Bloom Where You’re Planted- Cape of Good Hope Baboons

“WARNING! Don’t feed the baboons.” As per usual for this trip, our journey to the end of the world turned out to be something completely different than I expected. I was excited about and proud to say I’ve walked to the end of the world. I can also say that I climbed to the top of the highest point of rock at the end of the Cape.
What I didn’t expect was being captivated by baboons. Along the path to the Cape there were dense bushes and thick grass, which I figured would well conceal them. I was intently peering into the bushes on both sides, hoping to catch a glimpse of the supposedly “reclusive” creatures.
My friend Michael and I went a bit below the main path to get a picture together in front of the Cape. I wondered if our chances of spotting a baboon might be a little better off the beaten path. No such luck.

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We went back up to the main path and I asked him to take a picture of me in front of the Cape, seated on a rock wall. Below are pictures of what happened next.

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Me sitting on the wall.

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A baboon climbing up on the wall where I had been seated. She didn’t ask for permission. No. Instead, while Michael was taking pictures, she came straight up to me, nearly climbing into my lap. I was slightly frightened by the overt friendliness of this particular baboon.

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The baboon sitting where I had been seated. She apparently wanted her picture taken where I had my picture taken. Maybe it was because she liked my spot. Maybe because she wanted to show me how silly me getting my picture in front of the Cape appeared to the baboons.

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The baboon becoming friends with Bill, Clarinda, myself and many of the people in my group. We didn’t feed her anything. We just watched her enjoying my perch for a while. Or maybe I had been enjoying her perch for a while.
We counted ourselves blessed by seeing one of these purportedly reclusive creatures in the wild. We regouped and began the ascent to the light house. That was when the rest of her clan showed up.

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Mom baboon carrying a juvenile under her belly.

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Baboons wrestling.

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Baboons where I’d mistakenly assumed baboons would be, out in the bush.
There were so many baboons that we actually kinda wanted to get away from them. Michael was particularly of this opinion when one of the baboons lunged at him, bearing its teeth. I’d love to say it made a roar or barked or something. It didn’t. But it did make Michael jump, which amused the rest of us for a while.
We climbed up to the light house and snapped our pictures. Heading back down, we almost wanted to try to avoid the baboons. We couldn’t.  They were everywhere.
We learned that baboons go wherever baboons want to go. They have no notion of personal space. Rather, I think they like popping personal space bubbles.
But the baboons did have a nice surprise for us on our way down. About half way down the hill, a mother baboon plopped down and started grooming her baby right in front of me.

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This was certainly one of the neatest moments on my trip thus far. To see a baboon mother caring so gently for her infant was precious! I haven’t used that word on my blog for a while now, but it fits.
Reflecting on the unexpected blessing these baboons were to me, I offer you some questions to reflect upon. What has God done for you that deserves your praise? How can your praise become more than something you say or do for him? What would a life of praise look like, were you to praise God with all that you are?
“Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.” Psalm 51:15

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