Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kalahari Stories

It is winter here, and mornings are chilled. We cuddled in the Penthouse (roof top tent), reading aloud 'Cry of the Kalahari'.  Evenings we seek out oryx, honey badger and bat eared fox, then sprawl to soak the dying sun, harmonizing with the jackal cries.

Home....  Here be lions.

Oryx, defined

Kalahari Stories
Honey Badger feast

Jackal ~ whose cries fill the evening light

Thursday, May 20, 2010

a Return to Zimbabwe

One might imagine our disappointment. Since November of 2008 we had anticipated our return to Zimbabwe. Pounds of knitting supplies I had lugged, all the way from Anchorage. Much of it donated.

And. In the greedy fervor preceding World Cup 2010, the Zim Parks had raised their rates to .... $100 a night. To camp. In a park that has decayed into sadness. Water pumps don't work. Animals have been poached into hiding. Buildings are rotted, roof structures collapsed, appliances plundered. Rangers have no socks. (socks?) $100. A night.

We paid our $100, US. We could do one night. Godfrey, they informed us, was the camp attendant at Shumba Camp. We navigated the rutted, washed out road, with only a few impala to grace the view.

Godfrey appeared, curious to see visitors. Such a surprised, happy greeting! 'Teacher! You have come!' He has a stoic demeanor, does Godfrey - but happiness beamed just beneath that surface. Quickly, he ran to his camp shack to get his knitting. He had dozens of questions - why put it off?

We managed 2 days, filled with stories and knitting. Many, many thanks to those of you who donated yarn, supplies, and happy energy. Godfrey displayed his work: beanies, felted bags and cell-phone cozies. He sells them to tourists, and sometimes locals. With his earnings, he funds the schooling of his nephew and niece and supports his parents (who lost their entire savings when the Zimbabwean economy collapsed). But the biggest news: he plans to marry, and is saving for a Bride Price!

We also met 'Mixture', who carved a leopard for us, in exchange for a set of carving tools. And the children of Sinamatella.... just see the photo.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Etosha Stories

So young, he's hairy!
Vigilance at dusk
~ twined ~

~ sparring ~
two, striped

sensing the lion

Big Love
morning coffee
Him.  Seeking Her.


~ sunset over the pans ~

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coffee and Floods

Coffee at the Village Cafe.  I highly recommend it, after days in the desert.  Friendly.  Happy.  Great Coffee.  Yessss..

We intend to explore Zambia on this sojourn.  I read today that the Zambezi River is in full flood, thousands of refugees seek...  refuge.  Will the Caprivi Strip be impassable?  Where in Africa does one find such information?

And Zambia is no cheap and easy friend.  The price of a visa has risen 100% in 2 years.  National Park fees 70 dollars a day... per person.  Plus $30 for the vehicle.

Ugh.  TIA - This Is Africa.  So, I sit at my cute little red and white checked covered table, pondering the Why.  And nursing my mug of Black Death.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Namibia in a Nutshell

Fish River Canyon.  Perry.
Swakopmund Shipwreck
Gobabeb Camp.  Happy!
Quiverboom tree & weaver bird nests
Khowarib Canyon

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Africa Sojourn, the Third

 It consumes me.  I am compelled to write - but I cannot stop looking long enough to put pencil to paper.  AFRICA!

Always, there are spiders behind the doors to the toilets.  I find ants and drop them in the webs, then wait for the carnage.  heh.

We spend the obligatory day at Sesriem.  I suppose the massive red sand dunes of Namibia are not to be missed, but in the end a disappointment.  A pricey, bleak camp accompanied by a circus rush to the dunes for 'First Light' photo ops and bragging rights.

Sesriem Dawn Circus

Now, Gobabeb - a desert research station on the rim of the massive dune sea is sans circus.  Big Sky.  Big Weather.  Big Scenery.  Big Beetles.


Thought of the day:  "He found Truth and drowned in it."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hello Landy!

Amelia sat outside of Cape Town, waiting patiently. She needed a jump start, some spit and polish, and (empty) bird nest removal. Otherwise, she is poised for the journey! The idea.... North from Cape Town, through Namibia to the Caprivi Strip... a loop through Zambia, down into Zimbabwe to visit Godfrey, then a sublime exploration of the Central Kalahari... finally to Jo'burg where we will again stash our Landy.

All before the World Cup begins.