I just downloaded a list of 53 “General Safety and Awareness Guidelines” from Game Rangers International for my work in Zambia. I was encouraged to read the entire list very thoroughly, as most points, “may be relevant during your stay.” This list includes, but is not limited to, the following: 16. If confronted by any irate or difficult person/s or officials, remain calm and courteous…. 23. Do not attempt to pick up any snake, even if it appears dead. 24. Wear closed footwear at night and be aware that some snakes are more active during dark hours…. 31. Check toilet bowls for any unwanted creatures before use…. 34. Always check clothing and footwear for any unwanted creatures before putting on your shoes…. 38. Avoid swimming or bathing in any river or lake within Zambia due to crocodiles and bilharzia…. 50. When exiting your tent at night, first pause and tune into your surroundings to ensure that there is no lurking danger…. 53. Be aware that lightening is a killer in Africa. During storms avoid: – exposed and elevated places. – conductors. – bodies of water….. So, reading this list, got me thinking about all the warnings my Dad gave us kids during my young years growing up in rural Illinois. This list includes, but is not limited to, the following: – don’t play with the squirrels, they will bite you. You will get rabies. – always keep a shit-hole $100 in your wallet “because you never know.” – use a flashlight to track the dog when you let her out to go poop, a coyote may try to eat her. – a sports game should always be called when there is lightening, because you could die. – when camping, always look into a shitter, because, if there is a snake, it will bite you and we are not going home. Woah, each of these childhood tidbits are still kinda relevant! I feel totally prepared….yeah. Prepared….. ….Totally.
I spy – the silhouette of a boy fishing at the end of a long pier as the sun sets far behind him.
I spy – a chipmunk dodging through shadows running from one bush to hide under another.
I spy – a happy curly haired dog napping on my lap giving me the gentle embrace of his kind acceptance.
I spy – two girls riding jet skis across glass-like lake as their youthful laughter skips across the water.
I spy – two dragonflies playing tag, flying up, down and all around, back and forward, under and on.
I spy – my life, at this very moment, is just as it should be.
So, I smile.