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On safari

It's their world, Silver Spring adventurer says about the animals

Created date

May 24th, 2011

Dr. Albert Glickman recently returned from a two-week African safari in the Serengeti National Park with his grandson, Joshua Shnider. A resident of Riderwood, an Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md., Glickman has a thirst for adventure. A lifelong student, Glickman s mantra is I am still learning. And this time, he learned a little something from the animals of the Serengeti. Glickman and his fellow travelers of the Safari Serengeti (15 people and three guides) traveled in topless land rovers on what Glickman mischievously calls well-paved dirt and gravel roads. It was so bumpy he says he couldn t even wear his seatbelt; as soon as the animals came in sight, people popped up in the trucks with their cameras and started shooting.

Patience and persistence

Teaching without speaking is what the lions, elephants, zebras, and birds all did for Glickman. Some lessons he learned are as old as the African terrain itself patience is definitely a virtue and persistence pays off. The group traveled back and forth over a bridge that could hold up to 2,000 pounds; one time there was an elephant occupying the bridge, eating the vegetation hanging over it. The travelers tried to wait until the animal was finished, but it takes a lot of leaves to fill up an elephant, Glickman says. When it was evident that the animal wasn t moving any time soon, the land rovers turned around and took another route, a common solution to this reoccurring issue. After all, in Africa, you don t move the animals. While watching the lions, Glickman learned that they worship the shade, and they are persistent about it. They ll sit under trees, and when the shade moves, they move along with it. One time, a large cat was lounging under their land rover because that s where the shade was. As custom had it, Glickman s party didn t move until the lion did. In the Serengeti, you are the zoo, not the other way around, and the animals run the show, Glickman says. He also confirmed something he already knew that at times, Hollywood is wrong. In the movies the lions are always killing something, but it s just not true, he says. Sure, when they got hungry, they had to eat, and he witnessed the hunt as well. Most of the time, the animals were coexisting peacefully in the same space, especially around water. This intrinsic duality that exists within nature is a part of life, and Glickman was fascinated by it and also grateful he got to witness it. Even with all of the wild animals surrounding him, Glickman says he never felt unsafe. He was cautious and alert but conjectures that the animals have learned that people aren t going to hurt them. So you could say they re civilized, he laughs. And Glickman also appreciated the trip s focus on educating humans as to what they can do to help preserve the many different species.

Sharing the experience

Glickman was able to bring his experience home to Riderwood. His grandson photographed the trip, which Glickman then presented in a slideshow. The fact that he can do this is one of Glickman s favorite parts of living in the Silver Spring community. I always have a new audience to tell my stories to, he says. In the fall, Glickman will gather new travel stories to share as he and his grandson head to their next adventure in India.