Then came summer camp. I cried my eyes out the first three days. Looking back, I'm pretty sure it was because I missed my nice clean bathroom and longer-than-3-minute-showers. (Just kidding, Mom.)
Even in college, camping consisted of hanging out at the campsite until late in the night and then driving home to pee in a real toilet and sleep in a bed above the ground.
So when I was planning this safari and the travel agent told me the only place available in our budget in the area where I wanted to stay (to catch the Great Migration. Of course I would sign up to go camping and then it wouldn't rain all year and the animals would go somewhere else) was actually a tented camp, I was skeptical. But I figured since the website said it had toilets and hot showers, it was only one night (I hadn't taken into account how bad the place in Moshi would be) and it'd be an adventure.
How much of an adventure I didn't realize until we read the rules.
The giant tarp which held our beds was partitioned into four parts: a bedroom, a sink/dressing room enclave, a toilet and a shower. The toilet, flanked by wooden boards, flushed twice - total - and in order to get hot water, two men stood outside the tarp and poured a fire-heated bucket into the shower nozzle. It was more slime than water and which left me wishing for a shower after my shower. I tried to tell myself it probably had really good anti-aging qualities.
Then there were the lions.
Joey caught a cold, and the poor guy had been sniffling and sneezing all day. Normally this translates to a lot of snoring at night. After we were escorted back to our tent for bed by the African tribesman, Joey heard a noise. With big eyes he looked at me and asked, "Did you hear that?" I shrugged it off and fell into a light sleep. At one point what I thought was Joey's snores roused me, and I told him, apparently loudly enough for Angela and Steve in the next tent to hear, to roll over.
It wasn't Joey snoring. It was a lion. Which is why Angela and Steve were awake to hear me hollering.
We had an early drive the next morning to see the nocturnal predators returning from the hunt, and at 5:30 am we sat in the dark with our coffee while we waited for our driver. Joey, Angela and Steve said a lion had kept them up all night, but I didn't believe them. Then the lion roared again, closer this time, and I apologized to Joey for complaining about his snoring.
Click here for all of my pictures from day two of our safari.