For a change of scenery, and just because I have a love affair with airplanes, I spent the morning at Ulusaba's airstrip. Think of Out of Africa, and where Robert Redford would have met Meryl Streep when she landed... That is where I was transported to. A beautiful thatched roof building with hand made woven chairs and polished slabs of wood as tables on a spacious deck sunken right into the bush. All you hear is the wind through the trees and the myriad of bird song surrounding you as three small planes sit silently below waiting for the bush pilots to arrive.
Presence and I were the only two there; she runs the airport. I poured a cup of rooibos tea, threw my camera around my neck, and walked down to the planes. It felt amazing to roam freely at an airport, just me and three metal birds with no one else in sight, no security, no TSA. I spent the next half hour walking around every inch of those planes, losing myself within their angles, patterns, and shadows. A powerful desire came over me to learn how to fly, pull on the rudder and lift off the ground, watching the tiny runway disappear beneath me. Then, as if appearing out of thin air, I noticed two pilots walking around one of the planes. I went over to say hello. James and I stood there and talked shop for a few minutes, as I mentioned I was a flight attendant and my brother was a pilot. They had seven legs today, all up and around the various game lodges. It was all I could do to keep my cool and not beg for a ride in their plane. James tells me they are based here, and live at the pilot's camp just through the bush off the edge of the runway. I recalled how we heard music and chatter coming from the distance the other day while out on our game drive. Our ranger told us it was the bush pilots, and sometimes they got a little loud out there partying amongst themselves. We all laughed and carried on. I was happy to actually meet them now, both of us beaming; he climbed into his plane, and I walked up the ramp back In to Africa.