Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Grands

The rumors are true: the Grandparents DID come to Africa! It has been a while now but here is photographic evidence of their trip. In all, they (Bev, Hugh, and Jane) were here October to November. Their trip coincided with our move over to plot 23b, Zambia's hottest weather, the start of the rains, Zambia's independence holidy, Zambian presidential elections, US presidential elections, school vacation days, the end of the jacurandi trees blooming and the beginning of the flame trees blooming and the very best birding and game-viewing of the year.

It was a great visit for many, many reasons.
Above, Hugh and Anne had a chance to go 'Birding with Bob.' In Livingstone, we went out in the bush with Bob, (Robert Stjernstedt, a respected ornithologist with 35 years of birding experience in Southern Africa) and spent the morning tromping around the mopane woodland upriver from Victoria Falls with our binoculars poised. It was a truly Birding-with-Bob-experience complete with stalled Landrover, chain smoking and...incredible birding.
Below, the Jacaranda trees were in bloom in early October. In South Africa, Pretoria is known as Jacaranda City and, according to my WIKI research, the time of year the Jacarandas bloom in Pretoria coincides with the year-end exams at the University of Pretoria and legend has it that if a flower from the Jacaranda tree drops on your head, you will pass all your exams. However, in Australia, where the Jacaranda tree is also found, University of Queensland students maintain a superstition that if a Jacaranda bloom falls on their head during exam time, they will fail an exam. The bad luck can be broken by catching another bloom before it hits the ground. Mercifully, we didn't need to worry about exams and were able just to enjoy the show, which was followed by a spectacular floral display from the Flame Trees.

We showed the Grands big things--Victoria Falls/Mosi-oa-Tunya, and tiny things (below)--

Even in the dry season - it had not rained since March when we were there in October - the falls are spectacular. There are 7 or 8 main/principle gorges and the Zambezi River falls over 100 meters; it is the boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe. If you want to read more on the falls: ) The photo above is of the third gorge. The land to the left is an island belonging to Zimbabwe. Were we to go there today, at the end of the rainy season, we would not even see the rock for all the water.
Below, Finn's tiny frog - he found a bunch of them (maybe 30 in all) at the base of a tree one afternoon; Finn brought it in to show Grandma Bev while she was working on a journal entry! Finny is the master spotter -- the smaller or better the camoflauge, the more likely he is to find it. "Well spotted" as they say.
Below, Finny, enjoying his class performance at the Lusaka International Community School's Independence Day celebration (which was televised live on ZNBC!). In front of him in his dance queue is Iona. According to Finn, he and Iona have done nearly EVERYTHING together --they have even been to Australia once with Nana! "I have been there, I have!" They even got to see a movie together when they went to England....

1 comment:

Teresa said...

The gorge is SO spectacular!

I hear you are PTA Pres. Is that right? They are a fortunate school to have you.