For today’s blog our group has taken a different approach... popcorn style. Each of us took a turn to write this blog one sentence at a time.
After a long travel day yesterday, we were all happy to arrive safely last night at “Croc Valley” in the South Luangwa National Park.
Before we got here yesterday, we had some unique experiences. Stopping in at former projects is always neat; Ikwele was no exception. For Nico and Jerry, it was a time to meet old friends and see fruition of a project they’d laboured hard on. Taylor and Lisa made the most of this last opportunity to interact with the kids as they led them in numerous improvised dance/exercise routines that had the kids screaming with delight. A soccer ball, a prized possession around here, was presented to the head teacher. All in all, it was another great stop that brought a lot of smiles all around.
After our road troubles and pleasant interactions at Ikwele, we were treated to a surprise lunch in Chipata. Right, forgot to mention that yesterday in our blog! Having western food in Zambia is a nice change so pizza(really good pizza) was a real treat.
The light was fading fast, and it’s a long way to Mfuwe, so we got straight back on the road with the pizza. The arrival was greeted by another bridge that wasn’t there so a walk to safari vehicles was required to complete what became from there on a trip called variously adventurous, wild, crazy, unforgettable or unbelievable. A character who calls himself Soldier did a fine job of making sure we made it safely to the guest lodge. The highlight (or lowlight - depending how you look at it) was getting our Landcruiser super stuck in the mud because a giant hippo had completely stopped our forward momentum by walking in front of us. It was unbelievable!
This morning started off early with a 5:30am breakfast and then we were off on a 6am game drive. Everything here is lush and green with parts of the park flooded and full of hippos. Along with the hippos came a wide ranging array of critters not yet seen running loose in North Amerca. Wart hogs, zebras, giraffes, & elephants, oh my! The rule of the park is to stick to the roads, but our driver was fairly lenient on that and we were able to get up close and personal with quite a few different groups of animals. It’s wonderful to be able to take some time here and marvel how God created each animal so different and yet so wondrously unique !! Even back at the lodge, there’s always the possibility of an encounter — we saw a poisonous stiletto snake caught right on the grounds. Reece was all ready to capture it but before he could a professional came and stole the show.
The rest of the day was spent catnapping in the sun, and spending time in devotions. We are scheduled for an evening safari tonight, so stay tuned...
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