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Zebra and Wildebeest


She Tackles A Baboon in South Africa
A feisty journey woman fights back...

Journey woman Brenda Newell is a retired history teacher who takes every opportunity she can to "be on the road with friends". One of her fondest memories was spending Christmas Eve in Bethlehem when lovely wet snow was falling. One of her scariest moments was when she fought with a baboon in South Africa. Brenda writes...

Baboons everywhere!

In South Africa, one time, our guide/driver took us to the Cape of Good Hope. After an enjoyable morning we got back into our van; D and M (the participants shall remain nameless) in the back seat, I in the middle seat where I like to be and J up front with the driver.

A few miles along we saw baboons all over the highway and hills. We pulled off the road and watched. J rolled down her window to take a picture.

He snarled, I snarled!

Suddenly a baboon shot through the window and landed in the back seat. I'd automatically ducked my head and it was still down when I heard "Brenda, he has your purse".

I looked up to see this baboon (about the size of a six-year-old) hunched on the seat beside me. He had a hold of the strap of my purse which contained my passport and plane ticket. I automatically grabbed the other end of the strap -- he pulled, I pulled, he snarled, I snarled. He grimaced and I was suddenly very aware that his halitosis was overwhelming and that he had a mouthful of very sharp-looking teeth.

She yanked the baboon's tail!

In the background, M is yelling at our guide "unlock the doors -- unlock the goddam doors." M slid the door open, and yanked the baboon�s tail. My knees collapsed and with heart pounding fiercely, I plonked down on the seat.

The enraged baboon shot out of the van clutching my purse, ran for about 200 yards, then sat to enjoy his spoils. Cars and vans had had to stop and one couple assessing the situation started their car and then drove it straight at the baboon, which took off without my purse.

Our guide, who did admit later that she should have told us to keep our windows closed, was the same one who, when we finally convinced her that we were heading out of, not into, Durban, merely drove over the highway median to head in the other direction. But that�s a different nightmare.

Editor's Note: Brenda says she laughed about her experiences once everything was all over but she also admits she had terrible dreams, always punctuated with mouthfuls of very big teeth.

Women's words about fear...

Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival.
(Eugenie de Guerin, 1865)

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.
(Marie Curie, Instant Quotation Dictionary, 1969)

Afraid is a country with no exit visas.
(Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us, 1986)

To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.
(Katherine Paterson, Jacob I have loved., 1980)

To everything there is an end -- except fear.
(Phyllis Bottome, Innocence and Experience, 1934)

Source: The New Beacon Book of Quotations By Women

Have you dreamt of going to Africa?

masai woman If experiencing Africa is what you have always dreamed of, then do it! Start slowly with research on the subject. Find out about clothing that is culturally correct. Think about which areas you'd like to visit. Find out which tour companies in our Journeywoman Network go there. Chat with the women who run the companies. They'll be happy to answer questions, send brochures and point you in the right direction. You Go Girls!

Africa stories in our JW Collection...
She Tackles a Baboon in South Africa
Outdoor Toilets are Scary Things
Two Women One Baby in Africa
She and She and Necklaces





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