Day 9

Yesterday morning we awoke at six to the sun beating down on our tents and the loud playful trumpeting of a nearby elephant. We were momentarily confused as Elliot enthusiastically began to accompany it, and woke the whole camp up. Soon after, we got ready, filled up on Nutri-grain bars, and walked over to meet our guide for our early morning safari.

We split into groups to better cover the 4,577 square kilometers of park, and set off with our rifle-carrying tour guide. As we left for the safari we encountered several warthogs, deer, and a mischievous family of baboons. Clearing a ridge we looked down into an expansive watering hole where a small herd of elephants was bathing. They were soon joined by others and we snapped pictures and watched in awe as they played around in the water. After hiking down we wandered through the lush jungle where we observed antelope standing guard over their territories and our guide explained the medicinal properties of several different plants. Many of us sported attractive green wellington boots we had borrowed from the park after forgetting our close-toed shoes, but we were immediately grateful when we forded a muddy river and waded through marshlands.

When we returned from our morning adventure we were elated to find real food in the form of omelets and toast from the hotel restaurant. Soon thereafter the first driven safari departed for their 11:00 sojourn deeper into the wilds of Mole National Park. We saw Waterbok, Ibex, red monkeys, and a multitude of other creatures from our position atop the jeep. Upon returning from our foray into the African jungle, it soon became apparent that it was pool time. The entire company settled in for a long afternoon of food, and relaxation. As 3:30 approached, the second group left for their safari drive. We chatted with fellow do-gooders Peter, Tyler, and Mitchell, who were working at an orphanage outside of Accra. We finished off the evening with an incredible sunset. We all drifted off to sleep under the vast and starry African night sky, listening to the soft chorus of various nighttime voices.

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