A Few Excerpts From The Book "Beneath The African Sky"


It was about 4:30 when the “ambulance” came for me. This alleged ambulance wasn’t much more than a panel van; a super comfortable ride straight to the cemetery was my thought at the time. Patricia Stamp accompanied me to the hospital, and she was a great comfort at the time because I was wracked with pain.

The dining hall is bordered on the parking lot side by a ditch about three feet deep and four to five feet wide. It’s a moat is what it is! Well, one of Mike’s assistants (supposedly because of faulty brakes) put the jeep through the “protective pilings” and into this moat. She was alright and the jeep was resting on the edge of the ditch with the front against the dining hall at an angle of about 45 to 50 degrees. It looked a little out of place so out came the camera – we can’t let this one get away.

We arrived in Tsavo at about 5:45PM on June 26th. After six weeks of zebras, gazelles, warthogs and more zebras we were all justifiably thrilled to see elephants! Tsavo was crawling with elephants!

The highlight of the day came when David took us to see the orphans - three buffalo calves, one zebra and one rhino. There were four elephants as well but they were out on a binge somewhere. We had a great time taking pictures - here I am petting a zebra - here I am leaning on a rhino - here’s the rhino leaning on me.

We did see a dead elephant. Some were saddened and the rest were trying to figure out how to contact the warden. As we discussed it and took pictures of it, the dead elephant got up and ran away.

I have malaria too! The fever hit me at about 4:30PM. 103 degrees. Mary brought me a cold compress which brought my fever down to 101. What else can I say? I thought it was a bad cold but it was malaria. It’s different anyway. The doctor is treating me. Three pills tonight – three tomorrow. Sounds like a lot of fun. I didn’t recall being bitten but that’s not unusual. I never did like mosquitoes.

I was quite fascinated with the Jumaa Mosque myself. One of 12 mosques in the little town of Malindi on the shores of the Indian Ocean it had a bloody past having been used for slave trading until the mid-1870’s. The pillar tombs are the remains of the original old mosque. I was totally captivated by the beauty of the pure white walls contrasted against the clear blue sky.

It was hotter than the portal of Hell when I stepped outside; hotter than it had ever been in Africa. That alone made me think back to the incredibility of the past two months. Although happy to be home, it would be absurd to think that there was not a great wave of sadness. A vacuum of sorts – it would never happen again or if it did, it certainly wouldn’t be the same. The years would pass and people would always speak fondly, nostalgically of those days in Maralal, Amboselie, Tsavo and Turtle Bay. No one would ever speak fondly of Paris.

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