I'm going to finish up the 'Weirdest Gigs' list another time. Right now I must share photos, clips and stories from Zambia where my brother Paul and his partner Sitali were recently married. Afterwards we took a trip South to Livingstone to experience Africa at it's best.
|The Zambezi River|
|Downtown Lusaka near the train station.|
I haven't been face to face with expreme poverty like this since I went to Vietnam in 1995.
In consideration of the immense poverty and callenges facing it, this is a good time for Zambia and its people which founded it's independence in 1964. We were there for independece day. The copper belt -which it once relied on (along with a impressive rail network) - isn't producing the same revenue it once had and so there is more development now in education (Lusaka hosts a large University) and the presevation of it's natural resouces. Tourism is big business. Zambians practice free elections, have a proud history of democracy and enjoy spectacular natural wonders, most famous of all is Victoria Falls (shared w Zimbabwe), the mighty Zambezi river and incredible wildlife which is protected and extremely accesible. I would know as on our first night in Livingstone me, my bro and some friends were treated to an exciting taxi ride at night on a dirt road through a family of elephants. The driver said it was important not to surprise them, then he turned on his lights and gunned it, narrowly missing the calf and running off the road. If he had made an error in judgment (since when was driving between a baby elephant and it's parents a sign of good judgement?) then we surely would have been made into puree. So glad our kids and mother weren't along for that ride. But I did admire our drivers tenacity for adventure and putting his and his passengers lives on the line. We never got as close to an elephant after that but we did feel the ground shake as a herd of them came running towards us a few days later while on safari. That safari driver turned around quite suddenly so we assumed they were coming after us. This was an amazing sight - to see them run! - and to think we may be trampled at any moment only added to the thrill.
After we rounded a bend in the road I got some other footage of this one towing the rear.
|The first dance|
|Upstream from the falls we took a cruise on the African Queen|
After the wedding we flew to Livingstone. It was a small plane and a bumpy decent which the kids loved. On the day we arrived we took a river safari on the Zambezi River - on the African Queen no less - where we enjoyed the view and the open bar!
|Drifting on the current|
|Merle relaxing with family and friends|
|Hippos cool off by the banks of the Zambezi|
The next day we went to Victoria Falls which really was an amazing experience for all of us. Although it was extremely hot (tempertures averaged 100degrees) we took in as much as possible.
|Victoria Falls in the dry season|
|Trying to keep the boy cheery in the intense heat|
|Paul and Davita are brave enough to sit at the precipice of this massive gorge|
|This is as close to the edge as I would go|
|Another view of the bridge. No bunge jumpers today|
Our greatest adventure still lay ahead of us: A safari through the bush in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park!
|We hiked into this restricted territory where the guards protect the white rhinos from poachers|
|Perhaps my favorite picture of the trip was of this Boabab Tree|
|Our beautiful journey comes to an end but the memories will live forever!|