Always play it like a cool cat

Five days in and I’m beginning to get used to life in the wild. I love getting out of bed, putting on my African attire, scraping my hair back and being ready for the busy day ahead in no more than three minutes, racing up the mudslide eager to get to the forest lodge. Very different from my life just a week ago.

In actual fact I’m being awoken by the uncomfortable plank of wood that is my bed, slowly breaking my back, I’m scrapping my hair back because there’s 100 mosquitos that have taken residence in our outdoor shower, and I have to race up the mudslide so that my classmates/roommates don’t realise how out of breath I get from scampering up the hills of the forest. Do you ever get so out of breath that you find your eyes getting so wide that you look like Homer Simpson, your mouth turns into some sort of Joker smile as you inhale as much oxygen as you can, and you can pretty much see your heart pumping out of your chest? Is that just me?

I am actually quite physically fit, promise! (trying to convince myself more than you.)

During lectures today I had to go back to our cabin to get my adapter and was gone so long walking there and back that I had to make out I was so long because I was in the toilet…not sure how I seem to make every situation so much worse, but hey, I’m an African now!

We also ventured to the Snake Sanctuary, situated in the Western Cape. I’ve always loved the reptile houses at zoos but have never really learnt that much about snakes. We had our private tour there and I learnt so much that I’m now so fascinated by the limbless creatures! At the end of the tour, our tour guide and snake enthusiast, Mike,  had definitely saved the best (and biggest) until last…the mighty pythons!

Wanting to act out the scenes of Harry Potter, I jumped up so fast when Mike asked if any of us wanted to hold the Python, whipping my camera out at the same time, chucking it at my closest involuntary photographer!

While I may look cool, calm and collected in the photo, if you look closely you can really see the terror in my eyes, the beads of sweat on my neck and the whirlwind of panic going on in my brain, as just seconds after the image was taken, the snake started tightening himself around my neck and waist! We had also just been informed that Mike had almost been killed by this very snake just weeks before, as he wrapped himself around Mike’s body before plunging his teeth into his back, thinking he was food! His wife had to spend an hour prying him off of him! (Mike’s wife I mean, not the snake’s)

Sidenote: the photo that you didn’t see was the snake literally trying to mug me…bet you haven’t seen THAT before! (I’ve inserted it below)

But all is well as I got a great picture of what a brave snake charmer I am!

As life continues here in the African bush I’m sure I’ll upload a lot more photos of what a great animal handler, incredibly fit athlete and all-round low-maintenence chick I am 😉

Just remember to always play it cool like a cat. (Or lion, when you’re in Africa)

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