When we were there last summer, we were staying in the old Tena Tena Camp, and we begged to be allowed to see the new camp, but it was still under construction. Today the Robin Pope Camps sent out this new video starring the new Tena Tena Camp, located close by the old camp, but all new and sparkling:
If you ever have an opportunity to visit Zambia, Tena Tena is a must-visit
Some mornings, I am astonished at how wonderful it is to live in a place where we have the luxury to set aside wide tracts of lands to preserve our natural heritage. St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge evokes that response in me. It’s even more astonishing that because a couple years ago I bought a lifetime Senior Pass, getting into the national parks is free – for the rest of my life. What a great country we live in.
It is a cold and frosty morning as we load up to head out to St. Marks for some serious bird watching and photographing. Serious, that is, for AdventureMan, who actually does birding trips with other serious birders. I am a bird-appreciator, as in I know what a cardinal is, and a blue jay. I can pretty well recognize a buzzard. Hey, show me a painting and I can probably tell you who painted it, but birds . . . not so much.
I love being outdoors in Florida on a wonderful clear cool day with fabulous conditions for taking photos. I love just wandering along some of the birding trails and seeing what we can see. It’s an amazing place; in some of the areas where we stopped to wander, it reminded me of places we like to go in Africa, of Zambia, of Namibia, of Botswana . . . some of the habitat is so alike, I can almost hear those tectonic plates creaking apart, drifting, and wonder how much of the flora is directly related to African flora.
We had these in Tunisia; we called them Prickly Pear, and the Tunisians used them for borders to separate their lands. They also made jam with the prickly pears, and they skinned the leaves and fried up the meat from inside the thick prickly pear leaves. I think what a great border they would make in Pensacola, but a very unfriendly border. Good for keeping away thieves and burglers, but not very attractive, and not very welcoming . . . but very very African:
Some fishermen, probably setting some crab traps near the shore:
The St. Mark’s lighthouse:
Every now and then you have a lucky moment, and I happened to shoot this heron just as he had a wiggling sparkly fish in his beak, just before he swallowed it. I admit it, I wasn’t trying. If I had been trying, I could never have gotten it just at the right moment:
Some very clever park person went around and made all the deer crossing signs into Rudolph signs, LOL!
The park is full of very serious-faced people carrying HUGE lenses on cameras attached to seriously sturdy tripods, lenses meant to capture the details of the pinfeathers, cameras to document a rare sighting. These people don’t talk about ducks, they talk about Merganzers and Koots, and the rarely seen such-and-such, and I just listen and keep my mouth shut while my head spins.
For me, it’s enough to see these wonderful creatures, free of fear, safe in their migrations. It’s enough to have a cool day, a great day for walking, and NO mosquitos. It’s a great day for my kind of birding, which is very non-serious to be sure.
I don’t know if you have noticed, but I don’t even bother posting most of these scam letters any more, because they all get to look alike. This one is a little different, and LOL, they mention the “only $153. fee” right up front for my $500,000 very large charitable sum that they want to send to me . . .
Peace Be Unto you
This is a personal email directed to you, Let me formally introduce myself
to you, my name is (Mr. Allen Large). I and my dear wife Violet won a
Jackpot Lottery of $11.3 million in July 2010 and have voluntarily
to donate the sum of $500,000.00 USD to you as part of our own charity
project to improve the lives of some individuals all over the world.
Kindly send your below details to Federal Express Ltd to
enable them effect the delivery of your valid Bank Draft of $500,000.00
USD to you immediately. The draft was deposited with Nigeria FedEx office
last week during my charity mission to Africa as i do not know when i return
to Canada as i am currently in Africa.
We have paid for the necessary delivery fee except that of the
Administrationand Handling charges which is $153 only. And this was
because we don’t know how soon you will be contacting FedEx.
CONTACT FEDEX NOW WITH THE BELOW INFO:
Federal Express Ltd.
8201 Wuse Gariki Benin City, Nigeria NIGERIA
Dispatch Officer: Dr Peter Odigie
Direct E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer Service/Inquiries: email@example.com
*Your Full Names:
*Your Mobile Number:
*Your Delivery Address:
verify this by visiting the web pages below.
God bless you.
Mr/Mrs. Allen Violet Large.
Personal number: +1-425-409-0730
This week AdventureMan and I have been blessed, greatly blessed. We have met some wonderful people and heard some amazing things. Two stories in particular have shaken the earth for me.
“How It Happened for Me”
The first story is about a friend we met from the newest country on earth, South Sudan. A group of us were sitting together when one woman turned to this man from the South Sudan and asked “How did you find Jesus?”
This was not a religious gathering, so it is an unusual question on a social evening. But this quiet, modest man responded “I will tell you. It is a long story. It starts when I was only five months, not a baby, five months in my mother’s womb.”
He told us of a life with no security. His parents and family fled to the forest, and were on the run continually most of his life – until recently. He told of a life trying to find safe places, sometimes being separated from his parents.
He told of a priest who, when he and his brothers and sisters were very young, taught them to say “God bless Mother and God bless Father and God bless my brothers and sisters and watch over us always.” He was kind to the children, and taught them that God loves them, that God is kind. He said they did not know who this God was, but he and his brothers and sisters said this prayer every night, to keep his family safe. He said they learned other simple prayers. There would be rare times when someone would teach them a letter, or some numbers, drawing in the sand, or the floor of the forest, simple, quick lessons.
“So I don’t know all the stories you do,” he said. “I don’t even know the bible very well, we never had educated priests, just simple men who taught us simple prayers. Only later did we become more educated.”
As we listened, we had huge lumps in our throats. I could hear Jesus’ voice saying that we must believe as little children, and this man had the pure simple faith of a child, a memory from his earliest years, as he prayed for his family to be safe in a world where life was continual chaos and a struggle to survive.
“When I understood about God,” he went on, “there wasn’t even a church or a pastor-man who could baptize me; I had to believe for many years before I could become a Christian.”
As a footnote, he told us that somehow, most of his village managed to survive, helping one another. His entire family made it through, his parents are still alive. The village children little by little gained education, becoming doctors, lawyers, professionals of all kinds. His village now has a church, a simple church, not always staffed, but a church. The war is ended. For him, the simplicity of peace is all he ever wanted.
We will never forget his, and his story. We have met an extraordinary human being.
Today, we went to a lunch, invited by a friend, to raise funds for public education. LOL, this is what I used to do; I worked for an education foundation and raised money for public education. I love this kind of thing. I knew just what to expect – lots of success stories, stellar achievements, and a gentle pitch.
Whoa! Wrong! Darling kids – check. Recognition of important guests – check. Gentle pitch – no way! They got right to business; you will see this form, please take your pens RIGHT NOW and fill it out and give what you can, education funds seem to get cut more every year and we are trying to do more with less and less. Give NOW. CHECK!
The final speaker was a local businessman and patron-of-just-about-everything, a man who also brought baseball to Pensacola. He talked about his own public education. He talked about his speech impediment, and his deafness, he talked about his short stature and his inability to sit still and concentrate. He talked about teachers who identified him and instead of treating him as an obstacle, made him believe they were glad to have him in their class. He talked about teachers who gave him special assignments, who taught him math by having him calculate baseball averages. He knew their names, these saints who kept him in school, no matter how discouraged he might be.
He graduated with a 1.9 grade point, and had no intention of going to college, but ended up astonishing everyone by doing well on the ACT test and having a guidance counselor who found him just exactly the right environment where he could flourish on the college level.
Important people usually enjoy telling you the great things they have done. This man focused on his disabilities, his humiliations and his weaknesses, and how the kindness of educators had pulled him out of a very dark place and set him on the road for the success he is today.
I am willing to bet that the education foundation gained a lot of donors today. We were caught by surprise. We can defend against the powerful and successful, but when the heart speaks from vulnerability and failure, our hearts respond. This man is a success, but he gives credit to those who looked at him with caring eyes, with caring hearts, who lifted him and helped him on his way to the incredible (wealthy) success he is today, with a flourishing business and innumerable local charities who are grateful for his support.
What a week! And it’s only Tuesday! I wonder what the rest of the week will bring?
No more same old, same old. Today, Pensacola had a group of up-and-coming leaders from twelve African countries in town studying Grassroots Democracy and the US Elections. There is nothing like questions from non-US citizens to keep you on your toes and even give you a good laugh as you try to explain the eccentricities of our electoral system. This group, brought to Pensacola by the Gulf Coast Citizens Diplomacy Council, asked some great, probing questions.
Their questions were thoughtful and open-ended. At the end of the session, one delegate from Uganda summarized his observation that although we are deeply polarized in this election, we have confidence in our civil servants and the bureaucracy. While the leaders at the top may change, and while policies MIGHT change, they have to go through processes to change. It’s not like one leader or the other comes in and overnight, everything is changed, everything is done a different way.
AdventureMan says he loves that we live in a country where power is transferred peacefully – no coup. No revolution. We might have ugly elections, but they are peaceful, and when one triumphs, thousands of people supporting the losing side are not killed.
Had not thought about it that way.
These visitors are in Pensacola at just the right time for them to observe our biggest election. They have questions about everything, from the signs in our front yards to voter fraud and deceptive wording on proposed amendments. They talked today with the Supervisor of Elections, with elected officials, and with normal, everyday citizens. Tonight they will attend some of the parties around town, as the votes are counted. It is a very special experience for us, to see ourselves as others might see us, as we hold our elections.
By BOUAZZA BEN BOUAZZA 10/24/12 05:37 PM ET EDT
TUNIS, Tunisia — A Tunisian man who was arrested in Turkey this month with reported links to the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya is facing terrorism charges, his lawyer said Wednesday, as an Egyptian official said a militant suspected of involvement was killed in clashes in Cairo.
Ali Harzi was repatriated to Tunisia on Oct. 11 by authorities in Turkey, and a judge issued his arrest warrant, lawyer Ouled Ali Anwar told The Associated Press. He said his client was told by a judge Tuesday that he has been charged with “membership of a terrorist organization in a time of peace in another country.”
A person who saw Harzi’s court dossier told The Associated Press that the file links him to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.
He said Harzi is one of two Tunisians reportedly arrested Oct. 3 in Turkey when they tried to enter the country with false passports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. Harzi’s alleged role in the attack is not clear.
Anwar denied there was any evidence that Ali was implicated in the attacks. He added his client was not using a fake passport, saying he was a “scapegoat to satisfy the Americans.”
The charge against Harzi is punishable by six to 12 years in prison, according to the provisions of the anti-terrorist law in force in Tunisia since 2003.
Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. has been looking into the arrests of two Tunisian men being detained in Turkey reportedly in connection with the attacks. The State Department in Washington had no further comment on Wednesday.
A U.S. intelligence official was cautious about the Tunisian arrest, saying that the Tunisians have so far not allowed American officials to interview the suspect, so the U.S. is not yet certain how directly he is connected to the attack.
The suspect has ties to both Ansar al-Shariah and Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, as do most like-minded militants in the region, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.
Tunisian Interior Ministry spokesman Tarrouch Khaled confirmed that Harzi was in custody in Tunis. Khaled said “his case is in the hands of justice,” but he would not elaborate further.
In Egypt, a security official said a local militant suspected of involvement in the attack was killed in clashes in Cairo when he attacked approaching Egyptian forces.
The official said the man, known only by his first name, Hazem, recently returned from Libya and kept weapons in his hideout. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters, said an investigation into the man’s possible involvement in the consulate attack is under way.
This is the first time an Egyptian has been declared a suspect in the attack.
Kimberly Dozier in Washington and Sarah El Deeb in Cairo contributed to this report.
I found this on AOL News this morning; it’s not mine. I wish it were! I am so impressed. Right place, right time and WOW.
Watch this well-hidden leopard fiercely attack an unsuspecting impala. Cowering low amidst the rocks, the leopard silently waits as a herd of impalas comes racing across the landscape. Right as the impala jumps over it, the leopard catches it mid-air bringing it down to Earth.
The video of this event was caught on camera by Martha van Rensburg who was on a photographic safari in South Africa at MalaMala Game Reserve with her husband, Marius van Tonder, wildlife photographer Greg du Toit, and guest Ian Weatherburn.
“It happened so fast but I was lucky enough to get this video and a still photo of the leopard and impala in the air,” Van Rensburg told Grind TV.
According to the American Wildlife Foundation, leopards are known for being secretive, elusive, and shrewd, having the ability to kill prey much larger than themselves. They are currently listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.