The Book

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Here’s the book I made my dad for his birthday if any of you are interested in looking through it.
And yes, that does mean I managed to work through the Blurb software. Hope you like it!

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/2726282/a8e468f069b53e36cb19c6902eb2762d0ca745ea

Safari: Day 4

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Photos from day four:

You know, just some baby cheetahs being adorable.

And here is their mommy

The cubs kept trying to act like their mother, which was precious. Unfortunately, it meant that anything the mother tried to hunt heard or saw the cubs and ran away.

I’m sorry about the fuzz on my lens. Or whatever it was. I couldn’t get it off no matter how many times I cleaned it.

But the mom looked straight at me, which was awesome.

I can’t remember what kind of bird this was.

And then we ran into a rhino…

.. and her baby!

And after it got dark, we ran into the pride of lions. Lions hunt at night, so it was easier to find them.

The baby!

I know I’m getting kind of repetitive with my safari posts, but the good news is that I only have one left, and it’s a really exciting one that includes lion domestic violence. And I’ve got some videos of it, so you’ll get to hear what I heard and understand why I believed I was about to die.
Tomorrow will be much better. I promise!

Safari: Day 2

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Firstly I’d like to apologize to those of you who actually read this for taking so long to get around to these posts. I’ve been exhausted, at Bonnaroo, and exhausted again. (I will save Bonnaroo for another day, and it’ll be easy because my camera died so I only have two pictures from the whole trip.) Now that my jet lag is finally over and I’m not passing out at 9:30 every night, I’m confident I’ll be able to churn the rest of my South Africa posts out, which is good, because I have a lot of ideas.
Anyway.

I like to think that shit got real during my second day on safari.
Need some proof? This is the first picture I took on the drive that day. This looks like it came straight out of The Lion King.

I felt the most incredible sense of wonder on the first morning I woke up to go on safari (I only went during the afternoon on my first day because we had to drive from Durban to Phinda). I was bundled up and looked like a ninja, and had amazingly woken up right before 5:00 A.M without feeling very tired. I don’t think this could ever be possible in or west of the time zone I reside in. Having jet lag was very good for me in the sense of waking up early.
Doesn’t this lens just make the most incredible difference?

After we set out and I got “Circle of Life” stuck in my head, our game driver took the group out to find some lions. Lions don’t really do much during after morning except sleep. That is, until it gets dark and the pride goes out to hunt. During the day prides chill out together and get into arguments sometimes (I have argument pictures, and I was convinced I was going to die).

After that, the lions started going to sleep, so we drove off and ran into a zeal of zebras (cool group name). Apparently zebras fart constantly… probably from all the grass. But I was told that when a zebra gets scared or is being chased by something, it farts and runs at the same time. Also they make zebra jerky. Those are my fun facts about zebras for you.

Our stop by the zebras was pretty short because the word on the street was that a cheetah and her cubs were eating an impala that she just caught.
Cheetahs are actually pretty low on the food chain because they’re small. Sure, they can run really quickly, but that takes a huge amount of energy and cheetahs can only run at high speeds for short distances. Cheetahs are different from other big cats (well, lions and leopards for certain) in that they refuse to scavenge. They kill everything they eat themselves.
Glory and cuteness spam coming up, guys.

LOOK HOW ADORABLE THEY ARE. I MEAN REALLY.

After sitting in the jeep and ogling over the cheetahs for about 45 minutes, there was a radio transmission saying one black rhino and one white rhino were nearby. This is the white rhino. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I did triple-check.

After that, we went back to where we were staying. The better things happen during the morning and around sunset, so that’s when the drives are. Plus it gets hot.
Anyway, here are some big lion cubs being adorable. I have to work on this photo book for my dad now, so I’ll be back once I get that finished.

Some of My Favorite Babies

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This is Spiderman Pajamas Baby. I can only present you to her through prose and photographs, but if you were to come across her, she would be thrilled to meet you. I met Spiderman Pajamas Baby in a village outside Chiang Dao in Thailand. (But I think that’s somewhat obvious. Doesn’t this picture just scream Thailand?) She made me want to smile, squeal, and cry all at the same time. I’m not a big fan of babies unless they’re animals, so hopefully my approval of Spiderman Pajamas Baby emphasizes how wonderful she is. Anything makes Spiderman Pajamas Baby happy: a bit of water running out of a spicket, the new faces of travelers, the packs of puppies scampering around her village, bananas. Spiderman Pajamas Baby’s happiness is ridiculously contagious and reflects off everybody around her. Marvel! She’s excited about these bananas!
 And here I present you with a photo of her taking over my stepmother’s heart!
Meeting Spiderman Pajamas Baby also depressed the shit out of me, for lack of a better phrase. Her teeth were rotting out. She was dirty. Seeing how excited she became over getting to wash her hands and face a little made me wonder how often she gets to use clean water.
We wanted to help Spiderman Pajamas Baby. We wanted her to be able to go to school, have access to medical care, and get enough to eat.  We couldn’t, though, and it breaks me. I don’t really know why. I think it had something to do with contacting the villagers; maybe they didn’t like us after all. Or maybe they don’t need help at all. I can’t say, and I really don’t know the answer.

I know I can’t provide an answer to why we couldn’t get in contact with Spiderman Pajamas Baby’s family and ask if we could help her out, but I can introduce you to some of my other favorite babies, the piglets two villages over.
Piglets act like puppies, so you can think of that too.