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Botswana and South Africa so long till the next time.

October 25th,

Botswana and South Africa so long till the next time. We spent our last night back at the Airport Game Lodge in Johannesburg. The place where this whole journey began 17 days ago. A night of gathering and final goodbyes. There has been such a change in everyone here. This group of 13 women and 1 man who all came together to experience themselves has proven to be a huge success. The changes from start to finish in this place is really amazing for me to witness. I came here for myself, not with the intention of making friends, but to just connect with myself. A soul journey to be able to expand what I can offer in this lifetime and one that I would hope I could share with others. I was gifted not only a deep journey inward but now leave with new friends from Canada, Jordan, Switzerland, Poland, Norway, Hungary, South Africa, England, Australia. Much gratitude to Mbali who facilitated a life changing journey and for bringing together some incredible Instructors…….Anna Breytenbach, Dr. Peter Nilssen, Craig Foster, Alwyn and Johann. This trip has been an unforgettable one.   It will take me a bit of time to integrate it all. I look forward to regurgitating the experiences and allowing them to settle deeper within me. I have so much excitement moving forward, but for now, I will take time to let all that has happened in the land of South Africa, to sink deep within me. I look forward to that happening on the soil of my beautiful homeland called Canada. I am eager to share and hope to be able to translate the greater messages to anyone that cares to hear. South Africa and Botswana Africa so long till the next time.With much appreciation for you all who shared in the journey with me, through reading my blog, With gratitude to South Africa and Botswana, to all the ancestors, my willingness to have the experiences, the animals, the teachings……..Thank you. xo

Preparing to bid Botswana Africa farewell.

October 24th

Preparing to bid Botswana Africa farewell.  Last night, we all put together gifts to give to or Guides’ staff to take back to their villages. There was an abundance of gifts. They were so grateful for our generosity. Feels so good to be giving.

Preparing to bid Botswana Africa farewellWell today is the day that we are leaving. Up at 5:00 and on our way by 6:30. A slightly cooler day with some cloud cover. I have had an incredible time here and go away with so many experiences and a stronger understanding of these wildlands. I am ok to be leaving this place, and looking forward to going home. I realize that I live in a place full of nature and it’s all around us, if we just pay attention to it. There is so much life in the wild lands of every place on earth. Not just Africa, can’t wait to set foot on Canadian soil.

As we drive through the early morning towards Maun airport we are stopped by the incredible presence of Cape Buffalo. This is the first time that we have seen them. Wow, these are powerful animals. This is one time I do not want to be out of the jeep. I then begin to wonder why we saw male lions at the beginning of the trip and lionesses only since then. Even the leopards were all female. That thought scarcely dances long enough in my mind when all of a sudden there, about 30 yards from the side of the road is a large male leopard. We stop and watch him as he is totally focused and seemingly, unaware, of our presence. He is on the hunt. Preparing to bid Botswana Africa farewellWe spot a family of warthogs ahead, of course he has tuned into them already, hence his stalking approach he is making on them. He is so focused that he walks across the road right in front of us and continuous his strategic plan of attack. Suddenly the birds sound their alarm calls and the warthogs are warned and on alert. The leopard continues his pursuit in the most calm way, not rushing but committed to his plan. We watch this until we decide it is time to go. I am not sorry that I did not witness a kill, but am so grateful to have been visited by the male leopard to end our journey. We continue on to Maun where we have a lunch at a really great coffee shop, owned by Alwyn and his parents. His mother’s cooking has been amazing. We are only 2 minutes from the airport and meander there for our departure from Alwyn and Johann and the amazing land of Botswana. Never ever to be forgotten.

Preparing to bid Botswana Africa farewellThis trip has brought many ceremonies, gatherings, sightings, camaraderie, soul searching and rediscovering. I feel content to be in my thoughts and return back to Johannesburg for one final gathering and group interaction. I shall remain silent.

 

This land provides a home for all,

for every creature big or small,

If one could drop from head to heart,

And notice we are all a part,

 

Of a fabric intricately woven,

With many gifts we’ve all been given,

Then never more will we feel alone,

But complete within our universal home.

Jackals and a leopard in Africa in camp last night.

October 23rd,

Jackals and a leopard in Africa in camp last night. Both animals came right up to the tents and occasionally scratched on them. This morning presented a beautiful sunrise again. This morning feels a bit warmer than the others though, so far. We are leaving camp early this morning. Up at 5:00 am, breakfast and on our way. I wonder if we will see another leopard, as our Guides find it odd that we have seen two different ones so far. They often will do a safari tour with tourists and never even see one.

website-blog-oct-23aWe just scarcely get on our way and we spot a pack of wild dogs. I find this incredible, as last night when we were done our game drive, I asked Johann what we should focus on for the morning to be spotted. He said ‘wild dogs’. And there they are.   There were 6 adults and 10 pups. They were a fair distance away but soon made there way to the river in an attempt to drink. Just as they the pack leader approached the water, he spotted a large Crocodile. His attention to this , now submerged threat, alerted the rest of the pack and they all stayed back. Looking through the camera and binoculars, we observed that the adults had a lot of blood on their faces, showing that they had had a good morning hunt. A pack this size will require more food, so they seemed to be quite active and not ready to sleep. Had they had full bellies, they would have been resting. We watched them for quite awhile and then they eventually surrendered to the crocodile with their standoff and decided to give up the ‘drink’ and retreated in the opposite direction. Guess they will find water where it is safer.

 

We have had so much time to just BE with all these different animals. It’s great to see them in this way. They are really accepting of our presence. There have been several times when we would be sitting amongst some animals, and then another jeep pull up, in a more invasive way, and every time, the animals would go on alert and run off. They would just carry on as they normally would with us there. They seemingly know that we are just part of the animal community with them. This land is for all, and can be lived in so harmoniously, if respect is given to all who coexist together.

 

We are excited to see two more honey badgers this morning. Drive a bit further, seeing assorted game, the whole time, when we spot a female leopard perched on a termite mound.   She eventually climbs down and goes to lay under a bush. I connect with her and she sends a message that she is going to be hunting and shows me the direction, which happens to be the opposite way in which she seems to be laying or focusing. I take the binoculars and look in the exact spot where she shows me, which is on the other side of our vehicle from her. I see nothing and just wait to see what her next move is. Am I receiving the right message? She slowly gets up heads straight forward and then makes a hard left in front of the vehicle and heads right to the spot where she had shown me. She is off for a hunt. I am totally convinced that these leopards, are in fact , highly advanced at telepathic communication, as Alwyn said. We are sure of her intent to hunt, and notice some impalas just beyond the place where she is starting her stealth walk. We decide to just leave and let her find her next meal without interruption. We then are told that we are breaking for lunch. Our guides surprise us by pulling up to a beautiful opening in the grasslands along the Delta to a stunning view. Jackals and a leopard in Africa in camp last night.A long table with chairs set for our group. We are brought to tears. Our amazing helpers (5 guys, Patrick, Shedrick, I.T., G and K.K.) have set it all up. Even set up a bathroom, wash station and amazing food. This was a great gathering. We eat in the presence of many hippos in the waters behind us. So cool.

 

I cannot possibly write about all the animals we see in a day. They are constant. We watched some hippos fighting, then just a few 100 metres upstream we spot an enormous crocodile on the grassy banks of the river. He is huge.

 

We are being introduced to more plants everyday. There is one called a foam plant that the indigenous people of the land make tea out of. It is used in ceremony and initiation on a young adolescent/teen who may start to show disrespect for their parents. It is strongly understood that the young must care and respect the elders in their families and live together in community. If there is a member that starts to show this as not being their intention, then a ceremony and initiation will be held. The tea that is made from the foam plant is used to ingest and wash the body. There is so much that has been lost in our western world, and I fear that we have gone so far away from what should be as witnessed by the ancients and the animal kingdom. I hope to see some changes to help our world come back together. I remember one time communicating with a large silver backed male Chimpanzee in the Singapore zoo that gave me a powerful message to share………..’This world will not change unless families come together first’. This was stamped on me quite strongly, as it was told through the communication but also visually, through actions within the group of chimps living there. I cannot believe the strong theme of this whole trip, it is constantly interweaving the message of ‘oneness’ .

 

This afternoon at camp is the hottest yet. I cannot find any shelter from the heat, nor can anyone else. One of our members is experiencing heat exhaustion. I feel I am as well. I’m nursing myself with electrolytes and a good supply of water, but, even though I am spraying with a water bottle, showering and fanning myself, nothing seems to be working. I feel quite frustrated with this heat as I have a low tolerance to this intensity of it, that I could just spit……but my mouth is too dry.

 

Our afternoon drive brings more and more experiences. I have to laugh everytime I see a warthog, as I think about Pumba, in the Lion King.. They depicted the personality and movements so well in the animated show. Zazoo visits us everyday as well, as a hornbill. Even have seen Timone the Meerkat a few times. Lions drinking waterJust before sunset the pride of 5 females walk right up to the river, beside where we are parked to have a drink and get ready for their nightly hunt. This was so beautiful to watch . They are amazing animals. When they left, they walked right to our jeeps, so close, and we all could feel their energy so strong. What a beautiful view to end the day. I do not feel like eating tonight as it is just so hot. Greg, one of our participants is in bed with a good dose of heat exhaustion. I feel pretty rough as well. Everyone heads to bed. I lay there just sweating.   So I decide to get up and sit outside in hopes that I may feel somewhat of a breeze. I can hear the sounds of hippos, hyenas and a leopard close by. It all feels good. Eventually the ever so slight breeze cools me enough to go to bed. I decide to open the tent to get in and happen to surprise the two girls in the tent beside mine. Hmmmm, I am at the wrong tent. I frightened them, but when they realize it was me, we start to giggle. I went back to my tent still giggling. Especially since this is not the first time that I have been witnessed, going to the wrong tent. Hehe. End of another great day, I pray that tomorrow will be cooler. Sending good night wishes to everyone back home.

Hippos and Lions in Africa come visit our camp

October 22nd

Hippos and Lions in Africa come visit our camp last night.   It’s amazing how well I sleep through this. Even got up in the middle of the night, with my flashlight, could see some eyes in the lights, but still felt comfortable in going.

Then awoke to a most gorgeous sunrise. A promise of another spectacular day! We saw a couple of honey badgers again……….ohhhhh could this mean another leopard sighting? We hope so. Our Guides tell us that it is not common to see honey badgers, we are so excited. They remind me a lot of our badgers. We learned a lot about the ecosystem around here. This area used to be an area for hunting. They stopped that several years ago and have noticed how much more relaxed the animals are. We continued our drive and as we were coming up to a turn onto another trail, a less conscious guy came speeding through a herd of elephants throwing the large herd into a state of panic and anger. We approached right after seeing this and a large matriarch stood in front of our jeep shaking her head and roaring. There were several other adult males and females rumbling and showing signs of aggression. I immediately felt the need to stay present and help to bring the energy down. It was amazing to watch our Guide calm the elephants, by communicating with them, especially the one in front of our jeep. Soon the energy started to settle and they all walked into the forest relaxed. We were told later that some of the Guides have been hunters and think that this animal connection is not real. They often have much different experiences with the animals. We were reassured that more and more Guides are taking interest in the examples that our Guides are showing them. We then drove into another area and we heard some alarm calls from the birds again and 100 metres up the road, there it was, as promised by the honey badgers, another female leopard in a tree. My grandson, Avery, had asked if I could please get a picture of a leopard in a tree for him. I giggled and told him that I would do my best. Thanks Avery, for putting that out there. We watched her for awhile and then she climbed out of the tree and down to the ground where she walked on. We decided to vacate the area. Later we found out from another Guide that was there, that she killed another wild cat while they watched, just after we left. They are very territorial. It’s amazing what happens when we are just the observer in nature.

 

We then went to a place and went on a tracking walk. Alwyn was loaded with information about all that we saw. I love being out of the truck and amongst all of this. We had several large bull elephants around us, though we did keep our distance and managed to make our trek around them as they headed to the river to drink and bathe.

Back for lunch and taking some time to journal. It’s a little hard to do this and get in the headspace in this extreme heat. Another shower to cool me off and get rid of this dirt that cakes us in these drives.

In the afternoon we headed out and we spotted a couple of giraffes, but they were acting strange. They were looking upstream, not drinking and seemed to be preoccupied with what they saw. We decided to drive upstream and a very short distance away was a vehicle with a guy on one side of the river and a woman just exiting the water on the other side with a camera. Hmmmmmm The guy stops us and asks if he thinks the water is shallow enough for his vehicle. Alwyn says yeah, but this water is full of crocs and I just saw one here earlier this morning and it took an impala right here. The look on the guys face was priceless………SERIOUSLY Tourists. I can’t believe she went through the water, it is literally infested with crocs, hippos, and so much more. She is very lucky.

I’m starting to long for the cold waters of the Cape that we submerged in with Craig Foster. So so hot.

We did an amazing ceremony with a zebra bone this evening. We are doing many ceremonies and they are so powerful. Everyone is shifting in a very big way.

This is not a place that is just for animals. We are human animals, we must coexist together, the animals actually expect and accept that. Another sign of pure oneness. This trip is something else.

 

Lilac Breasted RollerI am tired and full of so much right now. Bed followed supper, immediately. We are all exhausted. This is a very special special place. I wonder what my grandbabes would think of this. Wish I could bring all my family here. I shall hope to dream of them all tonight. Under more incredible stars, than before, I’m sure, though not correct. I fall to sleep feeling content and so full of love for this land we call earth.

Cradled in the Arms of the Energies Here

October 21st

A nice breeze blessed us last night through our tents, so sleep went well.  I awoke in early dawn this morning to see a herd of zebras and wildebeests behind our tents.  I just can’t believe the wildlife here.  Greg and Sanam sleep in the next tent beside me and informed me that there was something sniffing Greg’s head through the tent wall, then there were some growls, that I also heard in the night.  The Guides confirmed that these were hyenas.  Amazing.  We had a short morning meeting after breakfast and then out we went on our game drive.  We headed to a new location and it wasn’t long till we came across two honey badgers.  Johann mentioned that ‘when a honey badger is seen, then a leopard will appear’.  We were excited with hopes of this coming true.

We headed to a location and all of a sudden the squirrels and birds started their alarm calls.   Alwyn followed with his knowledge and intuition and there she was…….a most beautiful leopard walking  on the ground towards a bush for some cool morning cover to rest.  This bush was so dense that we couldn’t see her.  We sat and waited.  I linked in with her, as did others, and asked her to show herself, so that we could admire her and then we would leave her alone.  A couple minutes later, she emerged from the bush, layed down, for about 7 minutes while we all just sat in awe at her stunning beauty and then she turned around and went back to lay in the cover of the bush.  Alwyn said that in all his years of his animal exposure and communication, he feels that the leopards are the most telepathic of all the animals here.  This was so incredibly exciting as these animals are not easy to find.  Guess the myth is true about the honey badgers.  It’s hard to write about all  of them, so I won’t.  The pictures and videos tell the stories well.

We made our way  back through this part of the Okavango Delta and came across a large dry area with holes in the ground.  We were told by Johann that these were elephant saltlicks.  There were layers of salt and minerals that you could see in the holes that they dug with their tusks.  While we were there an elephant showed up and became a bit agitated with us being there, so we left.  We then, with hearts filled with gratitude for our non stop animals that we experienced, headed for lunch and our rest.

Afternoons are a time that we all take a shower to cool off.  I love these showers btw, must have one for the outdoors.  Easy to make.  One of the girls here, Saffron, was having a shower and her head was just above the canvas walls of it, when two, very curious elephants came to visit.  There she was right next to the large elephants.  They came so close, she just continued showering even though they were there.  They slowly sauntered away when she was done.  The showers cool us of for a bit, but the toilet seats that are black are sure to  burn any part of you that touches it.  This is a challenge.  Ouch  We are all trying so hard to cool down, but it’s tough.

Alvyn and MBali announce to us that the evening drive will be without cameras or voices.  This was an amazing experience.  Our group, as we are all with the same knowing and understanding of the importance of silence for animals communication and experience, were usually quite quiet anyway, but this would prove to be interesting.  Well, to sum it all up………the animals were very relaxed with our presence and we all connected at a much deeper level.  I really enjoyed this, and the amount that one can witness, that is often missed behind the lens of a camera, is so breathtaking.  We returned for a beautiful supper and another circle gathering of sharing and ceremony.  These were happening most everyday and were all so powerful.

I am so mesmerized by this land.  I went to Kruger National Park last year and saw a lot of animals, but this is just nonstop.  There’s scarcely a 1 minute break where we are not seeing anything.  I am loving this all, but I am looking forward to going home.  What I have received from this land so far, has been more than I could ever dream possible.  I tuck in to the close sounds of a leopard and Baboons. Good night, I am cradled in the arms of the energies here and am grateful for it all.

Under the Heat and Stars of the Botswana Wilds

October 20th

Well, that was a great night’s sleep.  I went to bed with the sound of two lion roars and a few low rumbles behind our tent.  Then heard that these lions were right behind our tents.  So cool, glad I didn’t have to use the toilet at that time.  Just before sunrise I awoke to the couple sleeping in the tent next to me, stating that they saw elephants and zebras in our camp just an hour earlier.  We had a delicious breakfast and then loaded ourselves in the jeeps and we were off.  The land here is dotted with impalas everywhere, Johann says they are the ‘fast food’ of Botswana.  They seem nervous this morning.  So the guides are suspicious that there may be lions around.  Shortly thereafter there they were sleeping under a tree, 5 majestic Lionesses.  We sat there and just connected with them as they lay there digesting their night’s kill.

They are so beautiful, I feel incredible in their presence.  We spent the morning in pure awe at seeing so much wildlife.  We saw Kudus, mongoose, crocodiles, hippos, Baboons, so many birds, eagles, Tsessebe (pat of the impala family), so many elephants, giraffes, etc.   We then stopped to do an exercise that had us blindfolded and then we had to find the large termite mound that Alwyn and pointed out to us.  We were to use our senses and the practice of mind mapping to find it.  This was so very powerful.  Relying on our senses, other than sight, to lead us there.  While we were all taking the time to be blindfolded, two very curious elephants came into the area very close.  They just seem so curious and then moved on to the river.  It felt so good to get out of the jeep and be standing on the same ground as these and all of the animals.  I feel so very comfortable and no fear at all.  Alwyn encouraged us to do some mind mapping for the whole time.

So we had to remember where the lionesses, certain trees, herds of elephants, anything that stood out, were in relation to the camp.  He mentioned that we would be drawing a map of this at the end of the days.   Our guides kept pointing out the alarm calls of the birds and the squirrels. And then to sort it out as to what was going on.  This practice led us to some amazing sights.

After the morning game drive we headed to camp for lunch and rest in the peak heat of the day.   I am sitting under a tree writing this blog and struggling with the heat.  I have a spray bottle to help and it does give some comfort, but it doesn’t take long to be back to be back to the uncomfortable heat.  It is above 40 degrees.  We learned that this is the spring and is the hottest time of the year just before the rains.  This is also a good time to come as the grasses grow to 3 feet and there would be so much less to be seen because of that.  The animals are all so hot and come to the river a lot.

At 4:00 we headed back out for our game drive.

It’s amazing to see so many hippos in the water.  We watched the elephants be in the water with the hippos, yet they both respect each other’s space.  There was a swimming hole in the river that had a lot of hippos in it.  Two elephants came to bathe, but didn’t go too close to the hippos and gave them that space to swim.  They are respectful of each other.  There are far too many animals that we saw, for me to write about on this blog.  The guides are so informative and I have learned so much about these animals/birds/insects.  They love their work and love to share what they know.  It makes such a difference when you understand these animals at a deeper level.  The sunset tonight was so incredible.  We return to our camp for a delicious supper in the dark and then a gathering around the campfire.  We head to bed in hopes that a breeze will come, it is so at night.  Not much cooling down.

I have this incredible feeling as I reflect on the day.  Craig Foster showed us the abundance of life under the water.   Alwyn and Johann are showing us so much life on land.  I am incredibly in love with our earth.  Under the heat and stars of the Botswana Wilds, Good Night.

Into the Wilds of Botswana

October 19th

Into the Wilds of Botswana

I was sitting by a window in the plane looking out as we were starting out descent.  It looks like such desolate land.  Straw huts on sandy ground with little to no greenery around.  A few small huts/homes spotted sparsely throughout the landscape.  A different landscape from what I’ve seen indeed.  We landed in the small airport of Maun Botswana.  The intense heat has already hit me.   We meet our two Safari Guides, Alwyn and Johann who load our luggage on top of the jeeps and off we go into the depths of the Okavango Delta on the Khwaii River.  The roads are very dusty and I can already feel myself caked with the dust, as the sides of the jeeps are wide open.  Typical safari jeeps.  Our drive winds us through the very dry dirt road about 200 kms to our campsite.  The odd small village line the road we travel.  I am surprised to see an occasional tree with a broken plastic chair, all different colours, or a combination of them, hanging from it here and there.  We are told that these are signs to show what family lives down this trail.  One can see grass huts through the trees.  A whole family will live in one of these small areas together.  All family, till it is necessary to move on for whatever reason.  Some places just get abandoned if and when a family member may die, under certain circumstances.

We travel about 70 kms and come to a fence that is the final fence to separate the cattle from the wildlife, even though the land prior to this amongst the farmers is loaded with the wild animals.  They all live together, but this stops the cattle from going in and the wildebeests from going in to the farmland etc.  It is hot but we are all excited about the animals that we are seeing along the way.  Soon the rains come.  We are told that it has not rained here in 8 months.  We are now slightly cooler and the rains are welcomed to all of us, to cool us off and keep the dust down.  Looks like everywhere we are going we are bringing the much needed rain.  So nice.

We stop often to take photos so our drive takes us a little longer than usual and we arrive just before sunset to the outskirts of our camp where we are greeted by a pride of lions.  Two large males lay beside the road and wrestle with each other in a playful way.  We are told by our guides that the males have a stronger bond than even a male and a female do.   Our drive in alone, gifts us the sightings of  elephants, giraffes, impalas, hippos, kudus, eagles, warthogs, hornbills, and many more birds that I do not know the names of yet.  We all laugh and wonder what else we will do as we have seen so much already.  We all feel much gratitude for seeing the male lions and are told by Alwyn and Johann that they will likely visit our camp tonight.  This caused a few people to shake, rattle and role.  :o)

Our camp is amazing.  Green canvas tents line the perimeter of our space in a half circle.  We are sharing tents, 2 per tent.  We are on comfortable cots.  Behind the tents a little way back are our toilets that have a four walled canvas tent around it.  Placed a distance between them are four walled showers.  A bucket with a shower head welded to the bottom of it.  Beyond that is nothing but wild lands for the wild animals that we will coexist with for the next 6 days.  We have a mess tent where we will all sit  and eat our meals.  And a firepit in the middle for our gatherings.  I am so excited.  Part of Alwyn’s crew are 5 wonderful that  will cook, clean and care for the camp.  I am  so very excited and am thrilled to possibly have some visitors in the night.  After a blessing around the campfire, I stand in wonder at the bright stars in the sky and the large moon and am grateful to be here.  Good night from a land rich in life.

 

Botswanna Bound

October 18th

A beautifully restful sleep.  Awoke to some intense winds (that Craig referred to as a ‘gentle breeze’)  Temperature was quite cool as well.  The thought of going into the water  makes me shiver.  Up and gone by 0900 hrs back to the beach.  When we got there Craig went diving to find us some larger animals that we will likely never see.  In the meantime we had a ceremony on the beach and walked on the edge of the water and sang into the ocean.  Craig eventually came back with a bag of sea animals.  One of them was a juvenile Black Shy Shark.  It was so relaxed when we passed it around.  This is odd for one of these sharks to be so calm when being handled.  It’s interesting to see just how much you can handle an animal when they know that you are not a threat to them.  He also showed us a Heart Urchin.  He said that these are very tough to find and a lot of people never get to see them as they hide in the sand.  There were a few other sea creatures.  He is so incredibly passionate about the ocean and rich ecosystem.   A great man to be in the presence of.  He then returned all the animals back to exactly where he got them, while the rest of us entered the water for our final swim in the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean.  The wind was very strong.  One would think that it would be hot here, but not this time for us.  Craig mentioned that this is more normal weather today, than what we have been having.  Strong winds are a daily occurrence here, apparently, especially in this, their springtime.

We then headed back to Cape of Good Hope where we walked the beach to see what we could see.  This is a beach that Mbali said she has seen visions of our original ancestors walking the beach.  We came across many dead Geometric Turtles, just shells left.  There were more than Craig has seen before, that seemed to concern him.  There were also many baboon foot prints, so he figured that they must be killing them.  It has to be an animal with strong teeth, and that would make sense.  My guess is that Craig will keep an eye on this and try to figure it out.   We found some other very unique things and a couple of places that felt very ancient.  We also saw some Bonteboks with several young ones.

We returned for lunch and then a presentation of all of our photos that were taken during our time in the cave with the paint etc, that were put on a slide show, by Craig, for us all to see.  When our photo came up on the screen, we were invited to speak of our experience.  This was so incredibly powerful and moving for everyone.  This was one of the most powerful experiences I have taken part in.  I will never ever forget it.  He then presented each one of us, a laminated photo of ourselves, dressed in our primal self representation.  A keepsake for sure.

He also shared several photos and video clips of his dives in the underwater world, with his son.  It’s truly magical.  His son appears to have the same passion as his father.  His ability to capture an amazing moment on film, is truly a gift.

Another day is done, our final one here in Cape Town area.  We bid our farewells to Craig, Brad and Michelle (our amazing cooks, who cooked all of our food with love and great attention given to organic quality and variety.  We also said farewell to Mbali’s 3 young guys that are being mentored by her and Craig.  Arnold, Lindsey and Gershan.  They are native to these lands, with a history of ancestral tribal connection here.  It’s great that Mbali and Craig are passing on their teachings.

I am sorry that this time has come to an ends, but am also revving myself up for our  adventure into the wilds of Botswana.  We were told that our guide is, hands down, the most incredibly knowledgeable Bushman there is.  We will be staying in tents, by a watering hole by the Kwai River.  We will be showering from a hanging bucket, learning the art of tracking animals on foot and then will be going on safari as well in jeeps.  All the while, communicating with the animals, as our guide, Alwyn is also an animal communicator.

There will be no internet service, so this will be my last blog for the next 5 days.  I will be journaling everyday, but will not be able to post until the 24th.  Thanks for reading all that I’ve written, and I hope that you are all enjoying the journey with me.

I am getting ready for sleep, with deep thoughts about the ancestors of us all, that started in this area……the shores of South Africa.  I feel a very strong connection here and look forward to bringing that home with me.  I hope to share this all through a slideshow and see if I can’t spark some of that feeling of ‘oneness’ with others.

Good night……..Botswanna bound.

Primal Re-connection

Oct 17th

A day of remembering through primal re-connection.

Last night after supper the full moon rose above the ocean in all it’s splendor.  I asked if I could perform a full moon ceremony as it appeared that everyone was just going to head off to their respective nests till morning.  We lit some candles, gathered round and did a beautiful ceremony.  Then took it outside.  After everyone went to bed, my roommate and our neighboring roommate decided to have another one outside on our balcony.  We burnt our offerings to the moon, that we had wrote down on paper.  I then was ecstatic to see the picture that I took and how clear it was.  Then to bed which put me in a deep sleep.

After our delicious breakfast, we loaded in the van and headed to a beach.  Up in the rocks was a cave where we all gathered around and Craig explained that we would be partnering up and putting Ochre on each others faces, neck and shoulders, fully covering the skin.  Ochre is a red rock that we turned into powder by rubbing another rock against it.  This is what the ancestors used to paint themselves in ceremony, for skin protection against the sun, and used for ingesting for a stomach upset.  It feels like the best skin cream.  It is like talcum powder with oil in it.  Then we used yellow clay to paint on the face and hair.  We were then given jewellery made from shells, whale bone, seal teeth, dolphin vertebra (as it would have been made 100,00 yrs ago) and animal skins to cover and adorn us.   Then Mbali  came around and blessed and initiated us with a silvery powder that was extracted from a cave mineral called Specuralite.  (this powder helps to tie together one of the mysteries of my experience in the cave with Peter Nilssen) This was an unbelievable experience to reconnect us to our ancestral, primal selves.  We had a very powerful ritual after this among the caves and rocks, that is not something I can write about at this time.

We were asked to refrain from taking photos.  This was greatly respected and then Craig photographed us all individually.  This was an honour to be photographed by such an incredible person in his field of capturing moments through the eye of his lens.

We sat and had lunch in silence.

When it was all complete we headed down to the water where Mbali and 3 young men who are being mentored by her and Craig, did a water ceremony for each one of us individually, but submerging and suspending us in the water while she performed each persons cleansing.

This was incredibly powerful…………..this entire day.  The Ochre, the rock paint, the community, the jewellery, the skins, the water, the caves, the mirrors, the time spent alone in silence and just remembering where we came from.  This is an experience I shall never forget.

We left to head back to our showers along Chapman’s  Peak Drive.  This is considered to be the most stunning drive in the country.  Breathtaking views as you ride the mountain road along the shoreline.  This road was built through the rock during the second world war by Italian prisoners.  Absolutely stunning scenery.
Ceremony with Ochre and yellow clay

There were 12 mountain peaks that were pointed out to us and they are called the 12 disciples.

After showers to try to remove this paint and ochre, we sat for supper and then and early night to bed.  This has been, yet another, incredible day!  I am heading into a peaceful night of sleep under the rising moon that is appearing to be quite red/orange.  I wonder what sleep time will bring to me tonight.  Good Night to you all.

Everything Exists As A Courtesy To Everything Else

October 16th

Everything Exists As A Courtesy To Everything Else.

Had a good solid sleep.  That ‘fasting’ thing sure is good.  Makes one sleep really deeply.  Got up and had a delicious hot oatmeal breakfast with fruit and numerous seeds, nuts and berries to put in it.  Then we loaded the vehicle to head back down to the ocean to spend some great time with Craig Foster . Craig figured we had 1.5 hours of good viewing of all the life under the water before the tide started to come in.  He said, based on the fact that it is a full moon today, the tide’s variance is more extreme, about 2 metres in water level difference.  Craig has spent a great deal of time studying ocean life and is very passionate about it.  He said in the past few years he has discovered 40 new animals, some very minute, that have never been discovered before.  He spends every day exploring.  He said that he is being mentored by an amazing biologist who has been doing the same thing as him, but for 50 years.  Craig is incredibly passionate about his work.  We gathered around as he rolled over a rock and exposed thousands of species.  We often tend pay attention to more of the larger mammals in the oceans or the ones on land, and seldom give credit to the smaller ones.  One can sure see the cooperation of all life forms in support of each other, when you see it like this.  I have a framed picture in my room that I got from Dr Robert Cass that says…. Everything Exists As A Courtesy To Everything Else.  That rings through so clearly here.  No wonder, with all of this plant and animal life as food, that the first homo sapiens came from here.  We saw an octopus, who did an incredible job of camouflaging in each environment that he was in, as he was moved a couple of times just for us to witness this.  I could go on and on, but this is something that needs to be witnessed.  Just to think that we are only standing on the shore… the deeper you go, the larger the ocean life and so much more.  Although we can’t all just jump to go to Africa we can witness this in our own lakes, oceans, rivers,, streams, as well as all the plant and minute animal life in our own backyards.

We all found a quiet place to meditate and then had a beautiful tea break on the beach.  We returned for some integration time.  We had a very deep group conversation about many things.  One of them was everyone’s views, thoughts and ideas on the state of the planet.  It was enlightening to hear Craig’s views.  He instilled in us a lot of hope.  There is good evidence that nature can recover.  Craig feels that we really do not know what is going on and that the intelligence of nature is far more supreme than we ever realize.  He made a strong statement that registered deeply with me, ‘if you take it on, you become part of the problem’.  There really is a fine line, and a deeper level of understanding that can really make the difference.  The beautiful thing that I am witnessing here is that the ocean here is so abundant in life.  There’s been so much talk back home about the poor state of the oceans, but what I witnessed today is astounding.   This topic is another one that should be discussed deeper in person.

After lunch we gathered for some group conversation and some pics of the documentary that Craig is working on regarding the reenactment of Human Origin as it was 100,000 years ago.  Can’t wait for the completed film.  One of the things that I found so interesting that he spoke of, was the fact that people did not start wearing clothes till about 80,000 years ago.  The weather was apparently cooler prior to then, and yet they survived well, naked.  He said to immerse ourselves in nature and become the human animal that we truly are and lose our softness.

One of the girls came up to me and said ‘and why did we think it was so much more important to put our children in schools to learn when the greatest teachers are in nature’ .  I hope that more people immerse themselves and their children into the great outdoors, and become vulnerable to all that inhabit it.  ‘What We Love We Protect’ So spend time in nature and fall in love with it, as we are not separate from it, but we are part of it.  This is really simple if we all just do it, we can make huge positive changes in our world.

We then spent some time watching a Southern Right Whale breaching out of the water in front of us.  It was spectacular.  Now more integration time and then a supper.  I think that I will end this now and prepare for a powerful day tomorrow, immersed in the waters of the Indian Ocean and a ceremony of remembering using Ochre stone paint on ourselves.  I am intrigued and am looking forward to tomorrow.

60,000 years ago, people started leaving Africa to head to other lands (now countries).  I’m thrilled to be returning back after all these years.  I will look up at the moon and envision the unity of all of us as we all take in the energies of it’s power.