Our Great Big Wilderness Adventure

Now if you’ve been reading this blawg-o-mine for any length of time, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I am not, by and large, a girl who spends a lot of time outdoors. In fact, I believe I’ve mentioned that nature would be ever-so-much more enjoyable for me if it were air conditioned.

And I still think there’s merit to that idea, by the way.

So you can imagine my apprehension when I found myself climbing into a(n) (un-air conditioned) van around 6:30 IN THE MORNING last Saturday so that I could ride around and look at animals in their natural habitat.


Heather was insistent that we ride in the same van, mainly because she wanted to hear me say “OH MY LANDS” over and over again.

For the record, I didn’t say “OH MY LANDS” very much at all.

But I did say “OH MY WORD” about eleventy-four thousand times.

Our guide was a guy named Emmanuel, and I can’t even tell you how comforted I was by the presence of someone whose name translates to “God with us.” Because I don’t know when I’ve ever craved God’s presence more than I did when confronted with, you know, REAL LIVE LIONS.

I’m just sayin’.

Once Heather, Carlos, Shaun, Shannon and I were settled in the van, we headed down some bumpy dirt roads. And I have to confess: I started to warm up to the whole notion of spending the morning in nature when I looked to my right and saw this:


That was pretty cool.

And, you know, this wasn’t so bad, either:



Because whether you’re a nature fan or not, seeing elephants about twenty-five feet from your vehicle really is about seventy-two kinds of awesome.

One of the most surreal parts of our excursion is that the guides talked to each other on their cell phones so that they’d know which animals were where. In all honesty I was a bit jealous about their cell coverage because I would have given anything to be able to send Big Mama a text message that said, “HELLO, I AM LOOKING AT ALL THE NATURE.”

And believe you me: when Emmanuel got word via cell phone that there were lions not too far away, our driver took off down those dusty roads at a rate of speed I have only experienced when I was afraid I wasn’t going to make it to a Popeye’s by closing time.

So what I’m saying is that there was a certain sense of urgency.

Because look! Lions!


And Carlos!


And Shaun! Who can laugh even in the presence of a high-powered rifle!


Our trek lasted about three hours, and I must have taken 150 pictures. But before you look at a picture of me, I feel that I must explain the kerchief atop my ahead.

Or as Carlos called it: my FundanaTM.

There was never any question that I needed to wear some sort of protective covering on my head. But given the baseball cap disaster the day before, I wanted to wear something a bit more sassy and colorful.

However, since I didn’t put on the FundanaTM until I was in the van, I was unaware of how I looked in a FundanaTM until I saw this picture.

Prepare yourselves, people.


Needless to say, I don’t think it’s a look I’ll be repeating.

But FundanaTM or no, that day was one of the highlights of my life.

Because yeah, the animals were were great.

And that large body of water they call the Nile River? Even better.

But these people?



Hands-down. Best part of all.

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  1. I’m first to leave a post? Wow! What great pictures and I really do like the do-rag thag!

  2. I heart you, Boo Mama.

  3. But, Babydoll, you WERE colorful–outside, inside and upside down!

    Or is that “Fundana-ful” which could be translated to the same but in less words?!


  4. Actually, I meant to say “colorful-and-sassy…”

    Forgive the omission…….:)

  5. Christine says:

    Lions! And Carlos! And Shaun! Oh My!
    Sorry…couldn’t resist! This post is awesome! I can’t imagine how cool that would’ve been! You’d have had to come back around and get me after the giraffes! That’s one of my dreams, an African safari. Especially with giraffes! Love the Fundana! Perhaps not the right choice when chasing to Popeyes before it closes, but on safari – definitely workin’ for you!
    I’ve absolutely loved every word you’ve written about this trip. What a privilege it’s been to share it with you all and see it through so many different perspectives!

  6. I laughed hysterically when I heard your comment about a “touch of conjunctivitis”. Last week, I actually had a touch of conjunctivitis. My 1st grader said, “Mommy, maybe you could wear sunglasses to my Valentines party at school. I’m just saying.”

  7. Oh. My. Lands.

    I would have ridden with you to hear that eleventy-four thousand times, too, BooMama! And to see you in your “‘do rag” as in hair do (or don’t in your opinion).

    :- ) Lions, Giraffes and Elephants, oh my!

  8. Wow, what awesome pictures. You could have petted one if you wanted. I have only seen these kinds of animals in a zoo. You will remember this trip for a very long time.

    Love and Hugs,

  9. Great reading about your adventure. The animals were amazing. You gave me a good laugh about the Popeye chicken. You sound like a lot of fun!

  10. What an awesome adventure!!!!!! :-) I like the Fundana!

  11. Jessica R says:

    Welcome to the nature Boo! Love the fundana, it is some kind of sassy. Perhaps not the kind mama would approve of but sassy nonetheless.

  12. I think you could possibly take any topic in the whole wide world and make it super funny!
    You need to come over to my blogosphere and see the new house we are moving to! It’s a miracle of God that we got it! ;)

  13. I am a southern girl.

    I’m a freckled, had-so-many-sunburns-as-a-child-I’ll-be-supporting-all-the-skin-cancer-research-labs-single-handedly, fluffy-not-fat, hormonally-driven-thinning-haired, Florida cracker.


    May I just say, that given the opportunity, I would have worn that fundana in a heartbeat.

    Oh, yes, and very proudly too!


    My motto is and has always been – “Function Over Form”. Pretty is nice, but something that is pretty and DOES THE JOB??? You just can’t beat that with a stick!

    Thanks for doing us proud, Sophie!

  14. Love you BooMama! Love your blog! Love reading about your trip and Compassion! The Fundana? Not so much!

  15. LOVE those photos. :) I am trying so hard NOT to be jealous right now. :)

  16. Great pictures:)

  17. I wonder if the Fundana will be on BigMama’s list of must-have items for Spring?

    It’s now on mine :)

  18. Thank you for braving the nature to bring us the photos. :)

  19. I think the fundana is cute!

  20. Sophie,
    I loved the pics of your safari! Wow! How awesome is that. Also, since I worked yesterday(substitute teacher)and was at a church basketball tournament last night until after 10–good gravy… it was a school night!–I didn’t see your post from Thursday until now. Those pics of the waterfall are breathtaking as well. You go, girl! I’m so proud of your hiking to see that especially in your crocs!

    OK–now the “fundana” issue. I feel your pain. I wore a do-rag last summer while running to try to keep the sweat out of my face–it did not work!It did keep my head cool. Running in the South is a feat in itself! Anyway, we took some pics(for scrapbooking purposes of course) after a training run. I had on my bright pink do-rag. I saw that thing and had a hissy fit. Oh,my word…it made me look like …not even sure what it made me look like, but it wasn’t pretty! At least your fundana was cuter and even more functional than mine. You need to definitley keep it with your “theme party” clothes in case the occasion arrises. Don’t get rid of it!

    Sorry for such a long comment, but….I saw where you are going to be the the “SHE SPEAKS” conference in June! I am so excited! I am really looking forward to this conference and to meeting you!

    Have a wonderful weekend–we have more basketball tournaments!!!

  21. Trying to fight off the envy. Not working.

  22. What a fun trip and great opportunity to make some awesome friends! The pictures were fantastic! :-)

  23. God totally blessed your animal encounters b/c I have friends that have been to Africa and they have just seen a few antelope and wildebeast. You saw some really awesome animals and they were not behind a wall at the zoo. That rocks!
    May God continue to amaze you with all the wonders and blessings He showed you during that time!

  24. I suspect that my desire to wear a fundana would be directly proportionate to how bad my hair looked. Not that I am in any way saying your hair might have looked bad. Because I’m sure it didn’t. I’m just talking about me. Not that I expect to be on a safari somewhere in Africa any time soon. But if I do, I’ll be packing me some headgear.

    Loved the nature pictures!

  25. wow! those wildlife pictures were just like tv…only on my computer. But somehow they seemed more exciting coming from someone I pretend I know because I read her blog :)

    I like the fundana – it’s very african safari. You totally pulled it off.

  26. You lied, I heard “oh my lands” about 150 times. Not nearly as much as “Oh my word” but still it satisfied my ears! Miss you . H

  27. I am loving the Fundana…you rock it girl, for real. (We call them Do-rags up in the north, although I think Oprah was marketing the Fundana or maybe it was Rosie…) If you like it, just WEAR the thang!

  28. Oh my goodness! what a wonderful out of Africa kind of adventure. SOOO glad you got that experience – and as an aside – Sophie could you possibly help that sweet Carlos come out of his shell – I mean I don’t really know the man but if he could rid himself of those inhibitions – I believe he could just be on fire for the Lord!
    Your Fundana look – like y’all have been blogging – priceless.

  29. BTW – the Do Rags -otfen worn by welders under those welding masks – keeps the head from being too uncomfy – so you can do that next time you are welding.

  30. Way cool! :)

  31. “at a rate of speed I’ve only experienced when I was afraid I wasn’t going to make it to Popeye’s in time…” Bwaaaaaahhaaaaaa – Seriously though, the nature that you guys had an opportunity to see – how awesome!!! And I love the doo rag. It looks cute on you Sophie!

  32. Only you and Shannon could put the fundana in Africa.

  33. I’m so jealous right now I could spit nails.

    Whatever that means.

    I mean, you get to go on safari AND wear a Fundana? You rock.

  34. I couldn’t even imagine how very cool that was.

  35. You look fabulous, really. Cool lions!

  36. That Fundana is rockin.

  37. I think the Fundana is cute myself! Wow…THAT was something I’d give anything to see….you went on a REAL LIVE safari!!! I am jealous!!!

  38. I would have loved a text message about the elephants so that I could send a return message that said, “Oh, those real elephants are cool. However, the new Safari collection at Old Navy is currently 40% off.” Because my week at home doing nothing while you were in Africa was extremely exciting.

    Also, the trademarked Fundana may make my top 10 items to have for spring.

  39. The Fundana can be neatly folded into a box labeled, “What I wore ON SAFARI IN AFRICA.” They’ll be lucky just to touch it.

  40. Since it’s trademarked, I assume you’ll be coming out with a whole Fundana line for Spring? :)

    Awesome pics of wild beasts, ‘n stuff.
    Oh, and the animals were cool too.

  41. Aaaahhh, the Fundana! Loving it … in an “in nature only” kinda way. I am sure we will not be seeing it on Big Mama’s Fashion Friday anytime soon!!!
    I have to share though, I participate in the Breast Cancer 3Day every year and you have to have many “cover as much of the lily white skin as possible” looks to sport for them three days! So, one day at home I was trying a few on and put a bandana on my noggin. My daughter took one look at me and said “Mama – you a pirate?” at which point she demanded one for herself … Lots of “arrghs” and “matey”s being bantered around that day! Daddy joined the fun when he came home from work!!! So, while it may not be a look for the 3Day, I DO know what look I will be sportin’ if I am ever aboard, ya know, a pirate ship!!!!

  42. I bet Howard thinks you’re the bomb, getting that close to real, live, African animals. I just showed my boy(7), who loves anything African, your pictures and he said, “Ohhhh, I think I’d faint!”

  43. Wonderful! So glad that you got a chance to have some decompression time before returning home. Have you ever watched africam? http://www.africam.com/wildlife/index.php

    You and your family can watch a live video feed of the wildlife from your computer. It works best to watch either early in the morning or late late at night. I’ve seen some amazing shots there. It’s very addicting. (definately nothing like seeing it in person as you did…which is awesome!) When you first go to the cam, wait for it to get through the introductory thing, then it will switch to the live cam.

  44. I loooooove the pictures. This is totally my biggest dream, to be able to take these pictures in person. My husband and I have talked about for our 10th anniversary (only 6 years aways) going on an African Safari and I want to do it that much more after seeing your pictures!

  45. Diggin’ that do-rag

  46. Love the pictures and stories! Thanks for sharing!

  47. Just so you know when you are checking your stats it was me who clicked on “Popeye’s”.

    I so hadn’t a clue what that was.. of course… I could have guessed:-)

    but I had to KNOW.

    Thanks for all the up-date and the pics – you will truly never forget this experience.

  48. WONDERFUL photos. Loved the post!

  49. Darlin’, I was there, and you said “OH MY LANDS” a lot more than you think you did. But I loved it.

  50. So where’s the Fun-Harley?


  51. FABULOUS pictures! Blow them up and decorate your house with them!

  52. Awesome pics! What an adventure!

  53. Bless your heart…you look a little… pensive… in your Fundana!

  54. I like to call the Fundana a Doo Rag. And you sported it quite nicely. Don’t sell yourself short :)

  55. Did that elephant look mad in your picture? That would be very scary.
    As for the do-rag? It is a don’t-rag.
    But I truly appreciate the picture of it. Now I know I will not try it unless I am on an African safari someday.
    You are priceless.

  56. I am so inexplicably jealous. Will you invite me with you next time?

  57. Wow amazing pictures!

  58. Just amazing! And that fundana thing is fun. And it did the job! You’ll probably start a whole new trend amongst blogging mama’s!

  59. Your Africa trip has been so inspiring!

    I just nominated you for the blogger with a purpose award! Check out my blog to see your award!

  60. Wow, that was fantastic!!! I love me some wild animals. I am very impressed that you were able to leave your normal “I like the air conditioning” spirit and embrace the adventurer we all know really abides deep inside of you. You are an inspiration!!!


    p.s. I’m a big air condition girl too!

  61. I don’t mind a little nature on my hands or under my feet, I’d trade places with ya!

  62. The Fundana looks like a Survivor Buff. Next time, wear it as a tube top :), then as a skirt, and then a little neck type thing, like they do on Survivor!

  63. Silus in Uganda just got picked up by some sponsors in Michigan. Thought you might like to know….

  64. I said Holy Cow several times while reading this post. :)

  65. You are so stinkin funny! I’ve really enjoyed all your posts on Africa and also lurking on some of the other blogger’s sites that were also on the trip. God is really working on my heart on supporting another child through Compassion and also on adoption. Thank you for sharing so much with all of us…

  66. I’ve always put off going to haiti because I would have to wear skirts and dresses. Now, I have nothing against skirts and dresses, but I do have a problem with the fact that I would have to wear sneakers with them. I have some foot difficulties that would prevent me from wearing sandals or clogs for long periods of time. It would sneakers with orthotics or bust – with a skirt.

    Even I, fashion fatality that I am, shudder at the thought.

    However, I also have not gone because, truly, God has not yet called me to. When He does – if He does – I will go, and I will wear my sneakers and I will smile.

    ‘Cause it ain’t about me and my pretty feet. It’sa about HIM!

  67. Giraffes and Elephants and Birds, OH MY!

    Simply beautiful, Sophie, and the animals aren’t bad either :)

  68. I’m still very much enjoying your posts about Uganda. On the top of my “life list” is to go on a safari so I loved seeing your pics. WOW!

    Have you ever thought about rockin’ the Fundana under a baseball cap. That would give you “all kinds of” coverage. And I know b/c I’m as pale as a ghost.

  69. Hello!

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog. My friend directed me here after she learned that I was going to Uganda. I love reading about your experiences and am looking forward to being there myself. I will be working at orphanages and at my friend’s mission base, but if I have any free time I would love to go on a safari. Do you have any suggestions on who I could contact to make arrangements? Thanks again for the great blogs! Blessings, Jenny

  70. I can’t tell you how happy this post makes me. On our Africa trip we are taking a morning and a night safari. I’m crazy excited, but I’ve also been a litte stressed about, ya know, the lions that are out in the open without a deep trench and fence separating us. This will definitely be something I will need you to set my mind at ease about when I see you in Atlanta. :-)