I've had to go back and check what all I wrote about the visit we had from Todd's parents (Bev and Hugh) and his brother (Alan) back in April. I wrote about their arrival -- somehow without relaying the story of their crazy departure story and the trip they had before they even landed here. The story involves a 4AM phone call from the FBI. It's a good one but one you should ask about in person b/c by now I'm certain the actual details are lost to the much better and highly embellished version of the story. Let's just say they made it here.
We dragged to to all the scheduled school activities and community events -- they spent their first day here wandering around at the American School with hundreds of other people and managed to stay awake to cheer the boys (and us!) on in their triathlon performances. We could easily have let them stay at home and catch up on some sleep but with such a relatively short visit, they opted to just dive right into things and managed to stay awake. If you have ever traveled across ten time zones in a day, you'll appreciate that this is a HUGE accomplishment. The Jennings handled it with grace, altho I did catch Bev dozing off in the car as we drove home....but of course only as I was also falling asleep from the days' excitement and I had NO excuse!
It was nice that they have met so many of our friends either from crossing paths in Seattle or during their previous visits to Zambia (which date all the way back to 2009 when ALL THREE grandparents came at the same time) that they had a good time seeing everyone again and 'connecting the dots' from all our stories and their own memories.
As I mention, they had a relatively short time here, just 3 weeks, so we really had to pack it in. There is a certain obligation we feel to 'show off' Zambia -- not only to make the huge expense and hassle of their journey worthwhile but to share the things we love best about living here. It's also an excuse for us to try some things that have been on our Z Bucket list. The list is long and pretty open-ended so we had a few options to pick and choose from. One thing, which I already wrote about, was to go to Tsika Island. The other big trip (in between some little trips and normal daily 'adventures') was spending the Easter holiday at Kasanka National Park, one of Zambia's smallest, coolest and most unique parks. We used the Kasanka trip as a launching off point to visit Bangweulu. This swamp and wetland lies outside of the Park boundary -- and surprisingly, outside of any protected wildlife area but is nonethless an incredible area for wildlife and....wildlife viewing of the avian variety.