I have had some people ask me what the compounds are like. Here is 12 minutes of video total (No sound) and shows a small glimpse into the living conditions of most people in the capital of Zambia.
This is Ng’ombe compound where Chikumbuso is located. On Todays trip to the business section of Ng’ombe, Gertrud and I did a little Christmas shopping for the 500+ kids, widows and grandmas that Chikumbuso sponsors. Thanks to Julie, Ann and Dennis for sending some money to help make all of these peoples Christmas a little bit better. The dollar goes A LOT further here than in the states. When possible I try to shop within the community and support the small businesses.
Christmas is different here. You don’t hear kids saying I want this or I need that, what they want is some food for the family, shoes and warm cloths. They will be so grateful for anything that is received. Today we bought 500Kg (1100 lbs.) of rice and some solar powered lights. Before we are done everyone will take home rice, a bag of sugar, a bag of salt, and a bottle of cooking oil. Some get the solar lights others get clothes, shoes, umbrellas and school supplies
It is a sad day in lusaka. Melissa’s super market in Kabulonga is a total loss due to fire.
There never is a good time to lose your means of income but so close to the holidays is awful. Melissa’s employed a large number of people who will now struggle even more this season. The economy is in not good right now. Melissa’s is a local store that provided good quality food and produce at affordable prices. I would go out if my way to just buy their bread! It was the best in lusaka! I wish all the best to their staff.
This Thanksgiving we went to our friends Ty and Francis. Francis and I decided to split the work and we shared the joys of hosting an American holiday in Zambia. We had 16 people and the dinner went off without a hitch. We even had a Zambian enjoy our gluttonous overeating on his first Thanksgiving. I think next year he will be thankful for not being invited. He was stuffed but loved all the traditional foods. The French man couldn’t get enough of the pie. It was a great holiday with great friends and beautiful weather. We were home by 9:30 so we could be up and on the road to the Bat migration at 5am.
On a trip home. Those of you who know me well, know I never leave the house once. I always have to go back for something. This is an everyday event and the guards just laugh at me. Thursday was no different as I forgot serving spoons of all things. I was driving down the dirt road after a night of rain, all the sudden I see a bicycle upside down next to my passenger window! Holy s#%*. I stop the car look over and see a young boy looking up at me from the ditch. My first thought is “crap I just hit a kid” As I get out of the car a guard from what turns out to be an old Vice Presidents house walks out and tells me that the boy tried to overtake me and he has no brakes on his bicycle. I’m glad it happened in front of someone like that. When the boy figured out he wasn’t going to make it because of the potholes and pools of water he ended up hitting a deep hole and flipped over flying him and his buddy into the ditch. His buddy saw it coming so he landed well. UGH, I still felt awful. The boy speaks no English so the guard translated for me and ultimately I took him to a nearby clinic gave him a few bucks to cover the bill and was on my way.I just wanted to make sure he would be fine and he would have never been able to go and cover the cost on his own. Just a reminder how fast things in life can change.
Sorry that I have fallen behind again so I will keep it short. 🙂
This Veterans day we celebrated by going back to Victoria Falls, so I could see it in dry season. WOW! You should defiantly go back and look at the first post during wet season. You won’t believe it. This was my third time and I still love it. This time we spent a day on the Zambia side and then went and spent a day on the Zimbabwe side. Both sides have their perks but I think I like Zimbabwe a little better.
We opted to fly down this time to save ourselves the seven hour drive. I like the drive but we have seen it enough and I wanted to cram a lot in so when you come visit I will know Livingston pretty good. This is a must see. After our one hour flight we hit the ground running. We have found a great local driver with great rates and he is always ready to take us around. We check in to a new Bed and Breakfast drop our bags and we are off to the Falls. It was a HOT day so we just hung out on the Zambia side with plans on going into Zimbabwe the following day. We did get to walk all over the top of the falls because it is dry. Felt like the moon.
The Zimbabwe side was amazing! I would say it is better than the Zambia side. You can see the entire falls and really understand just how big it is. They even had a little water
What a great follow up to the last post. If you have time,you should watch this episode of Dual Survival. It was on last night. It will give you an idea of the Zambezi area and help you know why I love it down there. Now don’t get to worried, Its not as dangerous as they make it sound,
A week or so ago, a few guys went on a fishing trip to the Lower Zambezi. As usual, we took the embankment road through the mountains. This route always seems to have a lot of elephants towards the end and that day was no different. We had to zip past a few that where a little too close for comfort. The drive is one of the best parts.
We got to the campsite and set up with no issues. Martin was in his rooftop tent. Brian and I were on the ground, we put our tents up next to some bushes so we wouldn’t be trampled in the night by the passing wildlife. We cooked dinner, made plans for the next day, and got ready for bed. It was Africa HOT so a dip in the pool and sleeping with a wet towel on top of you is pretty much the only way one can fall asleep. Around 2 am, I woke up hearing what I thought was monkeys in the trees playing around. As the noise got closer, I decided I needed to take a look. I unzipped my tent, turned on my torch (flashlight). Holy shit, there was an elephant eating out of the tree 10 feet away and directly in front of Martin’s truck. Aside from the noise of the elephant stripping the tree leaves, all I could hear was Martin snoring away. He didn’t even notice that the elephant was eating next to his head and bumping up against his truck. At this point I was a little freaked so I kept flashing my light at the elephant who steered me down then decided to walk away. Phew. A long sleepless night indeed.
The next morning, I asked Martin and Brian about the elephant but they had no idea what I was talking about as they slept through the entire time. I guess I’m still a rookie at this camping in the bush thing! We run into some people we knew at the next camp site and were asked, “Who was the one with the nervous flashlight last night?” LOL. That was me!
Once on the river to catch some tigerfish, we first had to catch our bait fish. We found a nice eddy and I could have spent the day there. We just kept catching fish. One bait fish I caught had big teeth marks and missing flesh on his side. We were all a little confused thinking maybe a tigerfish tried getting him. As we were talking it over a crocodile floats to the top to let us know this is his fishing hole and we needed to share.
We spent the day on the river catching tigerfish and even a 22lb catfish. The scenery was too increidble to put into words. Elephants were all around feeding and keeping cool. Crocodiles were sunbathing and hippos were at every turn. What a way to spend a day.
Day two of camping. As soon as we got back to camp, we soaked in the pool and I use that term loosely. It was filled with river water and was as slimy and murky as you can imagine. We were so hot we didn’t even hesitate to jump in.. After we are cooled off, we made dinner and talked about the day. When it was time for bed, I decide to tighten up security around my tent by making a barricade around it with the camping chairs. A false sense of security just like soft Jeep doors. J I went off to bed with my wet towel and I slept through the night! I was so proud that my chairs had kept the wildlife away. Then Martin tells me that a hippo was eating in front of my tent and I didn’t wake up. LOL Everyone says that the animals don’t want anything to do with us so they will leave you alone. I guess I am going to have to start believing that.
As I sit here watching election coverage, I figured we could use a little break from Politics. I hope this gives you a few minutes of relief knowing what is out there in our World. Life is short, get out and live it. I will keep it short.
South Luangwa Puku Ridge camp
Warring some pictures may bother some of you…
A few weeks ago Kat, me, Ty and Francis took the long drive north to the South Luangwa National park. It was a great day driving through some beautiful country. When we got into the park it was only minutes till we saw about six Lions with a buffalo kill. This would turn out to be our first of 4 kills. The second day we quit counting animals due to the sheer volume we saw! I’m guessing that the hotter, the drier, the better for game viewing. We saw darn near everything! Elephants, zebra, lions, cheetahs, buffalo, wild dog, hyena, hippo, giraffe, crocodile, warthog and more.
When we would have our sun downers overlooking Hippo pods and amazing views, we also saw some local fisherman in their mokoro’s (canoe) getting uncomfortably close to the hippos for me.
I fully expect to never be able to top this safari. Even the guides couldn’t believe how great it was.
Angela, I finally have experienced “Africa HOT” As you can see in the last picture. I had to lay in a cold tub two to three times a day to just cool off. In my defense, the lions were also hot and needed to spread out as you will see in the previous picture.
Meet Daliso. He is my little helper who lives at Chikumbuso with his mother. I don’t know his full story yet but I know his mother is a widow. He is always so happy to see me and will run across the lot to greet me. 🙂 He is always their to lend a helping hand, carrying a paint bucket or moving some pipe so I can’t find it. He likes to pull out what little hair I have on my legs off so I know he’s there.
One day, we were sitting around and he wanted to play with my phone. I turned on the camera and I do believe this is the first time he had ever seen himself. So crazy to think but not all people here have mirrors! This is not as uncommon as you would think. I kept explaining to him that it was him in the picture and, as he was pointing the camera at himself, he realized it was him. Such a cool thing to experience.
For those of you who didn’t know, I have been working at Chikumbuso Woman’s and Orphans project in Ng’ombe. They serve about 450 lunches a day and provide free education to anyone that wants it.
It has been a great adventure so far and there is more work than one would guess. I work with the kids from time to time so they can learn basic hands on skills that they will have forever i.e. carpentry,plumbing cement work and how to replace windows ( thanks Rachel for he soccer balls 😉 ) Yes I did paint over President G.W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush’s hand prints. OOPS. I also managed to sneak Benny dog into the painting on the wall, so look for him.It is so nice to show kids that actually want to learn and truly appreciate it. The more I am there the more they ask me to do and we have some pretty big projects coming down the line. So far the biggest project was to find water. After three attempts we finally found it at 125 meters (410 feet). Who knew it would be so hard to find water on this Continent. Its a great cause and I feel luck to help out where I can.