Travelling…again//Day 12//Trek to Livingstone

Sunrise in Samfya over Lake Bangweulu

This morning we got on a bus to Livingstone.  I counted it up and by the end of our trip we will have spent a total of 7 days in transit and only 9 days staying put!  I was impressed that the bus we took today was a comfortable charter bus, and not what one would think of a typical bus in Africa.  First of all, there was not any livestock on board with us, which is almost unheard of!  Secondly, everyone on the bus had a seat which is again surprising that they had “wasted” square footage (or should I say square meterage) aboard the bus.  Thirdly, the bus did not stink of manure and BO, or at least after being here for 11 days I did not notice anyone elses BO over mine!  It was a fairly uneventful 6 hour bus ride.  The main point of interest was the music on the bus.  We started out with 1990’s Christian music (i.e. – Michael W Smith, Africans singing “Open the Eyes of My Heart” and “Heart of Worship”, etc.).  I assume they played this because it was Sunday morning, because the music changed halfway through the trip.  The last song I remember them playing was Marvin Gaye “Sexual Healing”, if that tells you anything about the variety.

Africans notoriously like to take advantage of mzungus.  Especially in touristy areas, or if they know you are not familiar with your surroundings.  A key to dealing with them is always giving them the idea that you know what you are doing, and will not let them rip you off.  From where we got off the bus, the taxi drivers wanted an outrageuos amount to take us literally 4 blocks to our hotel.  We told them how much we were willing to pay, and they insisted that we pay more.  So, I said, “it is only 4 blocks.  Why don’t we walk?”  They immediately came down on their rate!  So after they came down, we somewhat turned the tables on them by sending only two people with all the luggage at that rate, and the rest of still walked to take in the area.  Once at the hotel, we checked in, acquainted ourselves with the surroundings, and then ate dinner.

The food we have had here has been amazing.  One would think that travelling from the US to Africa would make someone lose weight, but I am pretty sure I have gained weight!  While in Samfya, a lot of what we ate was prepared by Donald’s wife, Gwen.  They are from New Zealand, so we got a taste of NZ with African ingredients.  She is a diabetic, but loves to bake, and there were always some type of pastries or desserts coming out.  We also sampled the local fare, and I only had a few things that I didn’t like, even after finding out what they were!  Tonight we ate seafood at a restaurant in Livingstone.  It wasn’t much different than seafood in the states.

While we were eating dinner, we took turns sharing our high and low points of the trip and what we learned.  Then the others would offer up words of encouragement for the person sharing and then we prayed for that person.  It was a good time to reflect on the past week, and was very uplifting.

Tomorrow we go to the falls, where my wife is pleased to know that I am not planning to bungee jump the 111 meters off the bridge!  There again, I was not planning to bungee jump at the Nile river in Uganda either, but it just sort of happened.  However, it is pretty expensive here, so I doubt anyone would pay for me to do it.  Plus, bungee jumping in Africa is something I can say I did and lived through, but not sure I would ever need to do it again!  I would like to go rafting down the Zambezi river, but it is also expensive and takes up too much time.  Oh well!

Please continue to pray for our safety.  Also, begin to pray for the whole team as we begin to transition our mindset to come back to the US in just a few days.  Thanks!


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