Essay by irreplaceable_T910High School, 11th gradeA, January 2009

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I stepped out of our private jet, and exclaimed "Wow", knowing this would be the best trip I have ever went on. I couldn't help but admire the vast greenery beyond, and the infinite sky - pure as an angel. It was heaven - right on earth.

"Who knew Africa could be this breath-taking!" shouted out Monica, my best friend, who had planned this whole thing with a couple of other friends. She was right. I had never seen a place this stunning; after all, staying in Dubai for all these years could get quite boring.

We drove to the 'Africano Hotel', where we were going to spend the next two days, and as soon as we arrived, we checked in and got our luggage taken to our rooms. The sight of our deluxe suite was magnificent. My old habits got the better of me; I started jumping on the beds and screamed out "Woohoo!" My overflowing energy was a burden, so my friends decided we should head outside, before I committed a wild crime.

But I was nothing compared to the lions that we saw at the on the way, as we were driving. Their growling was the most deafening sound I had ever heard yet their beauty made me feel out of this world. Their ferociousness was nothing compared to their tenderness while hunting for their families.

As we drove further into the city, I saw something that caught my eye. I had kept my camera ready for this trip and, now was the perfect time to use it; the flowing river ran into deep rocks and the water penciled down gracefully. Yelling to my friends to stop the car, I got down, and, as quick as my legs could take me, dashed to this dazzling spot. Feeling the splash of the crystal clear water on my face, I zoomed in my camera, adjusted my position, and, 'Snap', took the shot. "Done!" I yelled back to my mates, and I turned, heading for the car. But, they weren't there.

It wasn't the greatest situation to play their famous prank; after all, it was Africa - the home of cannibals. Thoughts raced through my head as I wondered what I should do. The splashing of the once beautiful clear waters in the background was starting to give me a headache. I knew I should have been strong enough and not such a scary-cat, but I couldn't take it. Overwhelmed with emotions, I decided that the best solution was to try walking back to the hotel.

My legs were motionless, but I had to push myself to the edge if I wanted this to end on a good note. Step by step, breath by breath, I paced my way through the grassy field that was next to the waterfall. Pushing all the tall shrubs aside, I felt a presence next to me. Who it was, I wasn't sure. But there was no time to stop and stare. I had to be as swift as an ostrich, if not a cheetah. The nasty smell of fertilizing manure caught my noise. I had to get out of this field as soon as possible.

As I continued my race against time, I heard some humming. Drawing closer, I realized it was the voice of people singing aloud "Singella O Singella." I crossed my fingers in hope that this song wouldn't be part of the cannibalism rituals. My heart was pounding out of my chest; my face grew white with fear; chills ran through my spine; my senses, were electrified.

It was the choice of either continuing to walk over to my own death or waiting for someone to come and rescue me - this was the moment that would define my future…I made my mind and had to take my chances and walk over to my possible grave. I dragged my legs and approached the voices. I hoped for the best…but, prepared for the worst. Remembering what a disgrace my friends had put me through, I decided it was better that I rest with a peaceful mind, and I forgave them. My thoughts drowned into the singers' voices and I decided it was time to face it…And I did face it; I faced my friends! It had turned out that they were chanting with the African choir that had come to entertain in the hotel.

My face turned from white with fear, to red with anger. "How could you?!" I screamed. They were too busy laughing at me to answer the question. Their chuckling and giggling was too much for me to handle so I rushed up to the room, with my fists shut tight and my face, filled with rage.

"Sorry," I heard their voices at the back of my furious head, "we couldn't resist the fun of it!" And I, couldn't resist the fury of it! After a few hours of no communication I decided I shouldn't be a spoil sport. To be honest, it was quite funny how dramatic I was. I went up to them and set all things straight; we even had a good laugh about it at dinner.

The next day, it was time for us to leave. I let out a sigh of relief as I hopped happily back into the jet. Even though Africa's beauty was striking, its danger was very frightening.

I came to the conclusion that I should never trust those sneaky friends of mine again no matter how loveable they are! I still hum to the tunes of my redeeming song, 'Singella' once in a while. After all, this experience will always be at the back of my mind…and in my secret diary!