Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Writer's Workshop

A time you feared for the safety of a loved one.

It is so sad that this prompt is an easy one for me, however, this is be one of those moments you will never forget, even if you want to.

Ethan's first Christmas we stayed in Dar. We'd just gotten back from having him, and Scott had started a new job, so we really couldn't afford to fly back home. We spent Christmas with our wonderful Little Theatre friends, and shared Christmas dinner with Roy and Zack. 

We decided, we needed to do something for New Years! So Scott planned a wonderful trip to Ruaha. Joel was our driver back then, and we adored him. We thought it would be nice to take him and Thomas, his 9 year old son with us. It was our Christmas present to them, and since we were driving there, Scott and Joel could share the driving while the kids (Ethan and Thomas) and I relaxed.

We reached Ruaha around 4pm. The park closes at 6pm, and after having been in the car for the past 2 days, I just wanted to relax. Scott could tell that Thomas was itching to see some animals. This was his and Joel's 1st time at a game park, and they couldn't wait to get started.

Ethan and I hung out in the dining hall, while the boys grabbed a map of the park and headed off for a short game drive.

A little before 6, Scott and the boys weren't back and I knew something was wrong. Even though they had until 6 to get back, knowing Scott, he would have aimed to be back by 5:30. But since he still had time, there was nothing I could do.

Around 6, people started to come to the hall for drinks and share their stories on what they saw. Still no sign of Scott. By now I'm freaking out. What should I do? And, to top it off, there was no network, so I couldn't get a signal to call Scott. 

By 6:15, I couldn't take it any more. something has happened. I just know it. It is not like Scott to be late. He's out there! Somewhere. I find the lady that runs the camp we're staying at, and I let her know. By now, the staff is getting ready for dinner service. The more I talk, the more upset I get. She tries to convince me to get something to eat, but I can't handle it anymore. I want to know where Scott is! Ethan and I head off to our cabin, while she makes some calls.

By 7 pm, it's pitch black outside. She comes to my room, with food (bless her) and informs me that they've done some searching but cannot find them. How far could they have gone? They left at 4pm. She asks if I know which direction they would have gone in, and all I can think of is "go 45 minutes in all directions"! They can't have gone to far.

Nine o'clock rolls around, and there's still no sign of Scott. I'm convinced he's trapped somewhere, fending off hungry lions, and trampling elephants. She comes by, notices the untouched food, and informs me, that it's now too dark. They've called off the search for the night. Seriously? We're leaving him out there? What if he gets eaten? 

I have to give them a lot of credit. There's a raving woman with a barely 6 month old, freaking out that her husband and mates are out there being mauled and she's so calm. She leaves a Maasai with me, to stay outside, so I don't have to be alone. He was great too. I couldn't sleep, but had to get up a few times to change Ethan, so he would come inside with his flashlight so I could see what I was doing. (No generator at night).

The next morning, I'm sitting in my room, ready to be told Scott's been found. But no one comes to see me. And once again, my imagination gets the better of me. I'm thinking I need to get in touch with Scott's dad and tell him he's gone missing. I need to call my family. I need to get out of this place and back home. 

I start to head for the office, or even restaurant. Anywhere where someone can tell me what's happened to Scott and the boys. And then it starts raining! Oh great! Just what I need! Now Ethan's crying, I'm freaking, and have no clue what to do. I'm outside a cabin, and one of the guests sees me and comes over with an umbrella. When he sees I'm crying, he asks what's wrong, and well now I loose it. I'm convinced Scott's dead and can't articulate myself. He takes us to his cabin where he's parents are. His mom gets me to calm down, and gets her son to get me some breakfast. She sends her husband off to find some information for me. Ethan and I spend the morning with them. I will always regard them as angels that came when I needed them.

Finally, at noon, I'm told the boys have been found. I can breathe. He's not dead after all.

Scott, Joel and Thomas finally show up at 4pm. They took a wrong turn somewhere and when they tried to turn around, they got stuck in the mud. They spent the night sleeping in the car. In the morning, they realised how far off the road they were, and figured it would take a miracle to be found. So they got out of the car. Yes, that's right. These bright boys thought it would be safe to get out of the car, and walk in a game park and search for help! They were armed with a tire iron, an umbrella, and a stick! That would really scare off a famished lion!!!!! It also turned out the reason they couldn't be found the night before, is they weren't just 45 minutes away. They were on the other side of the park. A good 2 hours away!!!!

But they came back, safe. I wanted to leave and head back to Dar immediately, but the car was in a state and needed repairs, so we stayed. It turned out to be a lovely week, but I honestly would never have guessed it. To this day I still get shivers thinking of that night.

Mama's Losin' It


Leah said...

That sounds just awful! I've been to parks like that in Kenya and others in Africa so I know exactly what they can be like. I would have been freaking out just like you were-maybe even worse!

Erin said...

Yikes! I would have freaked out a lot earlier than you did! You did great handling that!

Anonymous said...

That's awful.. I would have been freaking out too, and imagining the worst. I can't believe they decided to get out of the car!! Glad they got back safe and sound.
Stopped in from Mama Kat's.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Wow. What an intense two days! I would have been terrified if I were YOU OR THEM.

I am visiting from mamakat's. I wrote about the same prompt. I would love for you to come and read mine!


Christy said...

oh my goodness, how scary! I don't know how I would have handled that!

I'm glad you made it and everyone was alright!

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

What a trip! I'd be a nervous wreck too. Glad they were okay. I always thought this kind of thing would be a fun trip for us, now I'm not so sure. We are pretty good at getting lost even on main city roads.

Stopping by from writer's workshop. Here's ours:

Marryth said...

My gosh, what a trip! D: I would have freaked out a lot worse than you did, I suspect - kudos for holding it together as well as you did!

Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I'm now following your blog as part of the 'Bloggers Swap' on swap-bot.

Amber said...

It gives me the shivers just READING about it! I definitely would have been in the same state as you. I'm glad that they were safe, though.

(This is PisceanMama from Swap-bot. I was already following you before, but I'm here this time for the Bloggers Swap!)

lorijo2003 said...

Wow! Your post makes my life seem very boring:) I have never worried that my husband was being eaten by lions. I can't wait to check back and read more of your posts! (lorijo2003 following from SB bloggers swap)