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Wow, look at the stars

It is not often someone can say that they are sitting under a blanket of stars. Tonight is that night for me. Docking at Ichobezi’s second docking station far up the Chobe River with Botswana on one side and Namibia on the other I feel like a princess with a sky full of diamonds shimmering above me.

As I sit on the front deck of the houseboat I see fireflies flying around in the tall grasses. For an Aussie, fireflies are a fictional insect, which one reads about but never sees. Tonight they flutter around me turning their lights on and off, like we would a light switch at home. In the distance I can hear the deep guttural sounds of hippos as they share the latest gossip from their day’s adventures, frogs singing to each other and the intermittent sounds of fish breaking the water’s edge. I search for satellites orbiting the earth and hope that I will see a shooting star.

The standout here of the night is the stars. I have never seen such a blanket of them before. The intensity of them is breathtaking. The ability to identify constellations that one has learnt from high school but never seen is a reminder that there really is more out there. The cascade of stars called the Milky Way shows the true representation of what the name means. Something that one doesn’t see from the big city where the light pollution limits at least 50% of your viewing pleasure.

This is truly one of the most humbling experiences one can have. To be in the middle of nowhere, on a houseboat, listening to the sounds of the African bush and looking at a sky full of stars.

I really do feel small tonight.

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