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The Greatest Job I'll Ever Have

Posted by Dave Allee on


The Greatest Job I'll Ever Have is working at a safari outfit in the remote bushveld of Tanzania.

The Greatest Job I'll Ever Have pays next to nothing in the way of finances, but the benefits are unmatched.  

The Greatest Job I'll Ever Have will never make any sense to the Fellow Back Home who wouldn't dream of sleeping in a tent in his own back yard; surrounded by a six-foot fence and a thousand square miles of suburban cushion between himself and the nearest hint of wild.

The Fellow Back Home will never understand, because he has it all wrong.  The Fellow Back Home projects his own greed and ambition onto a world that doesn't play by any of his manufactured rules.  

You see, the Fellow Back Home spends his days consuming and accumulating, and spends his leisure as nothing more than an observer.  

He has been an observer so long, that he can no longer differentiate between observing and participating.

Sure, the Fellow Back Home has traveled to Africa once before.  He slept in a facsimile of a safari tent.  He bumped around in an amusement park version of a safari truck.  

And when old Simba showed his face, the Fellow Back Home snapped away on the camera, elbow to elbow with seventeen fellow adventure-seekers; bumper to bumper with six other safari buses.  

All the while, Simba lay there under the shade of an acacia shrub, enduring his sea of adorners, until it was time for them to move on and photograph some odd variety of antelope; and antelope they will no-doubt forget the name of before stepping foot on the plane home.  

The Fellow Back Home will return to his routine with an album full of photos, and a false sense of understanding about the world he blew through. Never realizing that he is still nothing more than a passive observer.

The Greatest Job I'll Ever Have, like anything worthwhile, requires a far deeper relationship.  There are no passive observers in this camp. No freeloaders either. 

The Greatest Job I'll Ever Have requires a sense of reverence and vulnerability hardly known in a city.

The Greatest Job I'll Ever Have is misunderstood as some form of selfish acquisition, because The Fellow Back Home doesn't have a compartment in his brain to categorize exactly what it is I am here to find.

What the Fellow Back Home fails to realize, and my dear friend Peter Capstick put so eloquently, is the sportsman travels to Africa only peripherally to hunt.  More accurately, the sportsman travels to Africa to associate with the untamed; to step out of the realm of spectator, and squarely into the arena of the participant.  The work is hard, the bugs bite harder and the sleep, although well-earned, is limited.

To face African game on foot, on their home field, is to enter into a dance that has existed between man and beast since the dawn of time.  A dance that some would prefer to think we have evolved beyond.  I can assure you, our relationship with the raw power of nature will exist so long as we walk this Earth, regardless of how insulated we intend to arrange life.

And if all this weren't enough to thoroughly perplex the Fellow Back Home, just wait until he finds out that I am not here to hunt.  

I am here to do everything but.  

The shooting is reserved for the clients.  Clients who will likely only get to experience this for a week or two in their whole lives.  

The Greatest Job I'll Ever Have is simple: Ensure each client gets a dozen year's worth of living out of their two weeks in the 'veld. 

The Greatest Job I'll Ever Have has taught me about enough about life and death that I am certain I will never view either the same.  No matter how far I end up from this place, no matter how comfortable my routine becomes, no matter if I become the Fellow Back Home myself, the lessons learned out here will tug at my sleeve, so long as this place continues to exist.