Tuesday, September 16, 2008
When I was in Botswana, we stayed for a while in Xaxaba, on the Okavango River delta. We traveled in powerboats or canoes through tall reeds and leaves that grew flat like water lilies. Some flowers made me think of lotuses. I saw many, many birds, mostly eagles of some sort. I saw too many hippos (how can you see too many hippos, you ask? There are too many hippos when you're in a boat in the same water as they, and one dives under with the intent of surfacing underneath, or through, your boat. Lucky for us, our guide saw that coming and got us out of the way. Seconds later, 2000 pounds of blubber burst through the water surface, displacing enough water to rock our boat and make me wonder if we'd tip). I saw reed frogs. I saw elephants and giraffes. I even saw lizards with beautiful colors.
And we saw papyrus growing wild. The ancient Egyptians used papyrus as writing paper. Now I think they only use it to paint pictures of scenes from old Egypt to sell to tourists, but still I feel happy touching papyrus paper. Until Botswana, though, I'd never seen it growing wild. Here it is.