A post by Judy Ackley Brown:
With great anticipation, Martin and I embarked on our long journey to Tanzania. Martin would fulfill a dream, to climb Kilimanjaro.
The trek to the roof of Africa would take six days. I chose to remain in Moshi and find my own adventures. Our B& B hostess, Sandra, organized a three day safari for me and my new Polish friends, Ela and Wojciech.
Our guide for this trip, whose name is Innocent, is a 32 year old Tanzanian, one of six children whose mother left them at an early age, a new father of a six week old son, a smart young man, and an exuberant guide.
His eyes gleamed and his bright white smile radiated innocence. The words from his mouth were wise and wonderful.
The animal and bird sightings, the landscape, the Masai tribe, the drive, the whole adventure, left me breathless. It was one of the most amazing adventures of my life.
My conversations with Innocent, however, left an imprint on my heart.
Our days were full, but hot and exhausting. The dust and sweat stuck to my skin along with the necessary bug repellent and sunscreen.
We were camping, and to my utter dismay, I realized I had no bath towel.
Innocent gave me his one and only towel.
He very calmly explained to me that if his long lost mother ever needed help, he hoped someone would assist her. And so, his generosity to me.
Innocent went on to explain that trees and plants never meet, but people do. This is a blessing, so we need to be kind to each other.
This articulate young man believes we are here to improve on each generation.
His father imparted to him all of his knowledge, as this was the key to a good life.
Now that Innocent was a father himself, he would give all of his knowledge to his son, and be a better parent. He said he suffers from “no mother love.”
While lying in my tent at night listening to all the African noises, I pondered.
Have I shared all of my knowledge with my children?
Have I honestly learned from the mistakes of my parents?
Did I provide abundant mother love?
I will never forget the lions, zebras, elephants, giraffes, warthogs, or the baby baboons.
And, I will never forget Innocent’s smile.
Photo Above: Innocent and I are standing by the hippo pond at Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area in Tanzania. It is the only place you can get out of your car in the park. We stopped for a well needed break and lunch on our last day of the safari.
Judy Ackley Brown and her husband, Martin, love to travel. Judy is currently enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she is learning all things related to food, lifestyle, and health. When she travels, she readily partakes in local foods and cooking customs. In Tanzania she enjoyed avocado for breakfast and papaya for dessert.