It wasn't until our last week at Lion Encounter that we were fortunate enough to finally see and study the Dambwa Pride.
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On a nightly basis our room was literally abuzz with activity. Silence the noisy fan from pushing hot, Zambian air in circles over our bodies and you’d hear a lizard scurrying behind the dresser. Turn on the light and one, if not several, rain spiders would freeze in silence on the ceiling, carefully watching us with their many eyes. I was always happy to see our roommates because it meant I knew where they were and so didn't have to worry where they weren't, unlike some of the other creatures that came party crashing into what was called the White House.
Rubbing my eyes and trying to will myself awake while the line slowly creeps forward I look across the people gathered with us in the terminal. That's when I notice the hunting rifle cases. It suddenly dawns on me that we’re about to board a flight on our way to Africa to once again volunteer in the name of lion conservation, alongside a group of men who will be traveling there in the hopes of shooting a lion, if not several.
You either get the point of Africa or you don't. If you can't get past the fear of animals, of poverty, the juggernaut of nature, then you probably won't. But if you do stand in it and smell it and listen to it, then it will be one of the biggest, most profound and powerful things you will ever feel.
It's official: we're returning to Africa!
And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.
Dambwa Pride released!
We were surprised and very happy to hear the news this weekend that ALERT is gearing up to release their second pride into a purpose-built enclosure at their Livingstone, Zambia, location.