|The Pre-trip Story|
The earliest notion of this trip was conceived over drinks after a weekly beer-league hockey game - typically Canadian, eh? Jane mentioned the idea to Don and Arden who were intrigued and Grant would certainly be on board too. That was early December 2005. Subsequent destined meetings brought me into the plans. Later that December I was introduced to our capable guide and organizer, Leslie, who was looking for a website developer for her new company she was launching - Mama Tembo Tours. She organized and led safari trips to Tanzania. Then, at an '05-'06 new years party, Jane mentioned the trip idea to me. I thought, what a coincidence, I've just started building a website for someone who organizes trips to Africa. Jane then told me she'd spent some of her youth in Tanzania and that was where she wanted to go. I was further startled - Leslie specialized in Tanzanian safari tours! Well that was enough to initiate an introduction of those two and the ball got rolling. And that was also when I realized the serious possibility of going to Africa sometime in 2006.
The core 5+1 (Jane&Grant, Don&Arden, me + Leslie) had our first meeting in March with talk of what we wanted to do and when. We'd originally thought of an October or early November trip but this soon moved to December. It seemed to fit everyone's schedule better and Christmas on the Serengeti sounded very cool (little did we know what an adventure that day would become!). Over the next few weeks we had booked our flights. We'd also bounced the idea off other friends and relatives. Some were interested. Through the spring Mike, Indra and Lory committed. They had to, it was getting tight for booking seats with the few airlines that flew into East Africa. Lory's friend Teri was keen but somewhat hesitant because we had planned a 3-day trek amidst the safari. Leslie and Teri were able to meet in the summer and Leslie assured Teri she could skip the trek and Teri was on board as well. Our final group of 9+1 was set.
back row: Grant and me
middle row: Teri, Jane and Indra
front row: Don, Arden, Leslie and Mike
(Lory wasn't actually at this meeting - I photoshopped him in ; )
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