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I always keep promises!Informational meetings: Experience Africa with Elsie and Daring Journeys‏

Ok so lets go to Africa because I got to go back and I want you to come and have your own Daring Journey

You are Invited

December 17th, 5:00 p.m.
December 20th, 2:00 p.m.
World Grounds Cafe

Join Elsie in Africa…Dare Yourself!

 

Who can go: Anyone  that  might want to go to Africa this summer or following summers.(educator, student, relative, friend, neighbor or colleague)

What the meeting is about: How you can experience a “Taste of Africa.”
3 weeks

 
4 countries (South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe)
Service work: Visit and interact with other educators and community members while doing service work at Orphan schools, local schools, old folks home, townships, and local villages.
Cultural Exchange: Learn about local traditions, experience music and dancing, and shop and barter with local merchants.
Activities and adventure: Elephant rides, walks with lions, boat rides, water falls, game drives, hikes, walks, river rafting and more.

Why Go to the meeting?
To learn how you can have an experience that will change the way you look at yourself, the world, and the communities  in which you live by bringing “Africa” back home to  your schools, families, friends, and coworkers.
  
How can I go to Africa?:  Elsie and Daring Journeys will suggest ideas on how to fund your Journey and will walk you through the process of preparing for your journey and guide you there and back safe and sound.


 
When are the meetings?:
December 17th, 5-6 or December 20, 2-3
 

 

Where are the meetings?:
World Grounds Cafe 
(go to the back kitchen area for meeting space)
3726 MacArthur Blvd
(between Loma Vista Ave & Brown Ave)
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 482-2933
 
Next steps
  1. Look out for the Evite that is coming soon.
  2. Let me know if you have any other people that you want me to send this email to.
  3. If you can’t make the meetings and want to talk more let me know because I CAN’T stop talking about Africa. Lets grab a coffee or talk over the phone. Let me know.
  4. Take a look:

        http://www.daringjourneys.myphotoalbum.com/

  • Daring Journeys website: Take a look at past journeys (website is currently being updated)

        http://www.daringjourneys.com
 

Love you alllllll and Happy Holidays
 The Soweto township World Cup Soccer Stadium. Its huge!
I have the video as well!
I am exactly where I want to be!

Day 28-29: August 25-26: Leaving Africa: Ending with a 3 hour visit to the Apartide Muesium, Untill next time Sweet Africa, Ending this Daring Journey and begining a new one.

We ended the last two days roaming around Joburg and taking in the final moments. Me especially. Delton will be staying on and waiting for his real clients coming in a few weeks. This trip was a regognisence trip. One where he explores new areas, activities, accommodations, and gets the groundwork layed out for his up coming trip. I was definitely lucky to have been able to come along for the ride. I never thought this trip would happen considering everything that happened this summer but God’s Grace is amazing and he can do things that I never could even imagine for myself.

This trip was a blessing in SO MANY WAYS. 

Here are some shots of the Aparthide Meusium. The Meusium was absolutely genius in the way it educated the public. I have never been to anything like this in the states. We have so much to learn from Africa.

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I was taking pictures the whole time I was there. No one told me not to take pictures and I did not see any signs that said “no pictures.” I want to make and apology to the museum if I was not supposed to take the shots.

Here are some shots of the inside exhibits.

Tell it like it really is.

Tell it like it really is.

The truth shall set you free.

The truth shall set you free.

A part of our history

A part of our history

Sounds very familiar

Sounds very familiar

On the roof top of the building is a panoramic view. This describes what I am looking at.

On the roof top of the building is a panoramic view. This describes what I am looking at.

The Nelson Mandela exhibit was running

The Nelson Mandela exhibit was running

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Its good to know that Mr. Mandela and I share similar interests. 8) However,  I never boxed professionally

It's good to know that Mr. Mandela and I share similar interests. 8) However, I never boxed professionally

A wonderfull book that was exibited in huge posters. I can't wait to own it.

A wonderful book that was exhibited in huge posters. I can't wait to own it.

This was a huge room and this was what I looked up at while I was view footage on a wall accross the way. Very intense exibits that really brought forth significant emotion

This was a huge room and this was what I looked up at while I was view footage on a wall across the way. Very intense exhibits that really brought forth significant emotion

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The Scary details of apartide were pervasive, direct, and had holocost written all over it.

The scary details of apartheid were pervasive, direct, and had holocaust written all over it.

Explaing the removal of PEOPLE

explaining the removal of PEOPLE

Last Sunrise in Johburg

Last Sunrise in Johburg

Last stop before going to the airport

Last stop before going to the airport

The willow tree is what attacked us as well as the sunrise over this little lake in the middle of Johburg.

The willow tree is what attacked us as well as the sunrise over this little lake in the middle of Johburg.The second we started taking photos here security drove up and asked us to leave. Its good to know they are on the lookout.We got to the airport in plenty of time. Delton had about 45 more minutes before his flight and I had about 10 hours. I would have done another tour but I only had 40 Rand on me which would pay for my coffees and diet cokes for the day if I rationed it out. I had not planned my finances as well as I could have but hey, its my first time and I learned a lot about how to travel in Africa and just oversees in general.Having one last Whimpy's mega coffee with Delton my travel buddy.

I was now hooked on Whimpy’s coffee and we had one last one together before we parted ways.
Last shot taken in Africa. Thank Delton 8)

Last shot taken in Africa at the Johburg Airport. I have approximately 10 hours before my flight. Delton is off to Victoria Falls in one hour to wait for his guests who will arrive soon.

Delton.
You showed me Africa.
I am forever grateful.
8)
Its now time for a new journey. I am home now and am working on trying to get a cohort of educators to come with me to Africa next summer. Thanks to Daring Journeys the ground work has already been layed. Now its what you make of it. SO if you have read this and are at all interested in going to Africa next year or in future year, let me know. I will be doing my best working towards getting back there and if I can help anyone else who wants to go I would be honored.
A dear friend that I just spoke to asked me to name three things that I learned when I was in Africa. Our conversation inspired me to finally finish the blog so that I can come to a completion and begin the new journey with the past in tact.
The three things are:
1. Africa is not only the cradle of civilization for humanity, but I now think of it and know it as the cradle of  human progress.
2. Elephants can see directly into your soul
3. Heaven is not as far as you think.
Just  open your eyes, heart, and soul to this gift of a day
and
YOU
ARE
THERE
Love always,
Elsie

World Cup Fever: All of the stadiums except one! (I was there!)

We made it a point to visit as many of the World Cup 2010 stadiums that we could. We visited 4 out of five of the stadiums. All of them were being worked on and behind schedual but almost there. We were at the Durban stadium, Soweto Stadium, Cape Town Stadium, and the Nelspruit Stadium. The only one we could not visit was the Port Elizabeth Stadium, which happens to be the only one that has been completed. 8)

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Because World Cup fever is so pervasive I took pictures of cool billboards and other soccer structures.

This is a soccer ball crashing into a building in Johburg. Brillient!

View crossing the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johburg

View crossing the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johburg

 

They  did this cool thing were they covered old big abandoned buildings with a big worldcup advertisement cover. It looks like a building but its really a covered building with an ad.

So cool. The building is completely empty.

So cool. The building is completely empty.

johburg buildboard

Enjoy the pictures. I am keeping my fingers crossed for next year.

Exciting signs like this everywhere you go.

Exciting signs like this everywhere you go.

What is cool is that in addition to all the stadiums the cities will be erecting huge veiwing screens all around town as well as in the townships. When we were there one of the many conversations that the media was having was how each statdium will have seats reserved just for the construction workers that helped to build the stadiums.

Its amazing what the world cup is doing to Africa.

 

 

 

 

Coke is a huge advertiser of the WC 2010

Coke is a huge advertiser of the WC 2010

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durban

This stadium has a trolly that will move over the stadium during the game!

This stadium has a trolly that will move over the stadium during the game!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brillient!

Brillient!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 We stopped at this stadium on the way to Kruger national park. Its just  massive. Imagine this at night.

Nelspruit is close to Kruger. Go look at Game all day and stop off for a soccer game. Not to shabby!

Nelspruit is close to Kruger. Go look at Game all day and stop off for a soccer game. Not to shabby!

There was a little soccer field right next to the stadium. I am glad they left it in tact.

There was a little soccer field right next to the stadium. I am glad they left it in tact.

 The Cape Town stadium looked like it was the most behind. Cape town has been busy working on other things to be ready. I think they will be done soon.

Cape town stadium

Cape town stadium

The only thing left standing around this stadium was a McDonalds. It was still open and the stadium built around it. Can you believe how lucky that McD's is?

The only thing left standing around this stadium was a McDonalds. It was still open and the stadium built around it. Can you believe how lucky that McD's is?

Soweto is the place to be! The biggest and badest township in the world has the biggest and badest World Cup Stadium.
It really looks like a space ship when you come accross it. Its massive!

It really looks like a space ship when you come accross it. Its massive!

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Sun setting on the stadium

Sun setting on the stadium

Soccer balls line many of the major city streets in some way. Whether its how neighborhood steets are lit up or how adds are posted. Its everywhere.

Soccer balls line many of the major city streets in some way. Whether its how neighborhood steets are lit up or how adds are posted. Its everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My favorite World Cup memory will always be when Delton gave a villiage boy in Livingston a new soccer ball to replace his old hand made “soccer ball.”

Soccer is not only a game!

This is our ball now

This is our ball now

Delton giving out a new ball. He makes a mental note to check for a more durable ball when back in the states. The village kids will need the best made balls becuase of the terrain they will be playing on in the villages.

Delton giving out a new ball. He makes a mental note to check for a more durable ball when back in the states. The village kids will need the best made balls becuase of the terrain they will be playing on in the villages. We want the balls to last as long as possible.

Thank you's for the new ball

Thank you's for the new ball

The new soccer ball is the bomb! Kids ready to show everyone the new ball.

The new soccer ball is the bomb! Kids ready to show everyone the new ball.

 

World Cup 2010. Africa is almost ready.

 

 Are you?

Day 26-27: August 23-24th: The cool cats of Soweto and driving through a soccer game crowd.

airballoon ball

 

 

 In Joburg, one of the biggest and oldest townships is called Soweto. This township is filled with people and its amazing. This place has certainly had its history of violence but it is also a place of great strength, hope, life, and community. There is something about the people of Soweto that stuck me deeply. They have a pep in their stride, a strength in their spirit, couragous and fearless zest for life and I am sure they know something more grand, more authentic, more mysterious about life that we just don’t know because we don’t live and are not from Soweto.

This is a soccer air ballon that is lifted over their soccer stadium during a game.

Check out more on Soweto. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soweto

Have you seen District 9 yet? Its based in Soweto and the human connections to what is and what has gone on is amazing. The aliens in the movie make the conversation easier to have but if you look into what the movie is talking about you will see the truth.

coolhat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 This is an old coal plant that has been shut down. The towers are are painted with the colorful jazz vibes of Soweto. The man walking is wearing a hat that is so “SOWETO” I looked for it everywhere.

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 This is the massive new stadium being built for the world cup. It looks like a huge space ship.

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 We were caught in the middle of some traffic after the local soccer game. It was electric being around the people coming out of the game. SO much energy. I did not take an pictures because I was too scared. I did not want to offend any of the poepel of Soweto. It was a feeling I had and I just did not want to be disrepctful to them because they are awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

You can ride in this soccerball air balloon. We watched it susspend above the stadium during the game and when it was over it slowly made its way down to a nearby mall parking lot.SDC12736

 

Massive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its not done yet.soweto stad

Day 23-25: August 20-23: Camping in the magnificent Drakensburg Mountain Range, Kruger National Park and the Big 5.

I never thought I would be driving across this beautiful continent. An African road trip sounds like a dream and I am here to tell you that it is. What land. The cultural landscape is intriguing the physical land scape if awe inspiring and the spiritual connection  you feel to both are indescribable. My experience has been beyond what words or this blog can reveal. It must be lived. I am so grateful to have this moment.

Driving to the Drakensberg mountain range was like entering un uncharted territory of new and exciting towns, villages, people, and topography. This mountain range spans such a long distance along side of Lesotho.  Most of it can only be entered if you have an all terrain vehicle. A vw passat is not all terrain but it got us close enough for this trip.

Driving to the Drakensburg

Driving to the Drakensberg

countryside
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Beautiful scenery!countryside3
Reformed housing
localtownatthefoothills
youarehere
What a landscape
Drake1
Drake2
drake4
Cathedrall peak
Yes it snows in Africa. Lots of it. Our vehicle only could take us 40 km close. We needed an SUV or Hummer to got the rest of the way. Next year?Another peak
I can officially say that I went camping in Africa at the foot of the Drakensberg mountains. What a site. We got to the national park and were one of two people there. The other’s were camping here for 10 days. This couple has been coming to this one spot for 20 years. There are waterfalls, hiking, and tons of animal and bird viewing.A campers dream come true
camping2
campingbackground
outsidekitchen
The camp site was fully equiped with outside kitchens an bathrooms. I could have stayed here the rest of the trip.A she 2
waternearcamp
Kruger and the big 5: I did not get many shots from the biggest game park in Africa because of low battery but I got a few. The Big Five are rhino, buffalo, leopard, elephant, and lion. All can be seen here!
A huge rhino
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This is a big old Rhino. Most Rhinos are becoming extinct in Africa. We were lucky to see this one.  The next is Kudu. A huge majestic animal with spiraling horns. They also make great bulton(a very health beef jerky)Kudu camo
fire2

On our way to the area and leaving the area, fires are a familiar sight. Some are natural but most are man made. This is a refinery that has caught fire on the way to Johburg from Kruger.fire

Big African flowerDo you know what flower this is? I saw these everywhere.

Day 15-Day 21. August 12-18, 2009. Wednesday-Tuesday: Cape Town, SA, Backpackers lodges are the way to go, Camps Bay, Table Mountain, 12 Apostles, Simons Town, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point, The Southwesterly Tip of the African Continent, World cup Mania, South Africa is not like the “real Africa,” Townships and Shanti Towns..

Cape town!

Its differnt than what I have seen and yet it is the same as where I am from. Its just like the Bay Area except a little different look. Its not like the “Africa” I knew and have come to know. Wow. The history, the culture. I am actually called colloured here. There is White, Colloured,and African

A hand painted collage of Nelson Mandella. Those are all hands!

mandellawithhands

Most of the Africans working here in town actually live in the surrounding townships and shanti towns. They travel into capetown on foot or by mini bus or taxi. One of the buses is called “the bus for us” meaning this bus will pick you up if you are an African.

The real Mama Africa restuarant! Awesome Murals.

mamaafricamurel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each mural was this cool

Each mural was this cool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The racism here is hard to explain. Its different yet the same. Nobody questions it to much here. Seems like everyone has a  “knows their  place” kind of a feeling. Like I said. Its hard to explain and understand. Don’t forget Apartide has just “recently’ begun to be “dismantled” Its amazing how much has changed here in such a short period of time.

There have definately been places and towns where the African resentment is felt clearly becuase you can almost cut through it with a knife and then there are places  and towns where everyone is happy. THere is a big difference between the feel of the places and towns where the majority of the business are black owned and run vs. towns that are run by white only.

I am not explaining this a great as I could because I could really do a few Phd’s on it all.

We are staying at a back packers lodge called Ashanti. Its awesome and has everything we need for  a low price. Hot and clean showers, Internet, Cafe, small heater, clean common use kitchen and its walking distance from every thing.

Cape town takes your breath away.

12 apostles in the background

12 apostles in the background at a place called Camps Bay. Beautiful ocean town. Reminds me of Sausolito.They are breath taking

I am calling this one Mathew. Doesn't it look like Mathew?!

I am calling one of the 12 apostles, this one ,Mathew. Doesn't it look like Mathew?!

Table mountain. You can hike it or take a cable extension car up the mountain if the wind is not to bad.

Table mountain. You can hike it or take a cable extension car up the mountain if the wind is not to bad.

On our way to table mountain. View of Cape town. Looks like the bay area.

On our way to table mountain. View of Cape town. Looks like the bay area.

 We took a drive down the coast to Simons Town. This town was over taken by the JackAss penguins. They are all over and their numbers have been declining but the people are working hard to make sure their numbers increas.
As we passed Simons town we made our way down to the Southwesterly most tip of the African Continent. We went to the Cape of good hope and Cape point.
  This was amazing. The south westerly most tip of Africa. ( I could not stop saying that when I was there) I never thought I would be standing at this spot. I look to the left and its the Indian ocean. To the  right the Atlantic.
Southwesterly most tip of Africa

Southwesterly most tip of Africa!

Can you guess what wild animal hangs out at the Southwesterly most tip of Africa. Can you? Well I had no Idea that I would get to the southwesterly most tip of Africa and run into, none other than huge, collassal, wild Oschtrages. Thats right. They were all over. Roming free and mad if you tried to close. I can’t find my picture!!!1
Yes its a gravestone that I am leaning against of one of the many shipwrecks that happened here.

Yes its a gravestone that I am leaning against of one of the many shipwrecks that happened here.

Whalespective!

Whalespective!

After leaving the Cape of good hope it was hard thinking about what this site meant a few hundred yeas ago. To think, someone could have been hanging out on the beach and look up to say “oh look, its a slave ship” This was one of the entry points for slave ships coming and going. To think about it is really immense. That it actually happened here, just one of the many places on earth.
Cape town is interesting but it is also conflicting. Real life here can be very different depending on WHO you are.
One day I did a Township tour in the morning and in the evening. We visited two townships. Langa and Khyleshia. Kyleashia being the biggest of over 2 million people.
I will shop pictures and add comentary. Again. You have to experience it your self. Being with the people that live in the townships and shanti towns. Talking to them. Asking them about how they live, what their hopes are for themselves and their kids and just listening to them talk about life was unforgettable. I went into hostels, shacks, and reformed housing. All of these were in the townships. Please don’t forget that the waiters at the restuarants, my guide on the town ship tour and most of the Black poeple that I see come home at night to there townships. When I say Cape Town is conflicting its because of this.
As far as the eyes can see.

As far as the eyes can see.

outsideshacks
THe shacks do not have toilets in them. You see rows of toilets along the outskirts of the townships.

THe shacks do not have toilets in them. You see rows of toilets along the outskirts of the townships.

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This is typical. Trash is everywhere you look and step. The burning of trash happens alot allong side of the townships or inside next to a shack. There is no garage service here.

One part of a 10 x 12 Hostil room that houses 16 people. This means three families.

One part of a 10 x 12 Hostil room that houses 16 people. This means three families in this one room.

This is a Grandmother and her Grand daugher. The Grandmother has been living in this Hostil for 40 years. A hostil is  a big building with many rooms. This one had on the first floor, 6 rooms.  Each room is about 10 feet x 10 feet and each room houses 3 families. So in each room there are three beds with belongings stacked in piles up, down, sideways and all around. The children usually sleep under the beds.

One outside sink is used by all families. Electricty goes to each room and that is where the one or two hotplates are used to warm and cook food for everyone who shares that room.

tThis is the other bed in that room and accroos from us is the third bed. Rememer 3 families live in this one room.

tThis is the other bed in that room and accroos from us is the third bed. Rememer 3 families live in this one room.

Another room that houses three families

Another room that houses three families

Here and her family have been on a waiting list to get a reformed house, (a small area that is not shared in a building) They have been waiting for 14 years.

Here and her family have been on a waiting list to get a reformed house, (a small area that is not shared in a building) They have been waiting for 14 years.

Ready for a picture at any moment

Ready for a picture at any moment

These guys followed me everywhere.

These guys followed me everywhere.

I am going to call this the goat place. Its a place of business. A popular spot in manytownships. Its where women get the goat heads ready.

I am going to call this the goat place. Its a place of business. A popular spot in manytownships. Its where women get the goat heads ready.

goatheadladies
If you have a sensitive stomach then you might want to turn away. These ladies boil, cut, scrape, ax, and eat and serve goats heads all day long.
As I left cape town I was glad to have been able to have a greater understanding of township life. I was also glad to leave because it just did not feel like “Africa”

Day 14. August 11, 2009. Tuesday: Morning game drive, Crossing the border back into Botswana and driving to Gaberone with 4 girls.

Woke up and went straight to the fire. Had my prepackaged breakfast and tea and we were off to go deeper into Hwange National Forest. 

Its freezing and we have blankets on in the Safari SUV.NPITSCOLD

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Morning

Good MorningThey are beautiful and everywhere you look.

HwangeNP
A typical scene when we come accross game on the road

A typical scene when we come accross game on the road

tons of monkeys at a watering hole

tons of monkeys at a watering hole

As we left Hwange we were not to happy with the game that we saw. There was something going on with the watering holes and the patterns that the animals have established in the area. We are thinking that some of the lodges are monitoring the water they let out into the manmade watering holes depending on how many clients they will have. The recession is affecting many places in Africa.
We will be going to Kruger NP towards the end of the trip so the game there should be abundent.
We left Hwange and went to pick up Olga’s girls. We are going to give these girls a ride into Botswana to their Auties house. (5hour drive)
We were sitting on luggage. Packed cars are a typical scene here. Especially when people need rides. Hich hiking is commen and accepted here as well. Its a part of life.

We were sitting on luggage. Packed cars are a typical scene here. Especially when people need rides. Hich hiking is commen and accepted here as well. Its a part of life.

We need to  spend the night at Auties because its late when we role in. Tomarrow is the  drive into Johburg (4 hours) and hopefully we make our flight to Cape Town on time tomarrow.  Another day is done and the border crossings are more interesting when you have 4 young girls with you. Before entering Botswana we all had to get out of the car and walk over this muddy solution that was a antibacterial solution for HOOf and Mouth Disease. Your tires roll over it and everyone walks through it.

Its gross but we lived through it.

Tomarrow is another day.!

Day 13, Monday, August 10th, 2009: Cowboy coffee, Last sunrise in Zim, Walking with the lions, Driving to Hwenge National Park, My first Game drive, Elephants in the dark?!, Sleeping in a tree house cabin.

Woke up this moring and had a cowboy coffee. If you don’t have a coffee maker and just have the grinds then you do this:

1. Boil water

2. Pour in the grounds (to your coffee liking. Three heeping spoons for me) in the pot.

3. Let sit.

4 Grounds go to the top.

5. Pour your coffee.

Better than Pete’s I tell you. This morning it was especially strong because today I am going to walk with the lion. I am up at 5:10 and will be picked up at 5:40 am. As we drive to where the lions are the sun has not even started the glow. But the midnight blue is everywhere.

Can you see the mist rising on the water

Can you see the mist rising on the water?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It begining to rise. Glorious Everytime.

It begining to rise. Glorious Everytime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawerence my guide was getting us ready now for the lions. Telling us what to do and not to do. We can’t forget that these are lions. They gave us all sticks and they loaded the rifle, just in case and we began our walk to meet them.

Nothing like a fire in the moring before a walk with lions. Is this really happening?

Nothing like a fire in the moring before a walk with lions. Is this really happening?

 

 

Safety First as well as peace of mind. 8)

Safety First as well as peace of mind. 8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as we stared our walk the sun began to rise……… Then there they were. A small little pack of lions. The biggest one was only 1.5 years old and would grow three times his size in the next year. The other little ones were 6 months and up. Don’t forget . NO matter how cute. They are still Lions. That is the feeling in the air and that never goes away.

WOW

WOW

Alex the oldest. He does what he wants.

Alex the oldest. He does what he wants.

Sasha and waddles playing

Sasha and waddles playing

Ok Here you go. Elsie and the lionssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get out of town.
Not as lite as they look

Not as lite as they look

lwalexhand
Approach only from behind. If they face you get up. Use the stick to push them away. They are lions!

Approach only from behind. If they face you get up. Use the stick to push them away. They are lions!

Careful......Here kitty kitty,....carefulllllll

Careful......Here kitty kitty,....carefulllllll

Shasha love her ears scratched until she's done with me that is.

Shasha love her ears scratched until she's done with me that is.

You know I wanted to bite that tummy. Maybe next time.

You know I wanted to bite that tummy. Maybe next time.

Did I tell you that lions make me melt.

Did I tell you that lions make me melt.

After the lion walk I had an overall sense of wonder and calmness that I have never felt before. I just spent time with lions and let me tell you it was not like any other interaction I have every had. They read you, you read them, they talk to you with their eyes and your soul aches when you are near them because of how majestic they are when you are in there presence. You can’ t feel this until you are next to them. The discovery channel can’t capture this guys.
After the lion walk I packed it up and got ready for our next treck which was also very low priced. We were on our way to Hwange National Park. A very big Game park. When we arrived we put our stuff in our Tree house cabin and got into a safari vehicle to do a Game drive while the sun was going down. On our way out to the miles of open space I saw a shooting start. It was day light out side and I could not believe it. Is it possible to see a shooting start in the day light. I have to do a search but it was like a little blessing at the begining of our drive.
This is what I see as wee drive around. We are up high in this big safari truck.

This is what I see as wee drive around. We are up high in this big safari truck.

It was cold and getting colder but we were out and so were they!! (The animals)
A group of elephant at a watering hole. We are 10 feet away.

A group of elephant at a watering hole. We are 10 feet away.

wateringwhole2

 

Zebras in the distance grazing

Zebras in the distance grazing

You might as well call these guys McPalla. The African Plains fast food.

You might as well call these guys McPalla. The African Plains fast food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This mama elephant did not budge until the baby crossed the road.

This mama elephant did not budge until the baby crossed the road.

A very caucious mama. Made so much noise at us. In the middle of the Bush animal noises travel far.

A very caucious mama. Made so much noise at us. In the middle of the Bush animal noises travel far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunsets in Africa are an event

Sunsets in Africa are an event

As the sun started going down the driver, Noel used a big spot light that he held out of the side of the car while he was driving.

We came accross heard of elephants in the dark and would stop the car while we listened to them go buy. So many noises. So much activity. The animals don’t sleep/rest during the night.

A pack of lions came throught this area about 8 hours ago and our guide was really trying to find them for us. He would see there tracks and follow them. As the light of the sun disappeared another light appeared, the light of the million stars above.

Its been at least 11 years since I have seen the Milky Way like this before. The last time was in a Rain forest in Costa Rica.

We ate dinner, sat by the fire and were in bed by 9. Tomarrow is up at 5 for an early morning game drive.

Here is the cabin that was comped for us.

I am told that elephants walk by your  houses at night sometimes.

I am told that elephants walk by your houses at night sometimes.

The inside was very nice. I had a hot steaming shower and went to bed.
The inside was very nice. I had a hot steaming shower and went to bed.

What a day! I need the sleep and am still thinking about the lions of the morning and now the game in the evening. I don’t know how to think about all of this other than be really gradefull, thankful, and savor each moment as it perculates into existence.

What a blessing it all is. Thank you God for today! NMW!

Day 12. Sunday, August 9, 2009:Leaving Zambia, Back to Zim, The old folks home in Chinotimba Township, A soccer game: Bullaweyo vs. Vic Falls, getting ready for the lions.

A talk with Muamba

A talk with Muamba

 

 Today is my last day in Livingstone. I have to be honest. I don’t want to go. So many other villages and schools to visit but today is also a big day. We go back to Zim and bring food and clothing donations to an old folks home. Before we left I took a walk around the block to take some final photos. NO ONE was on the street. Then I heard church bells ringing. The streets began to fill with people pouring out of the different churches. I ran into Muamba and I asked him to tell me what the sermon was about today. We spoke of spiritual beliefs and personal practices and he said the priest said that we should feed our souls with Gods word in order to be spiritually nourished. That man can not just eat for the body. We had a great conversation and I said goodbye but felt connected to him and gratefull that I was able to participate in an early sunday morning blessing with him.

As we left town we stopped at many of the outside vendors to buy some vegtables. These ladies are out here for hours. You have to be careful on how you choose the veggies as well as how much they quote and how much goes in the bag. Bargaining is key here.

Ladies selling fresh veggies. They stay out here for about 14 hours.

Ladies selling fresh veggies. They stay out here for about 14 hours.

These ladies line all the streets, side walks, and other main areas. Many are out for hours and into the night. Many have their children wrapped closely in a shatange around their back. I think its the perfect way to hold a baby. Close to moms body.

Many Kilos of chickens!
Many Kilos of chickens!
Thank you for your donations. Buying food for the old folks home.
Thank you for your donations. Buying food for the old folks home.

 We left Zambia and crossed back into Zim. No problems coming back. We needed to buy meat and went to a little hole in the wall place called “Refrigeration” It was open on Sunday and we were thankfull. We baught tons of meat to last the old folks for a few days.

 

Many of you donated money for this trip and much of it was used to buy the food, drinks, and other supplies for the old folks home. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We stopped at the Victoria Falls rest camp where Olga hooked us up again by allowing the chefs at rest camp prepare two huge silver platters of a chicken stew with vegtables, huge bowls of coleslaw,  and tons of Sadza!

Chefs at the rest camp volunteering to cook the food for us. Thank you!

Chefs at the rest camp volunteering to cook the food for us. Thank you!

We drove to the old folks home down a dirt road into the Chinotumba township. Most of the houses here are made out of brick with people siting, working, and living outside.
When we got to the old folks home I noticed about 12 buildings, one main building, a shack, a garden, and huge piles of cement brick blocks. I did not see any old folks, only two ladies, and two men who lived and worked here. We bagan taking the food to where the old folks gather to eat. Two years ago the group that came with Daring Journeys spent a few days at this old folks home doing things like replacing broken windows, putting curtains on all of the windows, cleaning out there rooms which from what Delton said were just in terrible conditions. They were grateful and today we are here to give them food, remind them that we have returned to do more work, and give them clothing donations.
Delton carrying a chicken stew.

Delton carrying a chicken stew.Inside the main building it was sparce with about 30 chairs, a small stove, a small counter, and a few shelves. Everything was covered with dust and the room was where they come to eat. Two years ago there were 24 residents. Today there are only 14.Inside their main building where they eat, sit, and cook some of their food.Out side there is a shed where water is boiled and other food is cooked. This is running on coals and wood and the inside is completely black. Imagine cooking and breathing the smoke in while you are in there. The metal grill that the pot is on is just barely put together and is just mangled pieces of metal.Once we had the food out one of the ladies rang a loud bell and then slowly the old folks came out of there little units carrying there own plates. Outside shed where one of the ladies makes the food. The inside is completely black with sut.

Old folks coming to the call of the "food is ready" bell

Old folks coming to the call of the "food is ready" bell

They all came out slowly and were such a sweet site to witness. They had to walk to the main building and get over the two cement stairs which they all had problems getting over. Many had to do it with hands and feet on the stairs.

almost there.

almost there.

Men in the front, ladies in the back. Plates ready to go.

Men in the front, ladies in the back. Plates ready to go.

As they finally got into there seats I was asked to speak to them while one of the workers translated. I said hello in Shona and Ndabelly, what I have learned so far, and they were very happy. I said “Salibonani” and they all laughed at my attempts. I explained what we were doing there and reminded them of who we were and that we were there to figure out what they needed us to do next.
They gave there plates to one of the workers and we began to  fill there plates. This is more food then they are used to eating in one sitting. There plates, which they are very protective of, are filthy and we had to be carefull that none of the overspill was spilling in the food we were serving. This was challenging.
SDC11875
He was asking me for more meat and juice here. I made sure to pour it on.

He was asking me for more meat and juice here. I made sure to pour it on.

After they were done I began to give out clothing donations. Out of my mothers cloths I chose a warm sweater, a shirt, warm pants, and a skirt for the ladies. They loved it all. Even the ladies that were the workers got some cloths they needed. These were cloths that I had seen my mother in and some of them still had her scent on them. I would smell them and give them out and felt good that my mothers cloths were going to be cherished and used buy those that need them the most. It makes me smile to think of her cloths on old ladies and men in a small village in Africa. Is that wierd? 8)
I asked one of the old ladies if I could take here cloths to her house. She said yes and I was able to sneak some pictures. The ladies here don’t really want you taking pictures of them so I was glad to take these so that I could remember where and how they live.
Typical unit that houses two old folks

Typical unit that houses two old folks

sparce rooms, no shelves, no lights

sparce rooms, no shelves, no lights

No shelves in this on, just mosquito net, clothes, old mattress on cinder blocks and new drapes.

No shelves in this on, just mosquito net, clothes, old mattress on cinder blocks and new drapes.

Delton listens as he askes for service projects that his next group can work on. The couple coming in two weeks as well as a bigger group, God Willing, of people to do a few days of work here next year. Could this be you?

Delton listens as he askes for service projects that his next group can work on. The couple coming in two weeks as well as a bigger group, God Willing, of people to do a few days of work here next year. Could this be you?

I suggested railing for the main door of the building and the men were all over it. This would eliminate thier struggle to just get into the building comfortabley. I felt good about this. Such and easy project. This will be done next month.

I suggested railing for the main door of the building and the men were all over it. This would eliminate thier struggle to just get into the building comfortabley. I felt good about this. Such an easy project. This will be done next month.

As we were leaving I took some final pictures of the lady helpers, kids who were running through the area and me in the cooking shack.
Smiles! So thankful.

Smiles! So thankful.

Its warm in here.

Its warm in here.

My favorite old folk. He took left took another plate back to his room.

My favorite old folk. He took left took another plate back to his room.

They love any clothes or hats that have anything on them about the USA.

Sweet neighborhood boys
Sweet neighborhood boys
Old folks going back to their units with plates and new cloths

Old folks going back to their units with plates, water, and new cloths

6 boys in the back seat!

6 boys in the back seat!

As we were leaving down the road I noticed Ben from Shearwater adventures in his car about to enter into a soccer game that was going on. Delton said I should go catch the rest of the game. I love soccer and jumped out of the car and jumped into Bens. As we approached the gate I noticed a bunch of boys standing outside. It was one dollar for kids to enter so I had Ben call over as many boys as we could to pile into the back seat. I was able to get six in the game. Once in it was the last half of Victoria Falls vs. Bullaweyooo. Its a soccer game and in Zim it was even that much more special for me for many reasons. The people around me acknowledged me and the kids were curious. What a game. Everytime some drama happened everyone was up with their hands, their smiles, and their re-enactments. I was loving it.

The crowd was intense!

The crowd was intense!

We were blinking and smiling at each other forever and I finally had to take a picture of these two sweet sisters.

We were blinking and smiling at each other forever and I finally had to take a picture of these two sweet sisters.

As we left Ben pointed out a bus. I thought this was fitting for many reasons for me personally. 8)

As we left Ben pointed out a bus. I thought this was fitting for many reasons for me personally. 8)

Ok so now I go back to rest camp, get my cloths ready because we are leaving for Hwange National Park for one day. But before I go I will be up at 5:20 Am because Ben has booked me on a “Walk with the Lions” activity. Another activity I am comped for. Thank you God for this.
Remember, this could be you next year.

Day 11. August 8, 2009. Saturday: Spreading moms ashes over Victoria Falls and sleeping in great peace.

This is the spot

This is the spotNow that we were on the Zambia side where the falls were falling I could finally do one of the things I set out to do. I have been carrying a small vile of my moms ashes with me now and I have been waiting to scatter them over the main fall of Victoria Falls. If you look at the pictures I have of the falls in the prevous post the main falls is the fullest part of the waterfalls. They never dry up. Other parts of the falls dry up during dry season. We got comped a tour called the Livingstone Island tour. I mean comped people that have been setting up activities for us know that Delton is bring clients next month and they know that I am interested in bringing students, families, friends and other peopel that are interested in a Daring Journey so most of the activities that you have seen me in have been either free of at a very low cost. So we started the tour at this place called the Royal Livingstone. Wow. This is what you call a hotel. We walked the grounds to where the Jetty Ramp was and we were late for the tour. So the hotel people called the guides already on livingstone Island, which is a small Island at the edge of the falls. The jetty came and got us and Delton and I got a personal ride out to the Island. The guide coming back for us. This boat is small and is used to get around all the rocks that lead up to the falls.

There they are. We are getting close to the falls. I can't believe this is happening.

There they are. We are getting close to the falls. I can't believe this is happening.

We get to the Island and Collins, our guide takes us out to the left of the main  falls and begins telling us about the Falls. He holds my hand everywhere because its slippery and overwhelming.

Looking down with Collins my guide close to the spot. We have to hold hands. Its very high up!
Looking down with Collins my guide close to the spot. We have to hold hands. Its very high up!

When we got to the edge a beautifull rainbow appeared. I know this happens all the time here but I think this was a devine  moment and even the heavens were involved with what we were doing. 

 

Wow!

Wow!

 

 

 

A double rainbow appears when we arrive.

A double rainbow appears when we arrive.

A special place to hold her.

A special place to hold her.I have brought my mom a long way. She is is in a small vile of glass that was given to me by the parents of one of my students. The glass vile has an African symbol around the top of it. Inside the bottle was an essential oil that I have used to burn as incense. I wraped the vile in two pieces of cloth. The first cloth was the hankerchief that my father used during to wipe his tears during my mothers funeral sevice. ( Its been washed. 8) The second wrap was one of her scarves that was white sheer and had red hearts all over it. Then I placed them all in a special satchel that was given to me by a dear friend. This friend supported my mother buy listening to her chemotherapy stories and about how she was dealing with her cancer. This friend, has also been affected by cancer, gave my mother her loveing ear and heart and allowed my mom to have this open gift of audience. I know it helped her in her journey with cancer. Thank L!Taking out the Bisma. Special incense rocks for those who have died.I am at the very edge here. The main falls are roaring behind me.Mom I know you will be happy here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The unwrapping

The unwrapping

The first scatter

The first scatter

The second

The second

pouring7
Collins had to help me. I was feeling shakey and asked him to just hold my shoulder. I could see my self getting lost in the massive amounts of water that was flowing downward.

Thank you Delton for helping to make this happen!
Thank you Delton for helping to make this happen!
He did not think he was going to do this today! Thank you Collin. So sweet. So gentle.

He did not think he was going to do this today! Thank you Collin. So sweet. So gentle.

After it was done I felt so relieved and very happy to know that a part of my mom will be eternally here. She’s not in a cemetary off the side of the road. She is here at Victoria Falls, one of the Natural Wonders of the world. She herself was a natural wonder. I felt so good. It felt so right.
I love you my Yimma, my liba, my azizam. You are here with me know. And when I come back to Africa, which I will, God Willing, I will come to visit you in this little peice of heaven.
This night I had the most peaceful sleep. Thank you Delton for allowing this to happen. If it was not for you encouragement to go on the trip and your support in helping me get ready in one week, this would have never have happened.