Today camp followed the theme of the ‘Circle of Life’. Janet, the camp co-ordinator and head of CITW South Africa, offered the day’s first lesson on leadership values, and was followed by Pafuri guide Jeffrey, who detailed the circle of life, and the interdependence of the species on each other. Once the theory had been grasped, the children got into their teams to put theory into practice with group dynamics.
This was reinforced in games such as the well known, but seldom mastered trust exercise when one child falls, blindfolded, into another’s arms. In another game, everyone needed to work together in order to move the team through a string spider web without touching the web, which would cause bells to ring. Suddenly, all games were brought to a stop as a series of rumbles from above gave very brief warning of a heavy thunderstorm.
Judging by the humorous panic which followed, as blindfolded children darted for shelter, and others got themselves tangled in the spider web, it can be said that the downpour was unexpected. But in Africa, children sing in the rain, never mind dance in the mud, and so the afternoon’s cleansing passed by as per usual, blindfolded, tangled or anything else.
When the heavens had finally had their say, it was game drive time! Excited shouts of anticipation followed as little legs pounded down the slippery deck towards the vehicles, and kids piled into blanketed canvas seats. The circle of life theme continued as rangers stopped to explain different aspects of the food chain such as grass going via elephant to dung beetle. I was fortunate to witness the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from our vehicle as a young, shy leopard darted across the road before disappearing into the wet thicket.
Before bed after a long day, children and adults alike were treated to one of my favourite movies, ‘The Lion King’, which further reinforced the circle of life. I’ve just had a great sighting of a porcupine crossing the path on my way to bed, from where I now spend the dying minutes of the day watching fireflies above the riverbank through the ‘mozzie’ net. The resident wood owls are right above me tonight, and a tree frog seems to have moved right in. I don’t mind…
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