My mom, dad, sister and I stood transfixed by the most magnificent night sky we had ever seen, in Africa. We could hear the menacing cackle of hyenas, the hypnotizing chirp of crickets and deafening thunder from the ongoing thunder and lightning storm. Glancing over the banister and into the night sky, it felt as if we were experiencing a breath-taking supernova. The starlit sky was filled with striking purples, pinks and blues. It was like something you would see in a movie. I was perched on the most striking handmade wooden bench after a very tiring night of dancing. From behind me I could hear the reminiscing and giggling from the staff and guests.
The staff absolutely adored my little sister and I, since my sister was six and I was eight at the time. They knew exactly what we wanted to drink when we were thirsty, a lovely nice cooling fresh apple juice. So, as we gazed off into the night sky, we both had a refreshing full glass of apple juice clenched in our hands, as though to ward off any parched predators.
Right beside the camp there were tremendously overweight hippos and extremely vicious crocodiles, because we were situated next to an extremely lengthy river. So, when we were out on the wooden deck, we could hear the loud yet calming splashing of animals in the murky water.
The element that I can never forget of this memory is the peaceful scent of fresh air. Every breath that I took I could feel in my lungs. The pleasant aroma made me feel safe and warm inside. The air was cooling yet extremely warm something I had never experienced before but found oddly comforting. It wasn’t just the aroma of the air; it was also the feel of it touching my skin. It was just the right temperature.
As we watched the starlit vibrant night sky in the pleasant company of others and refreshing apple juice, listening to interesting stories from one another that brought us closer. The calming chirp of crickets gossiping to each other all night long, the gentle splashing of water, the tremendous boom of thunder and the flashes of blinding lightning ripping through the sky captured our very souls. Even though we were thousands of miles away from home I felt as if I had found myself a new home, and despite the cacophony of sound, I was at peace.