Arriving

by Lindsey Stein

You’d think that after a 10-hr flight to London, an 11-hr flight to Johannesburg, and a 2-hr flight to Maun, we’d be feeling the effects of jetlag. And we were, until we saw the plane that would be taking us on our last leg of the journey to Jack’s airstrip. If we hadn’t recognized why there were strict weight limits for our luggage before, we certainly did now. The plane held four people, including the pilot. We were wide awake as we pushed our limbs inside, feeling somewhere between the Wright brothers in an early aircraft and the Kardashians in a private plane. We stayed wide awake for the next hour as we felt every air-pocket and tried to capture the wildlife we saw below. The plane flew low and slow, and landed gracefully in the middle of nowhere on a tiny airstrip with no control tower. Just a man in a Jeep who’d left the camp when he’d heard a plane.

The camp was spectacular. In this vast nothingness we were greeted with cool towels to clean our hands, homemade lemonade, and sandwiches of cucumber and cheese under the shade of thatched roof huts. We were shown the bathroom with no door, where a rope would symbolize if it was occupied, then walked an eighth of a mile to our tent. It was a short distance that felt arduous under the beating African sun. The tent can’t be compared to anything I’d ever seen because I hadn’t seen anything quite like it before. We’d already had the greatest adventure, and we’d only just begun.