I have FINALLY made it back to Victoria Falls/Livingston. I am staying at the Chiefs "Royal Lodge" which is nice, quiet and peaceful. I am back from Chipata, which is in the Eastern Province on the boarder of Malawi, and not too far from the boarder to Mozambique.
I attended a dinner where the President of Zambia, (His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Zambia, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa), and the President of Malawi were the guests of honour. There was a man at the dinner that kept making all these imitations of various Presidents, etc. Listening to his version of President Mwanawasa I thought he must be over doing it. No. If anything he did not do Mwanawasa justice, he was not SLOW ENOUGH! The Presidents were late for dinner. I was hungry. I was tired. Just listening to Mwanawasa speak was putting me to sleep although he seemed like a nice man. (He wore a bib at dinner)
The next morning we, (the Chief, the Prime Minister, the bodyguard, the Chiefs son, the Chiefs 3rd wife to be and I), attended the Kulamba ceremony. It was a ceremony to celebrate the Chewa people (tribe) that are split between Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Many Chiefs were invited. Chief Mukuni wore his Traditional Lion Skin, the Prime Minister wore a Cheetah Skin and the 3rd wife to be and I wore similar traditional Mukuni village attire. The four of us were in the Chiefs/Chieftainess tent watching all the entertainment, mainly dancing. There were dancers from each of the 3 countries and they were all dressed up in elaborate costumes and masks.
Part of the ceremony included women who were half naked and had to dance to show that they were now on the market, able to marry. The dance was quite sexual, that was the point. One girl was even propped up on a two-foot board that a handful of men were holding over their heads and had to dance. This was to signify that she could "perform" under any circumstance.
It's been 3 weeks since I started this blog. It took me 7-8 failed attempts to upload my photos. That took up a lot of time. The new photos are up. I will now give a brief summary as to what I have been up to.
After the Ceremony I just hung out with my friends and "cousins" in Livingston and Lusaka. I did a few more adventure activities that included an elephant ride (Zimbabwe), a helicopter ride, a sunset cruise, a trip to a crocodile farm, and a gorge swing (twice)(long storey).
I have been able to play with many reptiles thus far, most recently chameleons, baby crocodiles, snakes and lizards.
I also attended many village meetings with Chief Mukuni.
I had a difficult time escaping Zambia. Every time I planned to leave, something came up. I finally had to book a plane ticket to ensure that I had a set date for departure.
I am now in South Africa (Joburg)(Vereeniging)(Roshnee).
I have been here for almost a week. I have been very busy checking out the squatter camps (make-shift tin village that thousands of blacks call home), an old gold mine and a Lion and Rhino park (twice). I keep going back to play with the baby white lions, brown lions, bangle tigers, and a Cheetah. I have so much fun there. I have also befriended a baby hippo. I have video footage. The Hippo loves to be pet. It even tried to escape the enclosure when I was leaving. Too funny!
I am staying at a Muslim friends house. It is now Ramadan. They are fasting. I should, but I have chosen to do more of a Hindu fast. I eat fruits and drink water during the day. The mother is a really good cook. Every night when they break their fast, there is a whole table full of Indian delights!
I leave for Botswana tomorrow. After that I am off to Namibia.
Off to the Okavengo Delta!!!