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Tasting Africa, One L----ick at a Time - Part 1

Tasting Africa (One L****ick at a Time) Part 1
(Though the title's a joke, my limericks are not!)
1. Life's Always an Adventure (Morogoro) Can one's life be that safe when all live in a zoo - Friend on 'bike trail' breaks neck; a young girl gets raped too. 'Life' defined, is just pain, (1) Yet some seem to find gain! Though we hope for a dance, death's drum hums like Kazoo. (1) Life's foremost teacher is 'pain,' I believe. Still, most try their best to avoid it or minimize their exposure. In Morogoro, a town in Tanzania (that I operated out of during my second year as a Peace Corps Volunteer), one volunteer got paralyzed from the Neck down in a bicycle accident and a female teacher raped. On The bright side, to feel pain is a sure sign you're alive. 2. Sudden Death (Manyoni) Dawn! A lion brings death to a child (I am guessing), draws a circle of men in dense bush, few possessing guns or rifles, most spears, to a man, volunteers! As dusk comes, a corpse lies by the roadside confessing. (1) One morning as I was headed to Singita to get supplies, I saw a long line of men with spears, drums, and a few rifles entering thick bush near Manyoni just outside of town. They encircled quite a large area to find some helpful trace of the predatory lion. By beating drums and gradually reducing the loop of the noose their bodies formed, they finally treed the lion and killed it. African people try to coexist with wildlife! But there is reason to fear that once a lion kills a human, it may repeat his behavior. So, they track an offending lion and kill it whenever possible. 3. Nature's Plans are not Man's (Near Moshi) While en-route to friend's wedding we're stopped by hard rain, More than 'monkey wrench,' (1) river now fills the 'flood plain!' (2) And no human device, Or contrived sacrifice, Will prevail! My guess, water not deep in the main! (1) A 'monkey wrench' is a joke term to describe anything that fouls up mortal plans! (2) A 'flood plain' is a vast area of low-lying ground that is generally quite flat and subject to flash floods when heavy rains occur. It could be an ancient lake bed. We came over a small hill to see moving water covering our route for more than ten miles or so, in a groove straight as an arrow. There was no sign of a bridge anywhere ahead of us; there remains a dug canal defined by water with dense bush on both sides. 4. Life in Ngorongoro Crater (1) Krakatoa's more famous, a crater most know Though quiescent for years now, God groks it will grow! But ten-thousand-feet high, 'Shangri-La' few deny (2) crowned by rim that spans ten miles, vast game park below! Long extinct, a 'lost' peak that collapsed, myth-like pit, Now one-half mile below what remains (it's new fit}, Though crown's height's less than white, Paradise is in sight! There is singing! This 'vision's' (3) a planet-size hit! Graced to live month (or more) near its stream-fed salt lake (4) I'm 'Surveyor of Roads' future tourists will take. Herds of Zebras near door Of one house on its floor, To awake from such dreams, makes this life a mistake? Such a wondrous diversity found in this place. The time capsule, (5) Earth, floats in the vacuum of space But giraffe, alligators aren't here, Sides too steep (I'm just guessing my dear,) Must life end? Are we dinosaurs time will erase? (6) (1) Ngorongoro Crater is the #1 wonder of the world if you ask me! To visit there, if you see nothing else, I think, should be the main item on everyone's 'bucket list!' It was an incredible gift to me, not only to see it but to live in its depths for such an extended period! (2) Shangri-La is a mythical earthly paradise created by the author James Hilton is his 1933 famous novel called "Lost Horizons!" (3) Though death does exist in this volcanic valley, it is hard for me to imagine that a more beautiful place exists anywhere else on our planet. (4) Frequent rain supplies fresh water for the wildlife to the lake at the crater's center, but the minerals they carry have built up over time so that the lake itself is quite alkaline. The lake has no outlet and has no native fish, but some fish introduced by humans have survived. (5) As a man might build a ship inside a bottle that amazes the naïve, so life's evolution on our planet records itself, like a time capsule a child buries! We live on Earth's outer surface, not inside it! But we, too, are confined by the vacuum of space! The parallels are amazing. (6) The Bible says that God gave man the "Rainbow" to promise He would never destroy Earth's life again with a flood! But the Bible prophecies and modern Science agree that all life on Earth will end by fire! As the sun grows old, expands, and dies, our planet dies too (though Science claims this will not happen for millions of years!) But, Science has doubled down with a prediction fueled by a new understanding that Global Warming, brought on by poor stewardship of the planet, could push life to extinction by fire in a much shorter time! Dare we laugh at both the warnings of the Bible and those of modern Science? Poem Continues in Part 2

Copyright © Brian Johnston