Mike, I do not normally write to the founders of companies. However I do believe what you are about to read warrants it.
We just returned from 11 days on safari in Tanzania with your company. It was a truly amazing experience... and much of that due to one person, Francis Peter, our guide.
On the second day of our safari we picked up a Ranger and headed into Kenya. We saw amazing things and learned even more. So many animals! We ventured far off the beaten path until there was no one but ourselves and the animals. We loved it. Even though this is the dry season, it has been raining in the North. Driving through the Plains the ground eventually turned wet and we ended up getting stuck. Really stuck. The mud was up to the hubs on all four of our wheels. Within minutes Francis, myself and the Ranger were out with shovels in our hands. We dug, gathered sticks, jacked, spun tires and slung mud for almost three hours. We had to jack up each wheel five times trying to get out. Eventually, it worked.... we were free. Muddy, sweaty and tired, Francis and I walked up to one another. He stuck out his muddy hand and I stuck out mine. Not a word was said. None had to be. A bond was formed right there with a handshake and a smile that a million dollars can not buy you. Two men, from 9000 miles apart, brought together by one experience created by one company... Africa Dreams Safaris.
I was a quarterback in college. I remember winning a game one year against heavy odds by throwing a pass to a receiver who made a truly amazing catch. In the endzone we made a similar handshake with no words , just eye contact... one of mutual respect, gratitude and friendship. It was like that... and it will stay with me forever.
There are things that Francis is not. He is not ever late. He is not ever in a bad mood. He is not short on knowledge, or laughter. His truck is not ever dirty in the morning. He is not in a hurry. And he is not just a driver.... he is a guide.
I work in the motion picture industry here in the states. So it is fitting for me to describe it in those terms. Imagine a movie... the best movie you have ever seen. One that is not only an Adventure film, but a comedy, romance, documentary and dramatic film all wrapped into one. Now imagine the location for that movie being Tanzania and we are the Stars. We are taken to all of the best places, lodged in incredible surroundings, fed exotic foods, introduced to interesting people and treated like celebrities. The producer of this film... Africa Dreams Safaris.
Like you, I have a company and a staff. I often overlook how far a pat on the back can go. It overshadows even the money associated with employment. It is my hope that you will find a minute in your day to recognize Francis... among other things, it is our gift to him. In the meantime, we are sorting through our pictures, which we will send along soon. Because of him, and the wonderful way we were treated on our Safari, we are now Ambassadors for your company. Thank you for one of the most wonderful experiences of our lives.
Jeff and Ginger S.
Lake Wylie, SC