Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Walking with the Lions

We have had such a blast with “Nene and Pappy Schwertfeger.” It truly is a gigantic blessing to be able to share our lives here with some of our dear family. I’m sure that our family and friends have spent the last four years wondering, “What in the world is it like where they live?" Finally, some of those questions have been answered!

I am always telling people what it’s NOT like where we live. “No, we don’t live in a mud hut.” “No, we don’t eat elephant stew for dinner.” “No, we don’t walk around with the lions and cheetahs.” Well, it turns out I have been proven false on that last one…

Yesterday, Jacob, Sunda, Nene, and Pappy headed to Chief Mukuni’s “Lion Park.” We had heard about it before and knew that it was a big tourist attraction. We also thought that it would be kinda lame and pretty expensive. So we ultimately marked it off of our “to-do” list. But yesterday, because of Overland’s good relationship with the Chief, some of the guys thought that maybe we could get into the park at a reduced rate. I stayed home with Kya (who wasn’t at the top of her game after a looonnnggg Easter Sunday), and the rest of the family took off to see the lion park!

Unfortunately, the park staff refused Jake and the crew the reduced rate we thought would be in order. Jake and Jack (a co-worker of ours) argued and argued. Nothin’ doin’. So, gutsy man that he is, Jack decided to walk over to the Chief’s “palace” to see if he was home and would personally grant permission for free entrance. It turns out that the Chief himself was on his way to visit his own park and not only let everyone in for free…but took the tour with them!

My 4-year-old stood very close to a pack of lions who were lunging at the fence (she was, obviously, on the other SIDE of the fence.) She was terrified, and was convinced by her Daddy to get a picture near them…practically strangling Jake while the pics were being taken.

My husband, who has always loved cheetahs, got to PET a cheetah. Yes, friends. This is not your typical, heavily insured zoo. This is a park that lets you pet the lions and cheetahs (for a fee.) And if you get eaten, then, well, you got too close!

The Chief generously extended an invitation to all Overland staff this weekend. He offered the option of either taking the “elephant safari” (you get to ride an elephant!) Or “walking with the lions”, literally going in the lion’s cages and petting them. Jake said that I could go with some friends on Sunday and that he would stay with the girls. I’m afraid the activity choice isn’t up to me though, as Jake’s offer was posed like this, “Why don’t you go on Sunday? If you want to ride an elephant, that is. There’s NO WAY I’m letting you go in with the lions. Sorry.” Don’t worry, hubby, I don’t have a big desire to pet Mufasa anyway.

1 comment:

Nene said...

What the picture DOESN'T show is the back of Jacob's shirt where the lion CLAWED through! LOL! Really, though, the lion tried, but thank goodness for the fence! Poor Sunda! Don't think she will ever be the same!
We had such a wonderful time with all of you and we miss you terribly! Can't wait to see you again...maybe Jaime has room in her suitcase for Nene!!??
Love you all