December 11th

Wednesday December 11th, 1974
“Out in the bush” and Limuru, Kenya
This morning we woke up fairly early.  M.G. and Ken went out walking while I was cooking breakfast.  The Masai man who helped us find the camp site came back this morning to help with the hunt.  He brought a can of milk for Robert and Simon, the African help that we brought along.  I stayed in the camp and cooked lunch which was stew.  Ken shot a Grant’s gazelle and Alan shot a wildebeest.  We just rested after lunch and then about 4 o’clock we packed up and came home.  When we got to Athi River where you are supposed to sign in the African man was not there.  We waited for about ½ hour so then M.G. just reached inside the tent and got his book to sign.  As we were on the highway we met him, so he was able to sign M.G.’s papers.  He was disappointed for he thought he had a ride back to his place of work.  We got into Limuru around 7 o’clock.  The men put the meat in the cooler at the Assembly.  I fixed our supper which was hot dogs.  We all got baths and looked for ticks.  I have a rash on one side that is really itching.  We had a letter from Charlotte and several other people.

Today as I think back on my time in Kenya, our hunting trips are one of the highlights.  This morning before breakfast Dad and I spent some time out around the campsite.  He was passing on his knowledge from the trail to his youngest son while the older one slept in.  Even today I guard the secret rite that was given me that day.  Alan, who chose the weaker path, will never comprehend what…Actually; Dad was teaching me why we dug the latrine pit downwind of camp or something like that.  Mom and Dad always did their best to not choose favorites among us kids and I have learned as I grew older to appreciate that more and more.

We always tried to pick up a local when we went hunting because they knew where all the game was located.  When you live off the land all your life knowledge about that kind of thing is essential for existing.

Later that morning I took down a fleet footed antelope with one well placed shot.  Alan lucked out and hit the bovine like wildebeest that died of surprise at being struck by such a novice.  We headed back to camp with the meat and skins while the Africans sang the “Hunter’s song” in honor of the youngest son and his prowess with his weapon of choice.  Alan skulked around camp until we packed and left only then acknowledging Ken as the mighty warrior provider that he was.  (The previous account contains some editorial comments that may or may not be completely factual.  Some items may have been exaggerated in order to make this story more interesting.)

Dad got the papers signed in true Kenyan fashion and the only one who walked away unhappy was the man who had to walk away.

When we reached the house we all took part in the “after hunt” hunt for ticks.  This time we brought no unwanted tourists back from the hunting trip.

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