Imma Be Livin' that Good Life

Last Saturday we went to Livingstone! We were so happy to arrive at the Protea Hotel because we were able to take long showers. That evening we went to the Royal Livingstone for high tea. The Royal Livingstone was ridiculously nice! As we were driving up, we saw a few zebras just chilling next to the road. Crazy. High tea consisted of a choice of tea, coffee, or espresso (Kay?) and about 50 desserts. It was delicious, but it was also our supper! Too much sweet stuff for me... So much that I ended up getting sick that night and for the whole day on Sunday. Luckily, it didn't cause me to miss anything!

My little tea cup.

Only one side of the desserts!

After we were finished with tea, we were able to walk around on the beautiful lawns of the Royal Livingstone. This hotel/resort is right on the shore of the Zambezi River just down from Victoria Falls. It was BEAUTIFUL! Kaylee said she now wants to get married there... as soon as she finds her man! :) Love you, Kay. We started walking around and soon realized that there were monkies everywhere! A bunch of them were jumping around and playing on a table out in the middle of the yard. Lacey and Kaylee decided to get a closer look. And then a closer look. And an even closer look. Then they were only a few feet away and all of a sudden the monkeys started chasing them! One of them even grabbed the hem of Lacey's dress. It was hilarious... of course they screamed and made a scene. Luckily, I got a few classic pictures of it... which will be up on Facebook once I get home. Once the sun started going down we all gathered on the big deck to relax and watch the sunset. I was just sitting there and all of a sudden I had a little visitor...

Hey monkey!

Kaylee, Lacey, and me enjoying the sunset!

Sunday morning we woke up early for our safari day! We drove to Botswana (yay, another stamp in the passport!), which also included a short boat ride! Three guys from Mexico ended up being in our group with us for the day. They were hilarious! They were all decked out in Mexico soccer attire so we had to ask... were they here for the World Cup?? Umm... yes they were! We were so pumped to meet someone who had been. They had already been to a few games, including USA v. England, and by the end they were going to see 9 games total. Legit. They were doing it right!

Our friend, Julian, who went to some World Cup games!

We were super impressed when we arrived at the Chobe National Park Lodge. It was absolutely beautiful. After taking a quick bathroom break and meeting a girl from Bentonville, AR (no joke! small world), we loaded up onto the boat for our morning boat safari! Our boat was pretty big and we definitely didn't fill it up, so we were able to move around and get great views of the wildlife. We saw so many different birds, which the Tulli took turns naming and telling us facts about. We also saw elephants, hippos, cape buffalo, crocodiles, massive lizard like guys that I can't remember the name of, and so many other things! It was amazing and so relaxing just chilling on the boat.

We saw tons of elephants swimming and playing in the water!

We headed back to the Lodge for a nice buffet lunch... which I ate none of since I still felt queasy, but everyone else said it was great. As soon as everyone was finished eating, we loaded up into two Land Cruisers for our afternoon game drive. After looking at Kev's pictures of his safari in Kenya, I had something totally different in my mind for what our game drive would be like. He was more in the plains, but we were right on the shore of a river. We saw so many elephants, I couldn't even begin to count them! We saw some more hippos lounging in the sun, and we saw tons of impalas, sables, and other guys like them.

Happy "heeppo"

This guy game running RIGHT next to our car! We literally could have touched him!

After a while, we were really keeping our eyes pealed for some giraffes and lions. Then all of a sudden, I saw something cat-like moving along the bush. Turns out, it was a LEOPARD! Our guide got on his radio and called all the other drivers out there and they all rushed to see it. We got to watch it for a long time! He was stalking an impala when we showed up, but decided to leave him alone. There were a ton of jackels out that were almost taunting him. They kept yelping and following him. As soon as the leopard would turn around, the jackels would scatter. We kept hoping the leopard would attack or something exciting, but he just cooly walked away. It was still the most exciting part of our safari! Our guide told us that leopards were really rare to see in that area and that we were lucky!

My leopard! He was beautiful!

Towards the end, we came across tons of "Pumbas" as our guide called them. We were taking pictures of them when we saw this cute little guy!

Baby giraffe!

When the safari was over, we drove back to the border where our guide, Johnson, dropped us off. We had to get a picture with him because he was so great!

Our safari group with our guide, Johnson.

That night we met together in B Weave's hotel room for a small devotional. Ian was in charge of it, and it was so sweet. He has done a lot of growing up on this trip and we are all proud of him! We also discovered the big fuzzy blankets in our hotel room that night. We couldn't believe we'd missed them on the first night! Catherine and I snuggled up in our beds and watched a movie before falling asleep. The next morning, we decided to sleep in instead of going to the market. Excellent choice! We were so rested and relaxed when we met up with the rest of the group for lunch. After a little picnic in the parking lot of a grocery store, we went back to Victoria Falls! B Weave decided to just sit in Khaki Jackie while we went and walked around. We had to wait for a little bit while DT paid for all of us. We were just standing around when we saw a big monkey come up and try to get in the window a guy's cab! He shooed him off, but the monkey (and a few of his friends) roamed around the parking lot. I went over to warn B Weave since she had her window down. Sure enough, right after I warned her, the monkey came over and jumped up on Khaki Jackie! He had a little staring contest with B Weave while we all took pictures. Funny!

There are really no words for Victoria Falls. It's unbelievable. Does not even compare to Niagara Falls, which happens to be one of my favorite places!

After taking a few "dry" pictures, we made our way down to the mist... Now last time, when we were there at night, I ran across a bridge that goes straight through the mist. This time, when I saw it, I decided it was a no go. Padge, I don't think you would have wanted to do it either! Pretty small bridge, way high up, that's super slippery! No way! Everyone else decided to go across it so I just headed back up to the dry areas and took a few more pictures. Later, we all decided to brave the market there. Out of control. They really know how to work you and they make you feel bad if you don't buy something. Jaime ended up buying some ugly carved heads just because she felt bad. Ha! I only got what I had on my list (yes, I had a list. Nerd. I'm not denying it) so I was good. Then it was back to the hotel for the wet people to change before our sunset cruise. We got picked up at our hotel and were driven down to the Zambezi. We took a little sunset cruise down the river. It was really peaceful and relaxing. A great way to end our trip!

We decided to have a little dance party on the back of the boat.
We all put our headphones in and played "Imma Be" at the same time.
We thought it was hilarious... B Weave?

There was a family also on the boat who were missionaries in Malawi that were taking a long weekend trip. Turns out, the wife was a speech pathologist! So she was very interested in our work and they were so nice talking to. The sunset was beautiful! I may have taken over 20 pictures of it. Surprised? I'm such a sucker for sunsets.

Why yes, this is my new background.

When we got back to the hotel, Catherine and I stayed in our room and worked on another little G.A. secret for everyone. This morning we got up and headed over to the market. The people in Livingstone are really used to tourists and really working people. That was a major change from the markets in Kalomo and Choma where they just kind of sit back and let you look. It was exhausting going from stall to stall with about 5 guys around you at all times saying, "My sister from another mother, you have something to trade? Come and look at my shop!" It's a good thing we went to this market at the end of our trip when most of our shopping was done, though... otherwise we might have spent too much money buying little things we were pressured into even though we didn't necessarily want them!

We had to come back to Namwianga a little earlier than originally planned, but that was okay. We got back in time for lunch and then had the afternoon to pack or whatever. Dr. Weaver said we could go to the Haven if we wanted, but she warned us that it would be hard to have to say bye all over again. Kaylee and I were the only ones who decided to go back. We thought, who cares if we cry again? We want to love on our babies one last time! So we walked over there and gave the aunties a few last minute things from Caroline. As soon as we showed up, we were put to work. Kaylee went to Haven 1 and helped Pauline get the Lost Boys dressed after their baths. I stayed in Haven 3 and helped Naomi. Of course the first baby I went to see was Dennis. When I picked him up, I thought he felt lighter. Uh oh. Then I realized his diaper was stinky so I was going to change him. Naomi decided to go ahead and give him his bath. When she brought him back for me to put some clothes on him, he threw up all over himself and used the bathroom again. I told Naomi and she just told me to go rinse him off in the tub. Poor baby, he just cried the whole time. Naomi told me that he has been sick all weekend and has lost weight. After I got some clean clothes on him, I rocked him for a while. Naomi asked me to feed Memory while she finished bathing the rest of the babies. I'm not sure I've even mentioned Memory on my blog... Memory is special! She just arrived last Friday from South Africa where she has been the entire time we've been here. She has Down's syndrome and was having heart problems. They were able to take her to South Africa to have heart surgery! It was successful and now she is back and doing really well! She is sweet, happy baby and it was fun feeding her this afternoon and getting to interact with her some. Finally, it was time to go meet up with Kaylee in Haven 1 and head back home. I made a quite round of that Haven to give each baby a little bit of last minute loving. After saying bye again, we walked over to Eric's house to get some pictures with George for my capstone project. The boys over there are such a hoot. They were so funny. It ended up being a great little visit and we were both glad we decided to go one last time.

Tonight at dinner, Catherine and I hosted "The Hizzies"... our end of the trip awards ceremony. Each person received an award that we had made certificates for on the backs of Ellie's postcards. You might not get it, but here are the awards:
  • Marja- "Stimulating the Zambian Economy" and "Wedding Bells"
  • Meghann- "All Natural"
  • Jaime- "Singing Therapist"
  • Ian- "Regurgitation King"
  • Lacey- "Next Ellie Hamby"
  • Sarah- "Honorary Auntie"
  • Caroline- "Richard Simmons"
  • Kaylee- "Mrs. McLain Wannabe"
  • Catherine- "Healthy Hippo"
  • me- "Bookworm"
  • Mrs. Keri- "Food Fairy"
  • Dr. Tullos- "Safari Joe"
For our final award, we called Dr. Weaver up to sit in a chair at the front where we were sitting. We gave a little mini speech about how much she means to us and how proud of her we are now that she is the new dean of the College of Communication! We have kind of joked while we've been here about having a "deaning" ceremony for her. We had no idea what to really do to "dean" her, so we just made up our own thing. Catherine had brought a sweet cowboy hat that was baby blue and had rhinestones all over it. We put it on B Weave's head, but had a chitenge over it so no one else could see what it was. In unison, we announced, "By the power invested in us, by Martha Vendetti, we now pronounce you: Dean Dr. Ba B Weave!" And we pulled the chitenge off and everyone cheered. B Weave was laughing and loving it... and then she saw the cake. On Friday we "ordered" her favorite apple cake with a request for something special to be written on it. It was perfect! She absolutely loved it.

With her special cake!

It was a really fun, silly end to a great trip. I have been so blessed by coming here. Thank you to everyone who made this trip a reality! I can't wait to share more pictures and stories in person with you!


Anonymous said...

Amazing...this whole experience has been so incredible and i have been so proud and happy for you. And to end the trip by experiencing God's spectacular creations is icing! See you Friday darlin! Love you, Mom

Catie said...

Rachel, I haven't read this whole post yet, but may I just say I'm so impressed with this blog! It looks professional! Great to see you're doing great things, it looks like quite the adventure. How much longer are you there?

Hena Tayeb said...

Wow.. you are on quite an adventure.. great pictures.

Post a Comment

Older Post Home

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

About Me

My photo
I'm a graduate student working to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. I'm in love with my best friend, Jordan. I love cheese. I love elephants. I love reading.

    My Tweets

    Currently Reading

    Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Recent Comments