Thursday, June 8, 2006

Victoria Falls ~ Zambia / Zimbabwe

I went crocodile hunting before breakfast, but did not see them. At breakfast a monkey did come in and steal off the table across from us.
We took our tour of Victoria falls (on the Zimbabwe side) this morning. Our wildlife included a bush buck, and hornbills (not exactly like Zazu). Our guide is Ntando and he is from Zimbabwe and speaks a tribal language that only 10% of the people speak, he said that he and Kelvin can't always communicate (other than in English), because Kelvin speaks an Zambian tribal language.
Why all the copper bracelets? Zambia is one of the leading producers of copper. It is a sign that you have been in southern Africa if you are wearing one. Mosi-the local beer "truly Zambian" is brewed in the capital of Lusaka. We visited an open market in Zimbabwe...every is like "please come into my shop, I'm in the corner and no one sees me...." Successful shopping all around.

Zimbabwe is politically unstable right now, the government was taken over and farms were given to new owners, livestock killed, fields burned, etc.
We had lunch at a restaurant called the Ocean Basket where I learned a trivia fact about mom...she doesn't usually eat calamari.
In the afternoon we visited 2 Zambian schools. The first was a community school, not sponsored by the government or an corporations. the Milaka School was outside of Livingstone. They charge roughly $3/month for school They have a building, but only pieces of chalkboards, no paper/pens, and only a few desks.
The second school was the Simonga village school. On the way we got stuck in the sand and had some locals help push us out, and we visited with kids and a family living near the side of the road. The kids were eating Chinga Chinga berries. Simonga is a supported school, with a few buildings and a school library. They speak Chimonga(?) and learn English in 2nd grade. We learned that poverty is a huge problem for 60%+ of the people. Many cattle have died from hoof and mouth and other diseases. This area has benefited from the World Food program.
What are tribal cousins? It's your relationship to the other tribe...provides family support and you can insult them too!

Jeremiah told about the Losi and Tonga tribes. If you are the chief of the tribe, you can only leave the chiefdom if you die (such as knowing poison is in your food).
Note: Houses/huts are only for sleeping...everything else happens outside
We went to the Royal Livingstone in the evening. It is a very fancy, 5 star, British-style property, right on the river. We stayed for dinner on the outdoor terrace.
Simon was our hotel shuttle driver this evening. He let us know the status of the 6 elusive Zebras on property who we haven't seen yet.
Cultural Note: In driving through rural areas, the men seem to be sitting on the side of the road or in cafes, but the women are always working.

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