Alex Walker grew up in a National Geographic photo spread. Instead of a lawn with a picket fence or a city playground, the fourth generation East African’s childhood stomping grounds were the tea fields of Mufindi, the bush of southern Tanzania and Kenya’s Mau forest. Today he makes his home in Masai Mara, Kenya, one of the most famous wildlife ecosystems in the world, operating several safari camps there and across the border in northern Tanzania. After staying at one of Walker’s camps on our adventure in Kenya, we were curious to hear more about what makes this safari guide tick.
As part of our Summer Preview, Alex told us about learning from wildlife, jumping out of a plane, his love of green tea ice cream, and — above all — learning to relax.
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I threw myself out of a perfectly good plane for no good reason.
by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!
Learn more about Alex and Serian camp at serian.net and on the camp’s blog.
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