The Ancient Art of Bedtime Stories

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. —Jacqueline Kennedy Most nights, I lay in bed with two little souls nearing sleep in the crook of each arm, reading one last bedtime story from a title off our bookshelf. Last night, we chose one of the Value series picture books, namely, The Value of Adventure: The Story of Sacagawea, which follows the tales of a young Shoshone girl. What ...

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Love, Truth and The Musketeers’ Code

Or, Why I Travel with the Kids As much as I enjoy the odd trip with me, myself and I, having my sons by my side on adventures gives new meaning to the journey. Below are eight reasons I gleefully pack three overnight bags instead of one and lug cricket bats and wickets across a desert for the sake of travelling with the kids rather than ...

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5 Life Lessons from One Tribe to Another

Our time with the Bushmen in the Kalahari was short. But its impact eternal. We’re well aware that their lives are not as they used to be, that they’ve had to make compromises to adapt to the inevitability of progress, but their beliefs, their inimitable knowledge and wisdom, and their notion of the art of living remains. The team at Unchartered Africa‘s Camp Kalahari, where ...

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Courage, Canoes and the Pink Dolphin Unicorn of the Zambezi

“Let the wild rumpus start!” – Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are At age 5, Renzi has a clear idea of his spirit animal. As he exclaimed the other day, breathless with elation, “Moma, moma, I can get a unicorn now. I’m not afraid of heights anymore!” He lights up at the unicorn paraphernalia I present to him daily (I swear I am not to ...

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The Road Has Always Led West

“It should not be denied that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations. Absolute freedom. And the road has always led west.” These are the words of the “Dean of Western Writers”, Wallace Stegner, as quoted in the film, “Into the Wild”, the great ode to the spirit of ...

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Dr. Edith, Medicine Woman

Some people have Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Some have Grey’s Anatomy. I have Edith. She is elder, nurse, sage, our own medicine woman, out here, on the remote Zambezi riverbank, offering healing in a mix of potions and poultices. In the same way that spending time watching McDreamy and McSteamy turns us into doctors in our own right, or at least in theory, kind of… filling us with knowledge ...

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The Language of the Wild and Free in Madagascar

If I think about a time on our travels when my boys have been, and felt, the most unrestricted, the freest and most wholly themselves, it unequivocally has to be the Easter we spent in Madagascar. The holiday Renzi took on the nickname, Frenzi. It becomes clearer to me with each new adventure, each new destination, how utterly important it is for children to be ...

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The Beginnings of Bravery in Botswana

  I want you to know that there is an infinite amount of new experiences left in the world, my dear sons. And not only for you, but for me too. In spite of the many years between you and me, there still exists a universe of firsts for us to share. Times when my eyes will be wider than yours, my mouth agape and as speechless as ...

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Through the Desert on a Horse Named Carrots

We were in the middle of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans when the endorphins began to take hold. I remember saying something like, “I could ride on forever!” This wasn’t Fear & Loathing but the desert of the Kalahari isn’t too unlike the Mojave in Hunter S Thompson’s novel. Instead of a red convertible, our vehicles were horses that hailed from all over southern Africa – Malawi, Botswana, ...

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Boys, Meerkats and the Concept of Time

There is a quote that reads, Time spent in nature is never wasted. Sigmund Freud believed that it was time with cats that was never a waste. So, I guessed, while planning a trip with the boys, you surely cannot go wrong with both cats, well, meerkats, and the wilderness. We piled bags, cricket bats, Boon Boon the Velveteen Rabbit and road trip snacks into the car and headed from our home at ...

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