This was a momentous day in my life– a first sunrise over Africa, witnessed from the window of a plane: a first glimpse of the continent that had captured my imagination since early childhood. I’ve never gotten over my sense of the true miracle of being lifted into the sky and propelled across the globe, taking only hours to cover distances that once consumed whole lifetimes in the days of early exploration.
Though it was years ago now and I’ve since returned to Africa for more safaris, this particular morning has never faded from my memory: glimpses of the desert far below with its strange and lonely rock formations; the play of light on cloud fields–African clouds now–as the sun flooded the sky with color; the realization that each passing moment was carrying me closer to places with names out of books: Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, Manyara, Ngorongoro. I arrived with expectations– and discovered that I had set the bar too low. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience.