“Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl, it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.”Henry David Thoreau
If I were given a choice between a fancy five star in a tourist hotspot or a cottage in the wild, I would have no hesitation in choosing the wilder of the two. I would always want to try out the lesser of the beaten path, away from the noise of structural order, into the calm of unexpected chaos. Ulwazi, translated as a data centre for knowledge in Zulu, was a lodge located in the middle of the jungle and it was just the setting required for that calm.
Thanda Private Reserve had built a sustainable set of cottages and a lodge to encourage conservation activities, and help the volunteers be as close to the wildlife as possible. At times a little too close as I remember waking up at 4.30 AM opening the door to see a hyena curiously scanning the property, I guess it got the bulletin about new humans in the lodge, because I definitely heard them laughing about it later at night.
Additionally they, African Impact along with Thanda took sustainability to a level beyond what I had ever been exposed to. As an example, our water rules were as follows, you shower with a bucket under you, that water is used to flush the toilet in your bathroom (wherein the rule was yellow let it mellow, brown flush it down), the manure rich water then goes through natural filtration processes, which is finally used to water the vegetable garden, from where we cooked our fresh meals. Ya, I know thinking about it grosses you out, but believe me this is really clean water, much better than the water that is being used for agriculture most places across the globe.
What this gave me was a sustainability benchmark and an environmental conscience, concepts that are now ingrained in my DNA. Not to a level where I’d preach others or prohibit anyones lifestyle, only to the degree where I’d fiercely argue with the waiter at a restaurant to not replace my dish after a course ends (it really throws them off, worth trying at a restaurant near you).
“Why is it that the hyena even eats bones, doesnt leave trash and no garbage dumping zones,
Why is it that the ele has a jolly good time, splashing water sublime but no drainage line.
Why is it that zebras graze & graze & graze, and yet the savannah survives and the grass stays.
Why is it that humans are smartest of them all, but still v/s nature have a glaring shortfallInfinite Explorer