Paradise Beyond Hell – Israel Anyieth Majak (South Sudan)

What an amazing weekend that was!  Pilanesberg Game Reserve rocks! Hardly had we entered the game reserve when we were swallowed by the smell of peace, hospitality and natural beauty. All the heavy fatigue of the week slowly melted into an energizing sanctuary of joy and enthusiasm. We wanted to experience life in the jungle, paradise beyond hell of African politics.

We wanted to see the big five. However, the more ambitious folks were praying that we could come across tigers and dinosaurs; we didn’t mind magic/miracle. Unfortunately, wishes aren’t horses’.  We couldn’t meet all the big five but elephants-moody elephants. As for tigers and dinosaurs, Gods failed us. Our prayers were wild gooses chases.

Nevertheless the sadness of not meeting our expectations was dissolved and eroded by the joy of what we learned. As surprising as it may be, it was in that wilderness that we saw our theoretical knowledge materialized into solid practice. Self-awareness, servant leadership etc. these concepts are the foundation of jungle’s life-visible only to educated eyes.

In other words, we didn’t dwell our eyes on the physical look of the animals alone. On the contrary, we scrutinized beyond the majesty of giraffe and the kingly strode of elephants. We waded beyond the irritating ugliness of wild pig and the playful nature of wildebeest. Yes, beyond all that was the real jungle’s life- the most inspirational part of our journey. So instead of us seeing the big five, we learned the big five pillars of existence in the wilderness.

  1. Community service: servant leadership
    Mrs. Eliza, our tour guide, amazed us when she pointed to two males wildebeests in a big herds of more than 30 wildebeests and said’ ‘’those ones with horns are male wildebeests and they are usually known as ‘’busy boys’’ because each male has more than 15 females to mate’’. This is a duty to the community. If animals know how to carry out their duties, how much more should we as human being be committed to serving our communities.
  2. No one is an island
    We were really startled to see how zebra and wildebeests graze together for mutual benefit. The secret is that wildebeests have strong sense of hearing and smelling while zebras have good eye sight so they walked together because they have the same predator. Simple and fair. We as people should also try to be one unit for our common goods.
  3. Self-awareness
    This was very well observed by rhinos. Rhino don’t wander away from the river during the day not because of fear but because it knows that if it does so, its skin would dry up and it will die. This is the very same self-awareness that is proving hard for us people. Just to know and regulate oneself. What a challenge!
  4. Independence identities
    No matter how diverse the jungle was, we didn’t see zebras copying wildebeests or otherwise nor did we see any species copying each other. This was a great demonstration of why we should be proud of our identity no matter who we are. We should always be ourselves.
  5. Self-discovery
    Though wildebeests and zebras walk in group, we could see some individual isolated themselves. Yes, even just to go and rest alone and join the group later. We felt that it was this same concept that people decided to fantasize as ‘self-reflection’-at least to have some time mentally alone. This may not be the case with all animals but it defends with how you want to interpret it.

As for all these deductions, I am sure you know them all, yes you are wise and I know but if I were to advise you, I would say that don’t be wise in words but rather be wise in deeds.
Till the next time!
GSP in the eyes of…

Israel Anyieth Majak
South Sudan


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