I’m still hung up on my recent trip from the Masai Mara. It is like having jet lag that you don’t want to shake off. Few places have left such a lasting impression on me. Now I see why the migration is a wonder of the world. The over one million wildebeests crossing the Mara river is made more spectacular against the background of the vast landscapes of the reserve. The migration is like a combination of an action and thriller movie given to us by mother nature. And witnessing it live is better than 3D. Is there 4D or 5D by the way?
One of my motivations for going to the Mara was to take some photos of the landscapes and the animals. Being my first visit in nineteen years I was happy with what I captured. Animals are unpredictable so you never know when the opportune moment will appear. In wildlife photography, two key ingredients are required. Extra batteries (for your camera) and loads of patience. We saw some good action on our game drive on the first day. But when I retired to camp that evening I felt like there was still something out there for me to shoot. We were joined at the evening bonfire by residents of a nearby camp. This lady was flying back to Nairobi the following morning with her kids from the Keekorok airstrip located inside the reserve. My buddy Chris suggested that we hitch a ride on the Land Cruiser that was taking them and enjoy a free game drive. The lady graciously agreed.
I got excited at the thought of going back out there and made a silent prayer for some good animal action. We set out for the airstrip after breakfast the next morning which was also our last day. Being at the Mara in the morning with the sun at a distance is indescribable. I wished time would freeze like how we hang on zoom calls when the internet connection is weak. On the way to dropping our new friends at the airstrip, I managed to get some good shots of an elephant family walking towards some hills called, The sleeping Masai. Maybe they were coming from a zoom meeting hehe.
On our way back, Andrew our driver excitedly informed us that a leopard had been spotted nearby so we quickly veered off into a bush path. After a few twists and turns, we arrived at this huge tree, and lo and behold this huge male was sleeping on a branch. I made Andrew drive around the tree in an attempt to find the best angle to photograph Split nose (I was told that’s his name). We did the best we could then got back onto the road to our camp.
That impromptu game drive was the cherry on my cake on that trip. Seeing the missing member of the Big Five ended my trip on a high. Especially after hearing how rarely he is spotted, I felt quite lucky. I posted some photos on a few groups I belong to and got a surprise inquiry last week. A lady from Kenya wildlife service asked if they can use some of my images on their social media handles and give me credits. I agreed to haraka because they have a much bigger platform so I get advertised for free. Plus, I will appear like a serious photographer hehe.
Folks, when you decide to follow your passions and live the life you desire, the world makes room for you. In my case here even the animals decided to cooperate. And true to their word, KWS did post my photo, and guess which one it was? of split nose napping high up on the branches. One of my sister’s favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 18: 16. “A gift buys attention; it buys the attention of eminent people”. Proverbs 22: 29 adds, “Observe people who are good at their work – skilled workers are always in demand and admired; they don’t take a back seat to anyone.”
The more we are driven by our passions and interests, the harder we work, and inevitably the more skilled we become. During this pandemic, I have been asserting myself as much as I can to refine my skills and talents because I want to be in demand. Part of that effort is driven by panic for an income I must admit. The admiration follows you when you are in demand. And so does the money. The eminent person so far in my photography has been KWS. I hope that my gift will catch the attention of other eminent persons as we go along and that I will reap the rewards of that.
The other gift I want to activate further is my coaching. Rina Hicks hosted me on her Moneywise show last week and it was brilliant. To grow my brand as a business and transition coach, I promised to launch a program that I created five years ago. It was based on my journey to starting my business. It is meant to encourage folks to jump into their purpose and give a chance to the life they want to live.
I called the program True North because that is where a life of impact and significance is meant to be lived from. We have the most impact on ourselves, others, and the world when we operate from our gifts, talents, and passions. For me, that’s the rent I owe the world for the space I occupy on earth.
The program is made up of six steps that will hopefully give us clarity and courage to pursue our purpose. I will be sharing one step every Friday over the next six weeks or so. I feel it will help someone out there especially in this season when many transitions have been forced on us by this pandemic. The program is still a work in progress but I have to keep my word and start as I promised on Rina’s show. The important thing is to start and after five years of brooding over it, I figured its time to put it out there now. I hope and pray that this will help you and that in the process you will not take a back seat to anyone. Especially in your own life, as the good book admonishes.
PS: check out my gallery – LucaShots on my website www.lucasmaranga.com. Drop me a note in the comment section if you see something you’d like to order for printing and framing and I’ll get back to you.