Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Where is Zambia?

Zambia is in the central part of southern Africa:

It is a beautiful and varied country, with many peoples speaking many different dialects. It is an amazing country in that they have all managed to learn to get along with one another. They learn each other’s languages in the schools, they have instilled a culture of respect for the differences as well as a focus on the similarities they share. Our Zambian friends work hard, and they are very proud of Zambia. When you visit, you can’t help but respect and admire their pride.

I found a photo of Zambia’s flag on Wikipedia, and an explanation for the graphics and colors:

The colors used in the flag of Zambia are rich in symbolism. Green stands for the nation’s lush flora, red for the nation’s struggle for freedom, black for the Zambian people, and orange for the land’s natural resources and mineral wealth. Additionally, the eagle flying above the colored stripes is intended to represent the people’s ability to rise above the nation’s problems.

We traveled often to Zambia from our homes on the Arabian Gulf, but this will be a very different trip, crossing 8 time zones and flying a very very long time to get there. It will take us longer to get to Zambia, via South Africa, than it used to take us to get to Qatar or Kuwait. We’ll have two nights, one in Johannesburg and one in Lusaka, before we start out on our safaris.

It’s a different world. You know it as soon as you get there. It smells different. You smell wood-burning fires and dust. Out in the South Luangwa, where we are going, you hear the hippos saying ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaaaaah in the nearby rivers and ponds, and sometimes you will hear elephants fighting, and it is very loud with lots of crashes. You hear soft birds, and when you hear English, it is spoken with a different lilt, so you have to listen more carefully, pay better attention, so you will understand what is being said.

It’s a different world, too, in that sometimes your bags don’t catch up with you. Sometimes bags are just never seen again! We are carrying our nightclothes and a change of clothes with us to help us deal with unforeseen challenges.

Did I mention we are very excited?

I am thinking we need an eagle flying above our stripes to symbolize American belief that we can rise above our nation’s problems . . . 🙂

May 25, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Cultural, ExPat Life, Geography / Maps, GoogleEarth, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Zambia | 2 Comments

Packing For a Purpose

Part of what we love about the Robin Pope Safari Camps is that we also get to go into the village and see how the schools are doing. There is a consortium of safari camp service providers who donate a portion of their profits every year to providing for and maintaining schools, finding sponsors for children who have no parents, finding help for teachers in obtaining much needed supplies.

Many of the children of the village are truly being raised by the village, as fathers and mothers succumb to the dreaded wasting disease, to malaria, to yellow fever and to problems attending poor nutrition and inadequate access to health care. The camps bring in a volunteer doctor, when they can, who works with the villages six months to a year or so. Children are looked after by aunts and uncles, or grandparents, or a neighbor – who may not have much to spare, with her own children to look after.

So, with a prayer, we headed for Staples to pick up school supplies. What a deal! Pocket dictionaries! Boxes of 60 pens! It is so exciting, I bought too much, and now we are hoping they won’t weigh our suitcases too accurately. We’ve jammed a lot in . . .

I should have checked the website again before I shopped, or I wouldn’t have bought so many pencils, but they DO still need erasers, and I bought a lot of those. And I try to stick in something they might have some fun with – sticky notes. foam shapes. glue sticks. This year I am including some threads and counted cross stitch fabrics, hoping maybe someone will develop an interest in needlework 🙂

We are getting so excited we can hardly stand it. AdventureMan is trying lots of new techniques and camera equipment, hoping to get some stellar shots. I am taking my new Lumix, the FZ40/45, a lightweight camera with a 24X optical zoom. He gets great artistic shots (water drops dripping off a wide-open hippo mouth as he opens his jaw unbelievably wide) and I get great documentary shots – the rooms, the bathroom fixtures (LOLL, yes, I can’t help it, I love creative design!) and textiles, as well as the wildlife and the environment.

We had just enough room in our suitcases for all the school supplies. Now we will have room for that last stop at Tribal Textiles . . . 🙂

May 25, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Arts & Handicrafts, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Social Issues, Zambia | Leave a comment