Sunday, July 12, 2015

Excerpt from a work in progress

Land Cruiser windows are open and the top is raised. We’ve started on our morning game run into Serengeti National Park. Prosper Huale, our driver, negotiates ruts, small boulders; his radio spouts Swahili and static. Someone’s seen a leopard in the rocks. Flies come in. Tsetse flies are larger than familiar house flies, and their wings, instead of being held slightly out, are laid straight back over their bodies. Tsetses make a buzz; they land on necks, arms, cheeks; passengers swat. Prosper pulls out his fly whisk, made from a giraffe tail, and passes it around. I decline; one of my African trip goals was to get bitten by a tsetse fly. Now it’s there, on the back of my left hand. I slowly reach for the camera with my right hand as it sinks its proboscis into my skin. Blood starts to flow. I see red in its feeding tube. Luckily the road is reasonably smooth. I take picture after picture. One of them turns out to be perfect.

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