hyenas yelping at night and they sounded pretty close. It was a little disconcerting, but the first night I slept pretty well. The 5:30 a.m. wake up call actually woke me up.

The second night, sometime after 2 a.m., something was pushing on the tent and it took me a second to realize where I was and that my bed was moving. Sherri was shouting something from her twin bed on the other side of the tent. I noticed an animal’s back in the screen window, about 5 feet off the ground. I was so relieved that it wasn’t a lion that I relaxed and watched as the cape buffalo brushed the tent, pushing the foot of my bed in the process. I slapped the side of my wooden bed to scare it away but the buffalo kept moving toward the head of my bed, so I slapped the side of the tent, hitting him/her in the ribs. That seemed to help as the animal moved past my bed and I could hear it grazing as it leaned against the tent.

I went back to sleep, but around 4 in the morning I saw the lights of the Land Cruisers chasing the buffalos away and fell asleep, again. At breakfast, Sherri questioned the guide who told her that animals don’t touch the tents. He smiled and said that “usually” they don’t bother the tents.

When she told them that I had slapped the side of the buffalo, it got a little quiet. The guides looked at each other and then at me, and told me not to do that again. It seems that there is a guide in a wheelchair because of a cape buffalo. I’m not sure what happened to him, but they don’t get out of the Land Cruisers when they are herding them away from the camp.

Looking at the side of my tent, you could see where the rain had run off the tent and the grass was green. There were solid metal posts a few feet away from the tent, holding it up. There was no way a cape buffalo fit between the post and the tent. I’m lucky my bed only moved a foot or so and the tent didn’t rip. It made for a good story, especially since no one got hurt.

Have a good week.

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