A friend told me about this Round Robin Photo Challenge. This is my first entry. And I am miserably late in posting for the “Transportation” challenge and am simply hoping that I’ll be allowed to play! This photo is neither technically well shot, nor did I take it myself. I’m not sure if that’s one of the rules. However, since it is by far one of the more interesting modes of transportation I have employed, here you go! AND, because “ride an elephant” is on my List of Fifty, it does double duty. Perhaps the List of Fifty aspect of it will make it that much more interesting in the Round Robin Challenge???
I was in Zambia, Africa, with Teen Missions, International. Our three teams of teenagers had just wrapped up our five weeks of work and evangelism projects and were working our way towards home. One of the stops took us to the Protea Hotel outside of Lusaka for a wonderful continental breakfast (a REAL continental breakfast, not the HoJo and Holiday Inn variety with a hard roll and funky O.J.). After breakfast we all piled into our trucks to take a safari, sort of. The safari was a truck ride through a small preserve. There were many different species of birds and fascinating antelope, but only three zebra, two caged but very ferocious lions, and this elephant. Her name is Ellie. We were told that if she was feeling calm that day, that some of us might be allowed to ride. “Ride an Elephant” has been on my “to do” list since I was a teenager. There were over 70 people in our group. The chance that I’d have been picked to be one of the nine riders was, well, remote. But LOOK! My team picked me to go up! Ellie stood next to one of the trucks which was used as a mounting apparatus. The first two groups of three easily climbed aboard and dismounted after a short sit on top. My group climbed up and settled onto her very mountainous spine. It was then she chose to decide that she’d had enough of us, and she took off walking! Mind you, this elephant is just loose. She’s got a keeper of sorts who was feeding her treats to encourage behavior, but she moved away from the truck and took off for a short walk because she wanted to. No matter what the keeper did, he couldn’t persuade her to move back to the truck. That’s when this picture of me making my “what to do” shrug was taken. How to get down????
After a few moments and quite some distance from the truck, the keeper got Ellie to sit. Once she was down I helped “my two kids” off her back and slid off myself. It was rather exhilarating, to be up top a wild animal who really was only letting us up there out of the generosity of her spirit! I felt like she’d given me a real gift. Could I have said I “rode an elephant” if all I did was sit there? I don’t think so! But, since Ellie decided to take a little walk about, I could! So, that’s my story of the sort of safari! If you want to see what else I did on the safari, click here.