The Ultimate Safari
The story “The Ultimate Safari” has been written by a famous author of South Africa ‘Nadine Gordimer’.
She narrates the story as a small girl of age nine years. She is one of the three children in the family Along with her there are her elder and younger brothers. Her grand parents lived in some other village. A war had broken out in South Africa and her father had gone to fight there. Her mother had gone to fetch some oil but had not returned for long time. So the children were alone in the house. The bandits had attacked their village and had burnt most of the houses. Children were afraid if the mother was killed by the bandits.
Their grand parents came to their house as they were informed by some one that the children were alone. The girl describes her grandma to be stronger and more enthusiastic than her grand father who seemed to be very reluctant. They were all hungry so grandmother went to take some wild spinach but that was over as every one had done the same. So she decided to go away for their survival. She exchanged her church cloth for the dried mealies which she boiled and kept. She sold her shoes to buy a container for water. Then they joined the group of people who were also going away.
To go away they had to cross Kruger Park. During the journey they were asked not to touch the wires at the fence as they carried current. They were all very hungry so they girl’s elder brother with his friends brought a tortoise to be killed and cooked but the man who led them asked not to cook it as they could not light fire as they would be detected by the police and wardens on doing so and they would be sent back.
During their journey they also met a herd of elephants sleeping lions and other wild animals. During night when they stopped to sleep they tried to sleep as close as possible avoiding the places at the edges to be safer from the wild animals.
Many of them had gone ill and thin by eating the wild fruits which actually had made them suffer from malnutrition. Once their grandfather asked to go to the tall grasses for some work and he did not return for long. The whole group waited for him but ultimately decided to go as the leading man told that if the children were not fed soon then they might die. Sop grand mother also decided to go by understanding the situation and thus sacrificing her husband. The girl had tears on her eyes on hearing this news.
Finally they reached their destination, the relief camps. Their they were provided sacks of grains and other edible materials. There was also a clinic where the doctor visited weekly. Grand mother took her smallest grand son to him regularly as he had become abnormally thin and ill. The clinic also provided ORS to all the refugees on swallowing which many people vomited or suffered hiccups. Grandmother had also taken up job in a nearby construction site. She brought shoes and polishes for her grand children form the money she earned. She also sent them to school and helped them to do their home work. They looked much different amongst all other children. Once, a media group reached the camp. They enquired with the grand mother that for how long they had stayed in the camps and when they would return back home. To this she sadly answered that their home was no more and they were no thinking to return. Her attitude surprised the girl as she still had the hope that her parents would come back and they would be in their house together once again.