Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Welcome to our village Bwana Gary

As is the custom while on a traditional hunting safari enough meat is kept to feed the hunting party and all the rest is given to the nearest native village to thank them for allowing us to hunt in their province. On my birthday my PH (professional Hunter/guide) took me to a native village to spend the entire day. It was awesome and a great way to get out of the African bush for the day and unwind. I was escorted all over the village. I was shown their huts, the way they used fire to make tools and weapons, taught many of their customs and basically welcomed into every one's home. All day the villagers spoke Swahili and my guide translated for me while my cameraman filmed the entire day on both video as well as still camera.

At one point in the day the chief came to meet me and while we were talking via my guide as is the custom I asked my guide if he would ask the chief if I could stand next to him for some photos. After some discussion the chief motioned me over to stand next to him. As soon as I was standing at his side he was talking to all of the natives standing around watching us while my cameraman took videos and some still photos. As I leaned in closer to the chief for a good photo op he said, "Do you know Lake San Antonio?" Then holding his hands spread apart he said, "BIIIG Bass Lake San Antonio." I looked at him with such a shock that I almost fell over. "WHAT! You mean to tell me you speak English!" At that time everyone lost it and we all had a real belly laugh for several minutes. While everyone was still laughing at me I asked, "And do you mean to tell me you have been to Lake San Antonio in Texas? How come you never told me you could speak English?" The chief said, "You not ask."

It turns out the chief had never been anywhere and especially the United States let alone Lake San Antonio. Some time before another American hunter from Texas had hunted in the area and told the chief about the big bass back in his home-town lake in Texas. What a great day and talk about great food! My goodness, nothing better than Ostrich goulash cooked in a pot over a fire.

I was truly honored by being the guest of the cheif and was invited to sit and watch the natives dance as they explained the meanings and customes of each dance.

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