08 Jul Keep it simple
There is something so peaceful about being in the bush. It’s the quiet way that everything goes about it’s way, respectful of one another and without much fuss. Everything is totally at peace with itself and it’s position in the continuous circle of life. Each morning, the sun rises in the east and each evening, it sets in the west, only to rise again in the east the following day. There is no clock-watching or worrying about deadlines, everything happens as and when it should. It’s simple. It should be, anyway.
When I was a young girl, the four of us (my mom and dad, brother and I) would travel up to the Kruger Park for the June / July school holidays. Now that I can reflect on those times a good few years on, they were the perfect family holidays. Absolute quality time as a family with no external distractions. There were no cellphones in the early days and later on, in my teenage years, there was no cellphone reception. The days were each the same – early morning game drive until a stop for a skottle breakfast or brunch and then on to our next camp. An evening game drive until the camp gates closed, followed by an early braai at our bungalow. The next day would follow pretty much the same routine. In those days, the little camp shop stocked wood and some fire lighters and possibly a few potatoes and a couple of cartons of fresh milk, if you made it in time. My mom would plan and pack all the ingredients for all the meals for our family of four. We’d pack and unpack cooler boxes and lock our precious supplies away from the monkeys and baboons.
My husband and I recently spent a few nights back in the Kruger Park and although the blissful quiet still remains, I couldn’t help noticing how much has changed. Almost each camp now has at least a restaurant or two, in addition to the fully stocked grocer and bottle store at the camp shop. There is even a Debonairs Pizza and Mug and Bean at one camp! The main camp now boasts a Spa, open seven days a week. It was on our second evening, while sitting at the little table next to our braai, enjoying our pre-made Woolies vegetables and salads with our steak, looking out onto the circle of other families outside their bungalows, that it became most evident how things had changed. It was so easy to spot the families who had been doing this for years and were still doing things the old way. The cooler boxes were packed to one side, each member of the family was going about their assigned job and the table was laid ready for dinner, plastic floral tablecloth and all.
We’ve morphed into a society so used to all things comfortable and convenient. The faster, the better. The less fuss, the better. I’m the last to turn my nose up at a Woolies pre-made vegetable risotto, but when in the bush, things should be done the good old fashioned way. And the next time for us, it will be. Plastic floral tablecloth included.