Sunday, November 3, 2013

I am a Coffee Table

"Can I make this?"

Because we ended up painting the coffee table, we had to revise.  At first the table didnt' say anything, I thought it was just the drawing, labeled.  "No....that's part of the design!" Everyone so far thinks he should have a whole 'line' of "I AM" furniture.  I am tempted to label everything in the house: Toilet.  Door.  Chair.  Wall.'s FINISHED!  Beautiful, isn't it?

Wuv and mawwedge.

We had the chance to go to a wedding...not your typical Zambian affair.  Not your typical wedding, period!  This was for a couple so crazy in love it's hard not to get swept up in their romance.  They invited about 75 guests.  Out on Lake Kariba for the weekend.  On a houseboat (two houseboats, actually) with the sundowner ceremony to be held on a private island.  Posh. And totally chill at the same time.  That's a tough mix to pull off.  But they did.  Guests were asked to dress in the wedding colours -- ivory and orange.

Back in the suite (above) and on the A-deck (below). 

(Above) Todd with Dorothy, the wedding planner who swooped down from the UK on a moment's notice and took over when the maid of honour/wedding coordinator had to rush down to South Africa to tend to an emergency. Our goal was to get incriminating photos of D.  The opportunity never fully arose so we changed our goal to at least getting some embarrassing photos.  That didn't pan out either!

The trip home 'made' the weekend for the boys.  In the middle of the night the wind picked up.  We spent the night tied to the shore.  Is there no anchor?  I don't think so actually.... Anyway, we were rocking and rolling and crashing into the shore all night.  Things did not let up in the morning but we had to get back so we motored thru.

The boat, which I think is a double-hull catamaran (?) had no choice but to turn and take some swells/waves fully broadside.  this may have something to do with the fact that the captain is actually a welder who worked on the ship when it was constructed and worked his way up.  But, he did a fine job so I'm just not going to comment any more.  Read between the lines.

It got a wee-bit exciting inside.  The TVs in the rooms were bolted down but..not strapped down so they went crashing, wine bottles, glasswear, etc.  Like I said, the recent makeover that this boat had is lovely, but it really was if they forgot to factor in that it is a boat.  On the water.  With wind. With Waves.  And all that means for a boat and not a ballroom.

In case you ever wondered what happens when a houseboat which appears to have been remodeled like a hotel which is in fact NOT a boat takes a series of swells broadside.  It was in reality quite dangerous.  But the all kids had one helluva good time.  No harm, no foul?

Sometimes, It IS the destination!

The previous post about road tripping was on our way HERE!  A big 5-family camping/fishing weekend.  PFPJ with brothers' new fishing gear on the Zambezi River.  We are at a spot about 24km down from the Kariba Dam, just clear of the gorge as it opens up to the flood plains.

The kids had a wee bit of fun. 

"Don't mind me. I'm just going to go check in on the chocolate birthday cake you left in the chalet."

We had a few uninvited guests in camp. A family of baboons with some BIG guys.  BIG HUGE BABOONS. Scary. They have big teeth. I am scared of baboons.  A ginormous croc at the beach.  The biggest that I have ever seen. We heard the hippos but didn't see any nearby, saw some elephants on the island between our side and the Zimbabwe side and saw lots of elephant poo and cattle/cattle poo on our side but no elephants.  

We had 12 boys, two girls, 4 moms and 3 dads on this trip.
(and the biggest bottle of jaggermeister I've ever seen...)

Getting out of Town

Whoever said "getting there is half the fun?" has never traveled in Zambia.  We love road trips for all that we get to see along the way but "FUN" is rarely what I'd call it. It starts out fun....

This fun deteriorates....

But the scenery is beautiful (above, just crossing the Kafue River)

We already had been in a construction zone for an hour when we find the highway.  Rather, we find what WAS the highway.  They are rebuilding it.  But there is no other way to get to where we are going and there is no other place for the steady stream of trucks delivering goods from the ports via the Chirundu border post with Zim.  So it's the same traffic but with no roads. The trip is a bit dusty.  For some reason we have had no reason to travel this direction (to Chirundu/Siavonga) and suddenly, we have to travel this route 4 times in as many weeks for a wedding, for work, for camping and again. Normally, it's a 2- 2.5 hour trip, now it could easily be 5-6 hours.  Why? 

(1) the poor quality of roads and traffic between Lusaka and Chilanga, 
(2) the one-lane and shoulder driving betwen Chilanga and Kafue, 
(3) the detour AROUND Kafue thru the quarry, 
(4) the fact that the highway is now non-existent between Kafue town and the turnoff,
 (5) the new weigh-station/truck immigration post which is backed up onto the highway and 
(6) the number of accidents on the only stretch of highway that's NOT under construction

Below:  left is the highway, right is the detour; the 'high way.' Are we having fun yet?

Water trucks pass thru to keep the dust down.  Now the dusty road is a muddy road.  You can't win.

Back on the paved road and into the foothills.  This stretch of road is ALWAYS littered with wrecked trucks and debris.  There are always fresh tire tracks going over the cliff, there are always potholes around the next bend waiting to swallow you up whole, there is always something on this stretch that you'd really rather not see.

Common sights.  Below, a truck with copper sheets went off-roading.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of copper is littering the the highway.