Monday, October 21, 2002

Masai Mara, Kenya I

As Orion's sword passes directly overhead, I know it's time to get up. Most nights I have ample opportunity to track the stars' progress. Malaria is endemic to these East African plains, but after a couple weeks of Larium induced dreams featuring iridescent game-show host piranha and a flying carpet song-and-dance routine, I wonder how the disease could be much more disconcerting than the cure. Most mornings I'm left awake, alert and questioning my sanity.

Sunrise is still more than an hour away when I crawl from the tent, look for the first glow to the east and put on the coffee. I've mastered a system where I can tear down and stow my tent and sleeping bag and have the truck packed just as the water boils. Three tablespoons of Blue Mountain ground, two cubes of sugar and a splash of milk and I'm off. In the gloom I run into a termite mound hidden in the grass, spilling the assembled scalding ingredients onto my lap.

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