by Mickey Burwell
Over the years we have taken travel groups to many exciting
places: Switzerland to the top of the great Matterhorn ~ Spain, Portugal,
Morocco and the Canary Islands ~ Israel ~ a Mediterranean cruise ~ Egypt.
. . but the best one of all was our recent visit to Tarzan's Africa.
We took the group to Kenya for two weeks. To some, Tarzan is just a fictional
character; but to my believing heart, he has always been in Africa.
I remember our guide in Israel telling us "that if we
came expecting to step on the very stone Jesus stepped on we would be disappointed.
But that if we came believing we are walking in the area Jesus walked in
that we would find Israel to be everything we expected." This is the way
my heart soared in Kenya. I just believed I was in Tarzan's Africa.
We had a group of 25 wonderful friends to share this experience
with. To see Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro was something I had hoped for
all my life, but never really expected to actually be able to do. It was
more than a dream come true. We were divided up into Toyota pop-up vans.
It ended up that there were just four in our van, which made it very nice.
Our driver/guide and I were kindred spirits. Tony was
such a great person and a great guide and an excellent driver on what were
laughingly called roads. We had a lady with us that was the liaison between
the company we had booked through and the customers we brought to Africa.
She would take turns riding in the different vans. When she was with us,
I would look off in the distance and say, "I want to do my Tarzan call
to see if I can bring that herd of elephants closer." I know that they
had told us to get good pictures you need to be quiet and I was just cutting
up, but she took me serious.
On our last night we had we had a bush safari and went
out into the darkness of the forest where they had set up a tent and we
had our dinner served. Shirley did the presentation of thanks and tips
to the drivers and to Stephanie our liaison/host. Shirley said, "I think
it is only appropriate that we let Mickey do his Tarzan Yell. That's what
he's wanted to do ever since we have been in Africa." Everyone cheered
except Stephanie who said "just a minute." Then she went over and talked
to the natives that had prepared our dinner. She came back and said, "I
guess it will be okay, the natives told me there are no elephants in this
Shirley's cousin was on the far side of the tent and took
my Tarzan yell. Considering the darkness and distance from the camera I
am glad he got the picture he did.
I got so tickled that I had to compose myself before I
could cut loose with one of the best yells that I have ever done. Everyone
applauded and said, "Move over Carol Burnett." When I got home and called
my brother to tell him about my trip, I told him the reason I had gotten
so amused with Stephanie was that the Tarzan yell bringing up elephants
works in movies.
I took over 2000 photos of Tarzan's Africa, many
of which I am sharing with ERB fans in the following pages.