Expedition Africa: Episode 5

By Day 20 of Expedition Africa, any semblance of a “team” has dissolved.

The tension reaches a boiling point in the series’ fifth episode, when the expedition crosses the scorching salt flats of the dried-up Bahi Swamp. It’s the most intense episode yet, likely a result of the miserable conditions on this leg of the trek.
Essentially, Pasqaule races ahead and leaves half the team behind. I have to side with Mireya and Benedict on the issue. Had they kept pace with the dogged Pasquale, the donkeys would’ve been abandoned in the middle of a desert, along with their precious water supply. While I don’t question Pasquale’s experience or expertise, part of leading any expedition (even if it’s a day hike), is being an effective communicator. That means you don’t run two miles ahead of the rest of your teammates. You don’t ignore their perfectly civil attempts at solving the issue. And you definitely don’t yell and curse at them when they want to discuss alternative routes and strategies.
As someone who’s led so many expeditions, Pasquale should have better people skills. The other team members may not always be right, but Benedict, Mireya, and Kevin do always make calm, respectful suggestions. Meanwhile, Pasquale makes no attempt at civility, and then wonders aloud why he can’t “bring this team together.” The guy should take a NOLS course before next season.
It’s another fascinating look at what happens to real people when faced with near-insurmountable odds. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m really rooting for these guys to make the trek, and to form meaningful relationships along the way. That’s something you never get with a show like Survivor, where everyone’s trying to decieve and outsmart one another. I watch Expedition Africa for the adventure and the comraderie, so I’m hoping next week the expedition puts their differences behind them to become a real team again.
It looks like they may be forced to when someone contracts malaria. And perhaps to lighten the mood, Pasquale apparently wears a bona fide pith helment.
Watch every ep of the best thing on TV this summer over here, or on the History Channel Sunday nights at 10/9c.

One thought on “Expedition Africa: Episode 5

  1. We went out to eat Sunday night and the whole time I was getting ready I was thinking, "Wasn't there something I wanted to watch tonight?" But I couldn't remember what it was. We will watch episode 5 this Friday and start watching. It's a Mark Burnett show so it's funny you made a "Survivor" comparison.As for your short story, I don't twitter but you can send it to: geewits at yahoo dot com. That's my blog e-mail. I look forward to reading the whole piece.


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