Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sundays in Zambia

Last week I mentioned that in May we took a trip to the South Luangwa National Park in the Eastern Province of Zambia. When I wrote home about the experience, this is what I said:

Sometimes the majesty of Africa overwhelms me. I was awed today by God's creation: The grace and beauty of giraffe, the cumbersome dignity of elephants, the absolute elegance of zebra.
Tonight while we rode into what seemed like darkest Africa I could feel the vibration of a million living things. Every tree we passed was pregnant with life; the rustling grass hid lions & tigers & bears – oh my! Once we passed a baobob tree and the sound of the landrover echoed against it – it sounded like a waterfall was trapped inside the tree.
I tried to be very blas̩, as if game viewing was something I did every day, but the sight of my first giraffe and a baby elephant and a zebra shining in the African sun and the baby hippo climbing out of the water with its mother Рah, how could I not be moved!

I very much enjoyed being a tourist – even though we had to get up VERY early to explore. Here I am in all of my 6 am glory.

I was quite fascinated with the "sausage" tree.

Here are a couple of pictures where you may or may not be able to see animals. Apparently my camera's zoom feature left a bit to be desired LOL.

The elephants were funny - & slightly terrifying. One of them was very interested in the landrover. Thank goodness it ultimately decided that we weren't really all that interesting!

Looking back at my documentation of this trip is when I really wish I'd had a good digital camera (something that probably didn't exist in 1987 – or if it did was prohibitively expensive). Or, you know, a good regular camera* that I knew how to operate. Who knew? I was going to do mission work, not take pictures. Sigh.

*Please note that the camera I took to Africa was a really good point & shoot camera of its type given to me by my church. I was thrilled with it - & it took great basic pictures. It just needed a better zoom feature. And an owner who actually read the manual.


  1. I can't even begin to imagine the awe you felt seeing all of that! What a lifetime trip!

  2. I'd love to go to Africa one day - it looks like the sky just goes on forever there.

  3. Bug I absolutely love what you wrote home. Very much reminds me of descriptions from Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa. I heard someone say once that going to Africa is an emotional experience, that it sort of strips you of certain feelings and replaces them with something finer and better. Thank you for taking me to Zambia every Sunday.

  4. My brother and his wife recently went on a photo safari to Africa and he took some amazing pictures. He said the lions would just be laying out by the roadside totally unconcerned with the land rovers cruising by. The guide told them that they (the lions) were not concerned with the vehicles because they did not recognize them as food, that they were only interested in two and (I can't remember what the second thing was). Now, if you steeped out of the stopped became food.

  5. Hello Bug, you've taken me several places today, as I'm catching up on blog posts. I think the pictures are wonderful. We get to imagine much from those. Digital images are absolutely marvelous, but there is something to be said for the older photographs, where sometimes you did have to puzzle over what you were seeing.

    Helped urge my imagination along on this Sunday morning, when it is feeling a bit sluggish. Those very slightly fuzzy photographs...why is it that it is easier to imagine the sounds, and smells, the overall feeling of a place with those, vs. the crisp digital images?

    I think the older photographs have an invitation within them for the viewer to expand on what is seen, where as the digital images present something in full.

    Both are very valuable, both in their own way :-)

  6. It's one of those times that it's about feeling it and not worrying too much about the photos.

    My son recently went on a zip line in Hawaii (where he's working) and on the way down he realized he was watching it through his iPhone camera lens! He quickly stuck it out to the side and felt the ride through his own eyes and body and felt more exhilerated.

  7. Hiya LuverlyBug. Fascinating yarn and super photos.

    I hope that elephant was just being inquisitive and had no amourous intentions re your vehicle. ;-)

  8. I love your description of how this all made you feel. The tree sounded fascinating! It would have been nice to have a digital because you can take as many as the card will hold, and all those photos could have brought some memories back for you now. But like you say that wasn't an option and you were there for other reasons. I am sure this experience has helped shape who you are today, and the letters and photos you do have are real treasures! Thanks for sharing them with us.

  9. Oh, how wonnnnnnnnderful...! My mother was born and raised in Africa, and my brothers and I grew up hearing her stories of the land she loved so much. This post reminded me of that. Thank you...!

  10. Bug,
    Like Jayne, I can't even imagine how awe inspiring it would be to see all of the wildlife. What an incredible opportunity.

    I know exactly what you mean about the camera. When I look at all of the family photos when my son was little, I lament the fact that I didn't have a good digital...even a bad one would have been better. Camera technology has truly zoomed since the seventies - pun intended.


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