a journal entry: 19-23 may 2009

the family arrived safe and sound and off to the village we went! we had a great few days staying at my house, although it was a bit challenging having so many people around when i’m so used to being on my own. but i managed to work through it!

i’ve also shared plenty of photos in my last post, so don’t miss those! and then we went on safari!!!!!!

19 may 2009: botswana!

WAY better day than yesterday! i’m on safari! in botswana! which is WAY nicer than zambia! zambia needs to get on its game. they could be making huge bank. HUGE if they quit planting maize and started game parks. anyway, i woke up in a better mood today. i have pushed what happened yesterday aside and have just enjoyed my day. cause i’m on SAFARI!

elephants, birds, hippos (one even charged at another boat!), kudu, impala, some eagles, crocs, warthogs, guinea fowl (although i don’t consider that a true ‘safari’ animal), giraffes, and i can’t even remember what else! SO many animals. no lions but its because i wanted to see them.

we started off on a river safari and then came to the lodge for lunch. then we went for the driving safari which was cooler. i got my own room and it faces the electric fence to keep the big game away. i’m going to enforce my village mentality. i’ll stay inside, they can stay outside. it’s pretty awesome when i was taking my shower (the best on this vacation!) and i heard elephants trumpeting! how cool is that!?!? AFRICA!!!!!!!!!

23 may 2009

wow. the fam is gone. it was kinda sad to leave and it was a quick goodbye since i left them to go and pay for an extra night at the travel agent. and then i had to convince the bush tracks guy to stay so i could go back with him to town. so it all happened in a huge big rush. but i managed to do it all. no i’m relaxing at jollyboy’s, drinking a beer and waiting for my bus at 1pm.

so what have we been doing for the last few days? nothing really. got back, had a place to stay at the sun. the president of zambia was there (only in africa!), then we chilled there for the rest of the vacation. i stayed in bed for most of the time. watched tv and enjoyed all of the pillows! i even took a bath! i got to watch a ton of terrible movies and even the new 90210, which was way better than i thought it would be.

we also went on a safari boat sunset thing. that was pretty cool although we didn’t see too much. then we went on a morning game drive in mosi-oa-tunya park. it was also pretty cool but they are doing major construction in the park, so no rhinos or elephants. the noise has scared them away. we did see 2 giraffes, buffalo and even wildebeests. and warthogs, monitor lizards, and birds.

we also saw a grave site from the old town. it was from the early 1900s, when workers were building the bridge. most of them died of black water fever (or malaria as they call it today). one guy died of a head injury from a falling rock. only in africa would you come across such a crazy site int he middle of a national park.

grandpa, grandma, mom and dad in front of victoria falls

then more eating and laying around. i seriously can’t event look at any more food without wanting to vomit. i’ve already had enough meat to last a life time.

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in photos: may and june 2009

may and june in the village were AMAZING!!!!!! i was back in my own house after having to move because i was sick. PLUS my parents and grandparents came for a visit!

below is a video that my mom took when we were visiting binashy, the best old lady in the entire village! i used to hang out with her and her old lady friends. they had their own group and i would go for their meetings. which was just them gossiping, me trying to understand the fast tonga that they were speaking and me telling them how to bake cupcakes. even from this short video, you’ll discover how amazing binashy is!

when the family arrived, we rented a camping truck so we could drive to my village and we would all have a place to stay! and right after we picked up the truck, we saw elephants! i had never seen elephants in my entire time in zambia – so the trip was out to a good start for sure! they were just on the side of the road! we were just driving into livingstone to go eat dinner! honestly, it was mesmerizing to see elephants like i would see deer in south dakota.
they were just on the side of the road! we were just driving into livingstone to go eat dinner! honestly, it was mesmerizing to see elephants like i would see deer in south dakota.
this is my all time favorite picture of jeannie. my mom took this one.
and then i took this one because it sums up my family’s visit in one great photo. my host family staring at my bio family to see if they might act different or interesting or do something funny.
zambia has a cold season! for a few weeks, tops. but staying warmed up in the house in the evenings was a necessity. maybe not the safest way to keep warm, but i managed to stay alive.
cooking inside! safety first, i moved my brazier off the plastic mat.
i remember one of the older girls coming over for help with math homework. which turned into everyone coming over to do their homework.