Monday, March 14, 2005

oh, to be reminded, that the Earth is not the private real-estate of humanity

On Friday, Pinky and I drove out to Mtubatuba to meet a youth organizer at the AIDS drop-in center. We were almost out of Umfolozi game reserve when he stepped onto the road and started walking toward us.
-Oh no. I am so scared.
I had never seen Pinky even perturbed in our 5 weeks working together.
-Ari, I am so scared, I have heard stories...I am so scared.

He was enormous. He walked toward us. We backed up. He kept walking toward us. We kept backing up. His ears flared, and he picked up his pace.

We kept backing up, until we found a taxi behind us. We stuck our hands out the window and waived frantically for the taxi to back up. Just then, Jess called. My cell phone had somehow a tiny bit of reception.

Jess, you’ve caught me at a bit of a strange moment. There is an elephant chasing us.

We kept backing up until the elephant decided to stop for lunch. As he chomped on big bushels of roadside grass, still blocking most of the road, the elephant appeared entirely unconcerned with the twenty-some cars, trucks, and even an ambulance waiting on either side of him. What were little hunks of wheeled metal to him? He was an elephant. This was his home. He called the shots. The little metal scraps would wait. And we did. For almost a half hour, while he ate his lunch, until he finished his lunch and strolled off the road.


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