Between those wonderful teen years when ones children are proud, unsure, striving for independence, and have a hardly containable idealism and reach for the future, and those years two decades later when, no longer unsure, their pride tempered by experience, and that future in part achieved, there is nonetheless a loss as parent and child navigate their separate paths in the world. It is a loss in which, no matter how close the family or frequent the visits, they realize they no longer really know one another in the way they once did. The reason is simple: they no longer live together.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria, I had been to Africa, and after my service, travelling through eastern Africa with my wife to be, we had seen the incredible wild life, even then in decline, on the plains of the Serengeti.
My son Hobbes, daughter Laura, and her two children Alex and Julia, ages nine and eleven had never been to Africa. I had long wanted to go to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, today one of the few places remaining in the world to see wild animals in relative abundance and in their natural environment.
Margaret Betchart and Taunya Deyoung of Betchart Expeditions worked with my daughter and myself to put together a family friendly itinerary that in the event could not have been better. Altogether getting from home, San Francisco, to the three camps in the Okavango, and back involved 22 take-offs and landings, eight of them in “on-call” six passenger bush planes, the latter the only way to get to the camps and land safely on their short partially improved runways. Without Taunya and Margaret navigating this airline hell for us, the trip might never have gotten off the ground.
The blog that follows describes our adventures on this trip.
The default posting for WordPress blogs is most recent post at top. I wanted the posting order to be in the order we visited the camps. To achieve this, posting dates are inverted.. Our first and last days were November 22, 2011 and December 1. The posts for these days are dated, respectively, December 1 and November 22.
The photographs were taken with a Canon Elph 300 HS digital camera and are copyrighted.