Solbit Complains, “But I don’t Want to Go To Crete; Let’s Stay in Tanzania.”

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

I’ve changed my mind about Tanzania.  As Nona says, “You just have to give it time and get used to it.”  Well, I did give it some time — not like I had a choice.  Now that I want to stay here, Nona and Papa are starting to pack for some island called Crete.  Who wants to go to Crete?  Not me.

Look at the great things I’ve gotten to do here in Tanzania.  Our friend Jo had been pointing out a board game at shops in Dar and Zanzibar.  It’s called Mankala, fun counting game.  She said she’d teach me to play. Then, one day on our walking safari, we came to this big stone in the ground.

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It’s an ancient Mankala board with the stone pieces!  Right there and then, Jo started teaching me how to play Mankala!  You don’t get to do that every day back home, right?

Then, on another day walking, we came to a really big ant hill.  It was so big compared to me that I almost bumped into it.

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The ants asked me if I could help them work. Nona and Papa said that was OK for a few minutes.  So, I made friends with the ants and helped them build their ant pile.  Those ants worked hard, but I was having fun.  I guess work can be fun, if you like what you’re doing.

Because Nona and Papa are such penny pinchers and always “on a budget,” they sure surprised me when we stopped overnight at a tented lodge, Maramboi Tented Camp Lodge, by Lake Manyara.

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Wow, we had it nice.  We could look out the screened window of our tent to see wildebeest and warthogs grazing nearby.  Our tent even had a name, Mbuni. I think that means “coffee berry” in Swahili.  Well there’s another thing:  I saw coffee berries for the first time here in Tanzania. The berry can be green or red and is round like a cherry.  I just thought it would always be a coffee color, wouldn’t you?

Speaking of coffee, Papa and I had “quality time” together many times over a cup of coffee.

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I got to rest on the rim of his cup, and he got to sip freshly made coffee over a campfire.

We’d just talk about our day.  He’d say, “Well, Solbit, how are you feeling about our time in Tanzania now?” Early on our trip, I’d say how nervous it made me feel.  Then I started talking about things we did that made me happy. Like playing Mankala on that big stone board with Jo.  Now, I tell  him that I feel like I don’t want to go to Crete.  Why can’t we just settle down and live here in Tanzania where it’s nice?

Papa said, “Solbit, you’ve had a real change of heart about Tanzania, haven’t you?” I said yes, and then he asked me, “What made you change?”  I said that, by staying here long enough with friends like Chagamba and Mika, I discovered what the park sign said.

“What was that? I don’t remember a park sign,” Papa replied. Then Nona said, “Solbit, I think I know just the one.  I even took a photo of it.  Look here on my computer.  I’ll find it for you.”  “Yeah, that was the sign,” I said.

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I discovered that Tanzania gave me “Nourishment for the soul. Consolation for the heart. (and) Inspiration for the mind.”  So, I feel sad to leave.  Now we have to go to some place called Crete.

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

June 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Says, “Put a Land Rover on My Wish-list, Please!”

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Our walking safari is terrific!  Of course, that’s easy for me to say, because Nona and Papa carry me most of the way.  They do all the walking.  I’m glad we have a Land Rover though.  You’ll see why soon. First, I get a great perspective out here, because Papa put me on the end of a stick that he holds up, so I can see the animals in the distance.  This is what I can see in the distance.

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Now this is what I get to see a little closer up.  Those are Africa buffalo.

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Those buffalos are huge. You wouldn’t want to get in front of one!  These are warthogs (some people call them the “pig of the plains.”).

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The warthog looks harmless by comparison, but it has tusks, razor sharp teeth, that could slice open your stomach!  Again, Australia is looking less dangerous as we walk through Tanzania.

When we get too near really big animals, it’s time to climb into our Land Rover.  It has an open top, so we can stand on our seats and look out the top.  Nona said, “We take sanctuary in the Land Rover.”  I think she means we go into a safe space inside our four-wheel drive car.

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Here are our friends Jack, Ellen, and Chagamba (in the center, he’s one of our guides.)  Jack (on the left) is from Atlanta.  He likes the big animals, and he thinks birds are for the birds, if you know what I mean. Ellen (on the right with binoculars) is from Reston, and I think her favorite animal must be the warthog.  These “pigs of the plains” seem to fascinate her.  Me, too! Here’s why we all got back into our Land Rover.

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Yeah, these African elephants are really cute, but you wouldn’t want one of them to step on your toes.  Oh, girl, that would hurt.  Don’t worry, though.  We’re safe when we “take sanctuary” in our Land Rover.

See those big ears on the elephants, I thought they must be for hearing, but, later, someone said that elephants pump their blood through blood vessels in those ears to get rid of body heat.  I heard Papa ask, “Do you mean that elephants have ear radiators?”  I wonder what a radiator is, but I haven’t had time to ask him, yet.

Later, after the elephants, I saw what I was sure were horses, but they had dazzling black and white stripes that I had never seen before.

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Betsy said, “Solbit, they do look like horses, but their black and white stripes tell you that they are zebras.” “Wow,” I said, “My first time to see a zebra, and I get to see a herd of them!”  That’s when Jack corrected me, “Solbit, that would be ‘a dazzle of zebras,’ not a herd.”  Gosh, did you know that?  Well, I can see why a group of zebras is called a dazzle, because when all those black and white horses — I mean zebras — get together in a big group, they sure dazzle the eye.

What was that?!  I just heard something.  Something like a low growl. No, more like a purr or rumble.  “Solbit, don’t be frightened,” Nona just said, “It’s probably just a lion walking by our tent.”  Hey, I gotta go get under the covers.  This tent is too thin, if you ask me.  If my spelling is bad, you’ll know I didn’t have time to check it. I wish the Land Rover was nearby. I’d take sanctuary in it.  Bye. I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

June 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit’s Dung Pooh Series

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Today I’m writing about poop! I almost stepped in it today on our walking safari.  You could say that we had a special day, a Dung Pooh Day.  I can’t remember all the names I heard for that stuff that everyone who eats has to get rid of:  poop, pooh, dung, scat, castings, and droppings are the names I remember now. (Actually, I remember a couple others, but Nona doesn’t want me to say those.) Here’s what I almost stepped in.

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Solbit almost walked into a pile of Olive Baboon poop.

Well, actually, the thing is so big that I almost walked into it.  Yuck!

Do you know how many different kinds of poop animals make?   Each kind of animal makes its own kind of scat (that’s a tracker’s word for animal poop).  Here’s another one.

Here’s some warthog poop. (At least, I think that’s what they said it is.)

Do you know that, if you’re smart and well trained like our guides Chagamba and Mika, you can tell which animal made the pile of poop on the ground, how long ago, whether it was one or a group, and, maybe, what they’ve been eating.  I guess you could say they “read dung.”

OK, hold your nose. Can you “read” what animal left this behind its behind? No?  Hint, see how widely spread out these things are?  Well, the source would have to be pretty high up to get that much spread.  What kind of animal has really long legs?

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A giraffe has really long legs and drops these dung balls from a height.

By the way, it really didn’t smell much.

OK. Now, here’s a different kind of distribution of dung pooh.  Look how close these little things have landed together?  Well, that’s a hint that more than one animal pooped in the same place.

So, our guides said that this kind of poop pattern makes a “latrine.”  (“Latrine” is another word for toilet room, I think.)  There we were walking in a field going right through someone’s toilet!  I think latrine sounds better than toilet, don’t you?

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A dik dik latrine looks like this.

This long and tightly wound piece of dung is almost as long as an adult’s foot.  Well, maybe half as long. What do you think?

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A porcupine left this one.

Papa did step in it.  He got some elephant dung on his hiking boots.  He didn’t get it all off, and, when we got back to our room, Nona asked him, “Papa, did you just do something? What’s that smell.”  That’s when he realized what was on his boot.  Let me tell you elephant dung really smells awful. Still, I saw our guide Mika pick some up to “read” it.  Yuck.  Wish Nona had taken a picture of him doing that!

Here’s my last piece of pooh for today.  These are small pellets but bigger than the dik dik pellets, right?  So, maybe the animal that made these is small too but bigger than a dik dik.  What animal of the Maasai Steppe would leave these?

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Impala dropped these behind.

Well, that’s the poop on dung.  Next time you go walking in the woods or out in a field, maybe you’ll look for scat and try to identify the animal that left it.  Nona and Papa said they have a book about scat at home, and I can use it when we get back.  I’ll share it with you.  Hey, we can play a game:  Name That Dung Pooh!  We could have a Dung Pooh World Series! OK?

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

June 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Takes a Walk on the Wild Side

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

You know something?  Travel is wonderful!  Oh, I get pooped and grumpy traveling, though not as bad as Papa sometimes.  Still I get to meet new people, make friends with them, and they show me strange and interesting things.

Now that we’re in Tanzania on safari, I’m starting to understand what Papa means when he tells me, “Solbit, the two most liberating things a person — or even a Plastic Jurassic — can do are read books and travel.”  I’m not reading books, yet, but I’ve been traveling and am free to make new friends and to overcome my fears, too.

When we started our walking safari, I was terrified.  We were going where big meat-eating animals roam.  Yeah, roam; they’re not in cages or behind high fences.

Two of my new friends took us on a walk on the wild side near Lake Manyara. They helped me to get over my fear.  Here they are.

We made friends with our safari guide, Chagamba, on left and our Maasai guide.

We made friends with our safari guide, Chagamba, on left and our Maasai guide.

Chagamba guides for Mark Thornton Safaris.  He’s really smart and knows a lot about wildlife, birds, the Big Five, the Little Five, plants, you name it. He knows it. He said he grew up in the Ikoma tribe.  His grandfather taught him to be a tracker. Guess what.  He can read animal tracks in dust and in mud!

Nona said that he’s carrying a rifle to protect us, just in case a lion or elephant attacked us. Our Maasai guide carried a spear, too, Nona said, “…just in case.”  Oh, girl, I started to drag my feet. I don’t want to go into dangerous places. “Jo, looked back at me and called out, ‘Come on, Solbit, look what we found.’”

Walking on the Maasai Steppe, I got to know Johana, another of our Maasai guides (he's holding the spear); I already knew another Joanna (she's looking back at me).

Walking on the Maasai Steppe, I got to know Johana, another of our Maasai guides (he’s holding the spear); I already knew another Joanna (she’s looking back at me).

She’s the most sensible one of our group, so I knew I could trust her.  So, I hurried up to see what they had found.  Look.

This beetle is as big as I am! Poor fella was dead when we found him.

This beetle is as big as I am! Poor fella was dead when we found him.

That thing is almost as big as I am, but Jo explained that it was “… no longer among the living.” So, I went right up to it and touched it.  “Wow!” I said,  “Hard body.”  Papa said, “Right, it’s called an ‘exo-skeleton.’ It doesn’t have bones like dinosaurs and people have bones. Its ‘bones’ are its exoskeleton, literally ‘outside bones.’”

Then Chagamba called me,  “Solbit, here’s another insect that has an exo-skeleton.”  I ran up there to see, and suddenly these things surrounded me.  I could tell that they were still “…among the living.”

I'm surrounded by harvester ants, but they don't care about me.

I’m surrounded by harvester ants, but they don’t care about me.

They were very busy harvesting grass seeds.  That’s why they’re called “harvester ants.” Walking on the wild side, we were finding many different kinds of living things. Who knew wildlife could be so interesting?

Then Papa called to me, “Hey, here’s an animal that doesn’t have bones or exoskeleton, but a ‘house’ on it’s back.  Come look, Solbit.”

This field snail carries her "mobile house" on her back.

This field snail carries her “mobile house” on her back.

I think someone said this was a field snail, but I’m not sure about that.  What I am sure about is that this snail carries that big shell — it’s “house” — everywhere it goes.  If something tries to eat it, it can hide inside that shell.

Maybe we should all be carrying little houses on our backs instead of a rifle and a spear?  I don’t think we’d get very far, though, do you?

Now, Johana, our Maasai elder, found an animal with bones, and it wasn’t another human being and it wasn’t a lion, either.  Nona said, “Johana, how did you catch that mouse?  Wow, you are fast!”

Johana caught a field mouse. (No animals were injured in making this photograph.)

Johana caught a field mouse. (No animals were injured in making this photograph.)

After we all got a good look at Ms. Mouse, Johana let go of it’s tail.  It seemed surprised to be let free.  Kind of looked around.  Then suddenly it disappeared into the tall grass.  We all laughed, knowing how relieved it must be.

Well, I got over my fear of a walking safari today, but then we didn’t run into a lion or an elephant.  Isn’t it odd how I feel?  I don’t want to run into either of them, but I also want to see both up close.

I talked to Papa about that.  He said, “Solbit, you are experiencing a classic ‘Approach-Avoid Conflict.’”  Sometimes Papa says things that sound smart, but I have no idea what he’s talking about.  Do you?

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

June 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Says, “I Love A Ritzy Lodge, Don’t You?”

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

I love a ritzy hotel, don’t you?  Nona and Papa always travel “on a budget.”  You know what that means. It means we always pass by other travelers in fancy hotels and go to little out-of-the-way (cheap) places.  I look at those fancy hotels, as we pass by, and wonder, “What would it be like to stay there?”  Now, I know, because either someone made a mistake or Nona made an exception.  Look at where we’re staying in Tanzania!

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It’s a very classy lodge.  We’ve gone from cheap to 5 Star.  I love it!  I think Tanzania is going to be THE BEST!  Look, this place even has its own coffee bushes.

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Talk about fresh coffee! Tonight we have supper on a patio with its own outdoor fire place.  We’re leaving now for supper. I’ll pick this up tomorrow.

Well, it’s tomorrow.  This morning we left our fancy lodge to go for a walk— all eight of us (Jo, Ellen, Craig, Jack, Betsy, Nona, Papa, and me) and our two guides (Chagamba and Mika).  We’re going to see a lot of birds and something called the Big Five, whatever that is.  Guess we’ll find out when we get there.

So we’re walking along this dried up, sandy river bed. It’s sunny and hot.  I look down.  What’s that?  I see two eyes in the sand.  “Nona, put me down so I can see what that is, please.”  She asks, “What what is?” Then she looks down and says, “Oooo.  Something is looking at us.”  I ask, “Is it one of the Big Five?”  She says, “No, Solbit, the Big Five are the lion, the leopard, the elephant, the rhino, and African buffalo. Whatever that is, it’s no bigger than my thumbnail.”

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Papa stopped and looked in the hole, “Hey, its a sand toad of some kind.  Good eye, Solbit!” He was right.  We were looking at a little toad.

I said, “Mr. Toad, why are you all covered in sand down in that hole?”  He said, “Miss, that’s not sand, that’s my skin; it looks like sand; I’m camouflaged for protection.  I’m hiding from predators, and, if you’re smart,  you’ll get yourself some camouflage too, or you could be eaten.”

I said, “Really?”  He said, “You better believe it, babe. A lot of hungry birds, hyenas, snakes, you name it, are out to find a meal here.  You gotta blend in or you’ll be some predator’s lunch today or more likely tonight. Many more of them at night.”  I said, “I’m going to be just fine tonight at my fancy lodge, but I’ll be careful today.  Thanks for the warning.”

It was all downhill from there.  My day went from “this is going to be great” to “this is bad” to “how could this be worse?”  After our walk, our Land Rovers didn’t drive back to our fancy lodge.  We drove for hours on the Maasai Steppe and stopped in the middle of nowhere.  That’s when I got the bad news:  tonight we’re camping.  No more fancy lodge. Here’s our tent,

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and it’s not with all the others’ tents.  It’s way out on the edge of the site next to bushes (think Big Five) and a dry riverbed (like where we saw Mr. Toad).

We just had supper.  It’s already getting dark at 6:30.  Our guides have made a big campfire.  I heard someone say, “That’ll keep them away.”  Keep them away?  Who is “them?”

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Remember what Mr Toad said earlier today?  “There’s more of THEM (emphasis added by yours truly) at night.”  I’ve come to the realization that Tanzania may be more dangerous than Australia.  I’m getting out of here tonight.  “Nona, pack our bags! Nona!”  Where is she? She’s off in the bushes with her binoculars … at night!  I just heard her say to Papa, “Solbit’s, calling,  you take care of her now.”

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He sat me down in “our” tent and had a talk with me.  “Solbit, I can tell you’re feeling scared.  What’s frightening you?”  I told him what Mr. Toad said to me and said, “I don’t have any camouflage.  The Big Five will get me.”  He said, “No they won’t. I’ll put you in my pocket, and they won’t be able to see you.”

Huh!  How smart is that?  “Papa, have you considered that you don’t have camouflage?  You know the Big Five are bigger than you.  They could eat you with me in your pocket!”  I just hope we make it through the night to live another day. If you never hear from me again, you’ll know what happened.  I’m in Papa’s pocket now. He’s sitting by the campfire. Someone just asked in a hushed voice, “Shuss, what’s that?” I think I hear something too.

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

June 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Asks, “Is This a Real Airplane?”

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

“Don’t forget to take your motion sickness pills!” Nona reminded Papa.  We were checking out of Casa del Mar – one of my favorite places on this trip.

I asked Papa, “You never take motion sickness pills for airplane rides, and we’ve had a lot of airplane rides. Why now?”  Papa explained that we’re going to fly from Zanzibar to Arusha on a small plane, and he sometimes gets sick on small planes.  “You mean you throw up?” I asked.  He said, “Yes, Solbit, but it isn’t polite to say ‘throw up.’ Let’s just say that the motion makes me sick.  OK?”

“Yes, OK. Hey, maybe I should take a motion sick pill, too, so I don’t throw up? I mean so I don’t get sick.” I suggested.  Papa replied, “Solbit, the pill is bigger than your head, and I don’t think you could get it down, and, besides, you’re plastic, so you won’t get sick.”  That disappointed me a bit, but not as much as this.

When we walked out to our “airplane” at the airport, I asked, “Where’s our plane, Nona, and she said this is it.” I said, “Is this a real airplane? It doesn’t look like anything that we’ve flown in before.”

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Small, huh? I protested, “It’s a toy! I’m not getting on that thing.  It’s too small.”  Papa said, “Solbit, that’s why you should get on. It’s just the right size for you, and you get to sit with the pilot and watch all the controls, too.”

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That’s when my enthusiasm overcame my fear.  Put me in that copilot seat, and I’m ready to take off! “Let’s go, Papa!”  We hopped on board, and that’s when I heard Nona say a new word, “Well, what a coincidence!”

“Coincidence” is a big word. right?  Have you ever heard it before?  Well, Papa and Nona had one on this teeny weeny airplane.

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As you can see, I shared the copilot’s seat with a woman. Her name is Amy. She and her family were also passengers on our flight from Zanzibar to Arusha.  Guess what. They live in Philadelphia, very near where Nona, Papa, and their kids used to live. It gets more weird.  Amy and Papa worked at the same organization many years ago. That’s not weird enough, though.  Her daughters are going to the school where Nona and Papa’s kids went.  That we would “bump” into them at the Zanzibar airport is a coincidence.

Before we took off, the pilot gave us a safety talk.  Basically, he said, “Put on your seat belts and don’t worry about anything.”  I raised my hand to ask him a question.  He looked at me, and said, “Yes, what’s your question?”  I said, “If we don’t need to worry about anything on this teeny weeny plane, what’s that for?”  I pointed to this.

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He gave me a frown.  Then he smiled and said, “That’s just in case any Plastic Jurassics get motion sick.  I hope you took your pills.”  Everyone giggled, except me.  What!

Well, get this.  He gets in his seat.  The plane is so small that the pilot actually gave a left hand turn signal out his window!  No way!

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That’s when my fear — I mean good judgement— overcame my enthusiasm. I put my foot down, “Get me out of here!”  Nobody heard me.  The roar of the engines drown out my screams. We were in the air.

As we flew away from Zanzibar, Amy and I looked out the window.  Nona took this photo for me to remember the view.

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Pretty, huh?  I told Nona that I didn’t want to leave Zanzibar.  She said, “I know, Solbit, but we’re going to have a walking safari on the Maasai Steppe, and you’ll like that too.”  So, we didn’t go back.  I have no idea what she was talking about though.  Maasai?  Steppe?  Safari?  What’s all that?  I guess I’ll find out, soon.

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

June 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Visits Butterflies in Zanzibar 

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Hi.  Papa said something odd on our way to some enviro-eco place here in Zanzibar.  “Float like a butterfly; sting like a bee.”

“What?”  I asked him. Craig, in the back of our van said, “That’s a quote from Muhammed Ali, the great American boxer.”

Nona told me, “Solbit, sometimes the mention of one thing will make you remember something else. So, when Papa heard we were going to the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre, he remembered one of his heroes, Muhammed Ali. Muhammed Ali used the word “butterfly” when he described how he boxed. ‘Float like a butterfly; sting like a bee.’ He was not only a champion boxer, but he was a champion for civil rights and for peace.”

I asked Nona, “What’s a boxer? Someone who puts things into boxes or what?”  Nona said, “Ooops, we’re here; I’ll have to tell you later.” We went right into the Butterfly Centre.  A smart, friendly man and a beautiful little girl, his neighbor, welcomed us, and taught us so much about butterflies that I’m not sure I can remember it all correctly.

Here are some pictures.  (I’m just a little plastic jurassic, so, if I make a mistake telling you what they are, please let me know. You can make a comment back to my blog, OK?)

Well, the main thing about a butterfly that got my attention is how very different it looks from its “baby” stage to its “adult” form.  It goes through several stages to get from these teeny weeny eggs

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(Hey, these don’t look anything like the eggs Papa has for breakfast, do they?) to this worm-like form, called a “caterpillar”

Butterfly Center Tour of Jozani Chwaka Bay NP and Butterfly Garden

then to this green bean looking thing called “pupa”

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and then the pupa changes into this, a “chrysalis”

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(doesn’t this one look like metal?) and then, a completely different looking insect breaks out of its chrysalis and floats up to a sitting place to dry its wings.  It’s a butterfly!

Butterfly Center Tour of Jozani Chwaka Bay NP and Butterfly Garden

Amazing!  We got to see a lot of different butterflies in a butterfly garden. The garden had flowering plants that the butterflies like, because they provide their “food,” which is something called nectar.  I guess nectar is a sweet tasting liquid.

If you come to Zanzibar, you definitely want to make a trip to the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre.  I got to be good friends with the little girl, Neema.  Mentioning “friends” reminds me of another Muhammed Ali quote that Papa told me:  “Friendship … is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

June 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”