Sole Sisters

Posted by on

Five years ago, I took a 21-day camping tour of South Africa with my three sisters (I’m the oldest of four wonderful women).  The most unforgettable part was a camping trip to an island in the Okavango Delta.  We were dropped off in a small village of just a dozen or so houses constructed of mud and pop cans.  Here, we met our guide for the Mokora boat ride to the island where we were to camp.  My sister Shauna and I were greeted by a sweet young woman - I can't remember her name - mostly because I could not pronounce it but will never forget her face.  She shared countless generations of knowledge about the land, water, and wildlife.  We were so lucky to enjoy the three days of learning from her. It was remarkable to me that most of the guides, including ours, wore no shoes.  We figured it was because of the constant water spilling into the boat, but realized after a night of hearing about her life over the camp fire that it was because the type of shoes they could afford could not withstand the wear that they needed to.  They were in and out of water, leading us through many mile hikes - all in bare feet!  Their soles were as tough as leather.  On our return to the island our tour guide recommended that we give our Mokora guides a gift of a few dollars, food treats or articles of clothing we could do without.  The sister who shared my boat gave our guide a beautiful ring from her finger (a promise ring from an ex so .....)  and I gave her the blunnies from my feet ( my very first pair so they were well loved).  This is why I will never forget her face: she cried and was so incredibly grateful!  (Then we cried).  She danced around in those boots showing all of her friends her gifts.  It was one of the top ten most awesome moments of my life.  The sister I was with has since married an Aussie (and got another ring) and lives in Sydney with their new little daughter. I have since replaced those Blundstone boots and added two more little pairs to the mud room for our four and two year old.  A lot can happen in five years but I bet those Blundstones in Botswana are still kicking!   Andrea Greyerbiehl Clarksburg, Ontario

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.