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Luna Creevey [userpic]

Tanzania love

April 1st, 2010 (08:21 pm)

current mood: curious

I came home early, hoping that just looking through pictures would help, and even if it doesn't, I do love looking at them. I take out the album with the latest pictures from our latest holiday, and sit down by the fire to look at them.


Posted by: Luna Creevey (nm_luna)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
13 February
Travelling Luna

It is so much warmer in Arusha, Tanzania than it is in Scotland or even England. There is quite a bit of snow over our house. Of course, the temperature in the Keep never changes, being under ground, but we still do pass the outside weather every time we leave or come home. I don’t mind that very much. It makes me eager for Colin’s warm hold.

But being Africa and in the Southern Hemisphere, it is like summer…hotter than the summers in Ottery St. Catchpole.

It is the first full day of Colin’s and my Love Holiday. We took a portkey as soon as Colin and I were finished with work yesterday and, even though my birthday isn’t part of the holiday, it did fall on the weekend and it gave us more time to be here.

We decided to go to Tanzania because Colin has been so very excited about the idea of going to Africa and taking pictures there, and the thought of seeing all those animals and that very tall mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro was so amazing, we didn’t want to wait another year and planned a trip.

Arusha is to the south of the mountain, and not so very far (though it still is far) is Serengeti National Park. I didn’t want to see animals hunted, so we decided that the best way to see the animals was to go to a National Park. I’m looking forward to seeing all that Tanzania has to show us.

I stare at the veiling above us and the golden light of the sunrise as it paints our ceiling. It is like paint, the beautiful colour. I don’t often see the sunrise or the colours. We live underground and I usually sleep much later, but the time here isn’t quite the same as at home and the anticipation of the day woke me up.

I sigh in contented happiness, the beautiful colours on the ceiling and the beautiful feeling of Colin’s arms around me. I turn my head to the right and look at his face. If he is asleep, I can simply watch him, and if he is awake…well, I always do love to see him awake, even as much as I love to watch him sleep, though there’s more we could do awake.

Colin's eyes are closed but he murmurs. "Good morning."

"Good morning," I whisper. "I didn't know you would be awake."

"Barely," he answers, opening his eyes. "I think my internal clock is confused." He usually gets up early.

"Mine is too." I smile. "I think that's why I am awake. It thinks its still night. Do you want to sleep more?"

He shakes his head, sitting up a little more. "No, it is fine."

"We can just lay here for a while," I suggest. "And watch the sunrise on the ceiling."

He turns onto his back and looks up. "You can see it there."

"The light, yes," I say. "It's so golden."

"It isn't like this at home."

"No, it's blue," I agree. "And it isn't really a sunrise anyways. That is certainly a nice thing about vacations; we can see the sun rise and set."

He nods. "It's a nice change."

"Mm-hmm. I like our vacations."

"So do I."

I move a little closer to Colin and curl up to his side, looking up at the ceiling. "Do you think the sunset will be pink?"

"Pink?" he asks, turning back to look at me.

I turn so that our noses touch. "Mm-hmm. I've seen pictures of African wilderness, with the animals and the trees, and it seems like the sunset would be pink."

"I guess we will find out."

"Mm-hmm." I smile at him. I wonder idly if this vacation will help inspire me for my next invention, and feel glad that I can leave Love Goods and the places I see every day. And it is wonderful to see so many places. I realize if I had not married Colin, I may not have travelled nearly so much.

"I guess we should get up soon," he comments.

"Mm-hmm, but we can still stay in bed for breakfast. Do they speak English at the desk?"

"I think so."

"Would you rather breakfast in our bed, or shall we have something on the way to our first vacation site?"

He pauses. "I'd like to see the sights," he admits.

"Alright." I wrap my arms around him and hold him tight for a minute before I slip out of the bed. "I'll start the water warming."

Posted by: nm_colin (nm_colin)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2010 05:57 am (UTC)

I sigh and stretch. I usually cook breakfast or at least something so it is odd not to do it here. In fact, it feels odd not having anything to do. I can’t just lay there though. Instead, I get up and decide to get my camera bag ready for today’s excursion.

I have been setting things out to decide what to take when I hear the door open and look up. Luna is standing in the doorway to the loo with a towel in her hand and her off-blonde hair just covering the top part of her front.

“Do you want to take a shower with me? Or will we take turns?”

"We both can," I smile, though I know it will probably turn into a longer one.

“I can wait until you’re done,” she says, walking in. “I didn’t mean to interrupt your camera work.”

"I just wanted to get everything ready for today."

“I can carry some of your film, if you’d like. I know you’re looking forward to taking a lot of pictures.”

"I have thought about getting one of those digital cameras...but they just aren't the same," I answer.

“Don’t they use electricity?”

I am already worried about the amount of film I brought. What if it isn't enough? "No. Batteries," I answer. "But you don't need film like this. Though I am not sure how it would be developed..."

“Would it work in magic places?” she asks, tilting her head to the side.

"There is a lot I don't know about them," I admit.

Luna thinks about this for a little bit. “If it doesn’t have film, then you couldn’t develop them the way you do, and I know you like developing them.”

I nod. "I suppose I will just have to keep buying a lot of film."

“I wonder how it’s made,” she muses. “Then one of us could make it and you wouldn’t need to keep buying it.”

"I'm not exactly sure."

“I suppose it’s something I could look up. It will keep my researching skills fresh, at least, for when I finally have an idea that will work.”

I nod. "That is something to look into."

Luna stays seated next to my bad, watching me pack my thing and then stands up. “I think that the tub is full now. I’ll wait for you in there.”

"I'll only be another minute."

“Alright.” She smiles at me and walks toward the bathroom.

It only takes me a few minutes to finish everything and I walk into the bathroom. Luna’s already in the tub. It isn’t very big, but enough room for both of us at least. Luna rests her arm on the rim and her cheek on her arm and smiles at me. “It’s just as hot as you like, I think.”

I smile and quickly take off my clothes before sliding in. It is hot, but not too hot.

“It’s cozy like this.” Luna smiles and then takes up the bar of soap. “But I suppose we shouldn’t spend too long, anyways. There’s so much to see.” She rubs the bar and starts a lather.

Posted by: Luna Creevey (nm_luna)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2010 06:19 am (UTC)
Coy Luna

Though we didn’t really mean to, we did get a little carried away in our bath, but we didn’t for long as we both wanted to see what Tanzania had to show us. We dressed as we ate and after Colin fetched his camera bag, we went down to the concierge and acquired transport to the Serengeti.

It doesn't take us long until a bus arrives and we get on it along with a dozen other people who are staying there too. Most of them also have cameras but only a few have camera bags like Colin's.

“This can take all these people at once?” I whisper to Colin.

"Why couldn't it?"

“Well, I don’t know, but it does seem quite interesting. It’s like a very big car.”

"That is what it is."

“Oh.” I look around us at the many people. I hear a hiss and a whoosh and the door at the front of the buss closes. “It must be a very beautiful and fascinating place for so many people to come. The map indicates it is very, very large. Imagine all the animals we’ll see.”

"I hope we see lions," Colin admits.

“You mean like you?” I giggle. I remember when he pounced after a canister of film rolling away.

"Well, like my mascot," he answers.

“Like mine is the eagle.” I tilt my head to the side. “Do you know, if you put mine together with yours, it would be a Griffin.”

"That's true."

I put both my hands around one of his and lean against him. “I expect it will be a very long drive, but it is a lovely view. Will you take pictures from the…bus?”

"Some," he agrees. "Though it will be easier when we stop."

“It’s good that you’re sitting by the window, then.” I look around us again and notice quite a few people with their cameras out, talking excitedly and pointing out the window. I hear them talking in all different languages. It reminds me a little of the idea to make a fixture that would translate both the words you say and the words you hear, but that one never did go anywhere.

Perhaps this trip might have some inspiration that will actually be fruitful, instead of leading to a dead end.

It takes a few hours, but we finally arrive at our destination and we are warned not to get too close to the animals and to try to keep quiet or else might scare them.

The Serengeti is a large place, the sky seeming to go on forever and the landscape unlike any I have been to in real life. As Colin and I step closer to the rope meant to keep us our distance from the animal, I say quietly to him, “It’s just like walking into a book. Isn’t it spectacular?”

"It's like a whole different world," he says as he takes his camera out of his bag.

“Yes,” I agree and step back a few places so that I don’t interrupt his light and I can see what he is seeing through the camera. “May I hug you around your middle while you take your pictures?” I ask from my place behind him.

He nods, offering me a smile before going back to changing the lens on his camera.

I wrap my arms around him and stand as still as I can so that I don’t jostle him and his camera and ruin the picture. This is the next best thing to seeing what he sees, as I can feel him and smell him, but still only see the direction in which he’s looking. In a way, though, holding him like this makes it seem more real.

He reaches one hand down to place over one of mine, giving it a squeeze before putting both hands on the camera again.

I close my eyes and feel his concentration as he arranges the picture. I can almost sense the way he creates it in his mind to frame and capture. Or perhaps I only imagine that I can, because I wish I could. Whatever it is, I do like it.

He takes a few pictures, changing the focus on the lens between the pictures, clearly something he has done many times.

After quite a few pictures, from trees to animals to the sky, we move on to another place. It’s all so large and expansive, it seems impossible that simply a weekend’s trip could satisfy us. “We may have to come back again,” I muse quietly as we pass near a herd of gazelle.

He nods and I can tell he doesn't even know what to say. He just takes it all in for a minute, then starts to take more pictures.

Posted by: nm_colin (nm_colin)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2010 06:22 am (UTC)

I don't really say much when I take pictures, unless they are staged photos and certain shots need to be taken. These are natural and I just take the pictures, changing the lenses and the focuses. I only pause when I have to put in another roll of film.

Luna does her best not to distract me, just stand behind me and holds me. After the first time I change rolls, she reaches for a fresh roll and holds it in her hand for me, so that it’s ready and will take me less time.

I smile at this, taking the film from her and kissing her hand before going back to focusing on the film and photos.

I spend a lot of time just at this one spot, taking pictures of the wildlife and the trees and landscape. When I’ve taken as many as I can here, Luna points to a jeep. “Look. I think they have smaller ones that can go into other parts. Maybe we can find a water hole.”

"We can go look."

She threads her fingers in mine and we walk over to one of the jeeps. There are people there leaning against the sides of them.

“Hello. What are the jeeps for?” Luna asks.

“You can hire us to drive you into the Serengeti,” the man answers in a very thick accent, but otherwise very good English. “We do not hire out the cars. The Serengeti is a big place and very dangerous for those who do not know the area and the animals. There are hunters out there, very large animals, stampedes. As long as you stay inside the vehicle, you will not be harmed.”

Luna looks up at me. “A stampede. I wonder what they look like.”

"Let's not find out," I answer.

The man laughs and then asks me, “Would you like to hire a jeep for the day?”

"Yes please."

He tells me the price and thanks me when I’ve handed him the correct amount. Then I help Luna into the jeep and she offers to hold my film so that I can concentrate on the pictures without worry.

I accept, knowing that I sometimes get sidetracked by taking photos.

Once we are all in the jeep, the man asks me what sort of animals or landscape I would like to see.

"Whatever you feel are the best spots," I answer. "But I would like to see lions."

“Very good, sir, I know a wonderful spot. It is a ways to drive, as it is deep in the Serengeti, but you will not be disappointed, I think.”

"That sounds good," I smile.

He smiles at me, his teeth bright against his very dark skin. “If you see a place along the way that you would like to stop at, tap me on the shoulder.” Then he turns the key in the jeep and drives toward a dirt road.

I watch as we drive and I would tap him on the shoulder every few feet if I could, but I hold back.

We drive on for quite a while, and soon I don’t see any other jeeps or people. We pass lots of amazing animals and trees. We’re on a rough track, so it’s too unsteady for me to take good pictures. Luna cuddles up to my side and watches with me.

It is not too long, but still a long ways, when the jeep slows down and finally stops. I notice a spot with a lot of trees and lush green plants.

“Out over that way,” the guide says, pointing toward it, “is a water hole. You will see a lot of different animals show up to drink.”

"Let's go there," I answer with a smile.

“Unfortunately we can not get much closer without disturbing the animals. We try to keep the Serengeti as wild as we possibly can.”

"Could we walk closer?"

“Only a little,” the man warns, holding up what looks like a rifle. “The animals are wild and if they feel that their territory is being threatened, some of them will try to attack. Your smell and sound are very strong to them.”

"We won't go too far...just enough to use the zoom."

Posted by: nm_colin (nm_colin)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2010 06:24 am (UTC)

“Then that is alright,” he says, “but I will be nearby. If you hear me shout, stop everything and run back to the jeep.”

“I can use concealment spells while you take pictures,” Luna whispers in my ear.

I nod to the man then turn to Luna. "He might worry if he loses sight of us."

“He will only see our backs,” she says quietly.

"Alright," I answer.

We walk out a ways, not too far he can lose sight of us but close enough to the animals that I can take some good pictures. Luna slips the wand out of her sleeve and does some quiet and confined spellwork. From the back, it wouldn’t look as if she had done anything. I do notice the air around us shift a bit and though we don’t look any different to me, Luna smiles a satisfied smile and replaces her wand.

“There we are,” she whispers. “Our smells are masked, our noises will die in the air around us.”

"Okay, though I still don't think we should get too close."

“Oh, we couldn’t get any closer now anyway,” she tells me. “It only works for the area that we’re in.”

I nod, lifting my camera again.

The guide is right. Lots of different animals come to drink at the waterhole. Even though her spell is up, Luna doesn’t make a sound and keeps as still as possible as she holds the rolls of film for me.

After using two rolls, I turn to her. "We should probably go back," I whisper.

“Okay,” she whispers back. After putting the used rolls away, she reaches back into her sleeve and removes the wand, once again hardly moving as she cancels the spell.

We walk back up to the truck and I know it will be hard to wait to see how the photos look.

The guide takes us a few more places, but though I would love to stay out much more and take lots of pictures, soon he says he will have to return us to the station or we will miss the last bus back to Arusha.

We arrive back just when the last bus starts to load up. We quickly pay our guide and hurry to the bus.

This continues all day, getting off the bus at various spots to take pictures. It really is beautiful here and I briefly wonder what Mum would have thought. I bet she would have loved to take some of the pictures.

Posted by: nm_colin (nm_colin)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2010 06:24 am (UTC)
blue sweatshirt

By the time we return to the hotel, we’re both tired and I notice that Luna’s very near asleep. “What would you like to do for dinner?” she asks muzzily as we get off the bus.

"Let's just get something easy and fast. I think we're both exhausted."

“That sounds nice,” she agrees. “Do you think that there’s any place nearby?”

"I think so. There should be."

“Or perhaps we can just buy something and take it back to our hotel room.”

I nod, shifting the strap of the camera bag.

We get out and walk up to the concierge, asking where a good place is to get food to go and he gives us directions. It isn’t long before we’ve bought our food and are on our way back.

I look up at the sky and pause. "The stars are different here." There are lights on around us so we don't see many, but there are none of the familiar constellations we learned at Hogwarts.

Luna looks up, too. “Yes, they are. They’re very pretty. Maybe there is a place we can lie and look at them after we eat.”

"There probably is."

“I’m sure the hotel has a roof. Maybe it even has a garden. Let me ask the concierge.” She heads toward the concierge desk and I follow, our hands still clasped together. He sees us approaching and waits.

“Excuse me,” Luna begins. “We wanted to look at stars. Is there a balcony or a roof-top garden or something where we could?”

“There are some lounge chairs by the whirlpool spa up on the tenth story,” he answers.

Luna smiles and thanks him, then turns to me. “That sounds nice. Though I may fall asleep up there.”

"Well, we don't have to stay up there too long."

“A starlight picnic,” Luna suggests.

"That sounds good to me," I smile. Though I wouldn't mind eating anywhere. I am starving.

We take our food up to the balcony the concierge told us about and Luna sits down on the ground, opening the to go bag. They put eating utensils into the bag and napkins, so we aren’t missing anything and can start to eat right away.

"I never thought we would be doing this when we decided to come to Africa."

She giggles at this. “I don’t suppose I did, either. We couldn’t very well have picnics in the middle of the wilderness…or I suppose we could with the right spells, but the guides wouldn’t let us.”

"That would bring over all kinds of animals."

“Yes, and it would mean less for us.”

"Or none," I laugh.

“Oh no!” Luna laughs, too. “Then it definitely is good we didn’t think about picnicking in the Serengeti.”

I nod, helping myself to another serving of food.

We eat the lot of it, talking about what we saw today and looking up at the stars. When everything’s finished, Luna stretches and yawns. “Goodness. I wish this were attached to the room. I could sleep right here.”

"Maybe next time," I chuckle. "Ready to go back to our room?"

“Mm-hmm.” We gather the empty containers in the bag and drop them in the waste bin on the way back to our room. “This was a nice first day to our holiday.”

"It was," I agree and I know that the next days will be just as great.

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