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I have always loved fishing. Growing up I often went fishing with my grandfather on “Chocolate Bayou” near Galveston, Texas.  Alligator Garfish was a great game fish. I can’t say that I ever caught one though. I was pretty young but it was fun to watch him and the other guys hook some!Image

When my husband, Jerry and I went on our first trip to Southern Africa we were able to go Tiger Fishing at Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. We had been married just over a year and had not really had a proper honeymoon and a Pastor from a church in Zim did a trade out for us. We got him some fishing gear in exchange for a weekend at a nice Hotel with mosquito netting over the bed and a great view of Lake Kariba. The Elephants would come and drink water from the swimming pool and the monkeys were making themselves at home around our room.Image

The cheapest way to Tiger fish there was to go out at night on a big Kapenta Rig, especially for us newlyweds on a shoestring budget. These rigs use mercury lights connected to portable generators to attract the fish to the rig. A dip net around 6 metres in diameter and around 8-10 metres in length is used to bring the fish up from as deep as 40 metres, (130 feet) Kapenta is similar to a sardine.  Local people dry them and eat them with their great taste and protein.

The predator Tiger Fish are clever. They know when and where to find a great meal. When the Kapenta rig shows up, they drop the net and the Kapenta’s race for the light. That’s where the lucky tag-along’s come in. This particular rig went out at night. When we got there, it was just before dark and getting colder as the sun went down. Yes, It really does get cold in Africa! It is an all night exercise.  We packed up with the bedrolls, food and got on the rig. The guys looked really surprised when I boarded. Shocked is a better word! She white lady going out on this rig for the whole night? It was a first for them.  We had to take turns sleeping and then it was a long wait to be able to fish around the guys working. I am happy to report that I got the first hit from the tiger! All hands on board that night jumped up from their dead sleep and work to watch this crazy lady from Texas try and bring one of the worlds best game fish in all by myself.

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(yes, that’s me in the photo, recently catching the first tiger between me and Jerry)

I actually have a lot of pity for the men, including my husband, that night. You see, I got the biggest one of the night! I really should try and be more humble about my fishing skills, but I just can’t help myself. We had a blast that night and the men probably never forgot the whole experience. I know I haven’t!

Let me give you just a small takeaway from this true story and address some peer pressure issues. The most obvious thing is not always the best thing. If you go along with what everyone else is doing, just because that is what everyone else is doing, you better watch out for some predators out there. I think about the nightlife scene in our village of Maun. People jam-pack the bars inside and out. Those Kapenta fish went for the light and got caught in the net. The ones who didn’t get caught in the net were vulnerable to the mighty Tiger Fish. Either way, those little fish likely had their last day!

Here is what the bible has to say:

1 Peter 5:8-11 (MSG)  Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.”

 

My 500 words day 15

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