Tag archives for Crafts
The mighty Zambezi was calling our name so we ventured up river to see The Falls from a different perspective. Our tented camp was right on the edge of the river. We spent our days listening to the one million liters of water thundering each second and watching the smoke it created hover over our heads.
One afternoon we went into town and visited a school. It is hard to imagine 60 students in one class with just one teacher, but in Africa there are often larger classes. Even though the school was built of four simple walls, all the kids were happy and learning. We wanted to do our part to help so we went to the school supply store and bought tons of paint sets, pencils, colored pencils, exercise books, erasers, and glue sticks. They all seemed so incredibly happy about our small contribution.
While we were in town we also went to the craft market. At every stop in Africa we have seen extraordinary crafts, but in Zambia the collection of artists and crafts was outstanding. To our right there were vibrant fabrics, to our left there were intricately woven baskets, and in front of us were wildlife oil paintings so real you thought the animals might hop off the canvas and bite (and of course my mom fell in love with one).
The patterns and colors of the fabrics are so beautifully African. The women use the fabric for everything; for their skirts, for their bags, and for their baby holders. Something else I noticed as we wandered through the shops is their creativity and the fact that nothing goes to waste. We saw people playing checkers with some rusty bottle tops in the sand. We also saw people taking old pieces of plastic and weaving them into bags and dresses.
Our final night in Livingstone was really special. We went out for an evening boat cruise. The sunset that night was stunning. The sky turned a fiery orange and the reflection in the turquoise water made it even better. Then to top off a perfect night we saw a herd of elephant (instant smile) at the water’s edge. They were admiring the awe-inspiring night just like we were. The Smoke that Thunders wowed us and will always be remembered, but the time had come to move on, so we are off to Malawi, the warm heart of Africa.
The hippo and crocodile infested waters were just outside our front door at the Old Bridge Lodge. It was a little unnerving knowing they could just crawl into bed with us, but we decided to stay a few nights anyway. Although the water is full of all kinds of creepy creatures the riverfront is gorgeous.
On our first day in Maun we visited the local village and an empowerment program where woman and men from that and many other villages nearby sell their handicrafts.
We had the opportunity to learn how the beautiful Botswana baskets are made and let me tell you it was not easy. I spent three hours on mine and the inside was just a little bigger than a quarter. It made me realize the amount of time, energy and focus that goes into these baskets that they sell for little or no profit.
After spending a few days in civilization we realized we were ready for the wilderness again and a different kind of safari. This time we were going into the wild by way of boat along the Okavango Delta.
The wind blowing our hair, the water glistening and our first HIPPO!
There he was three feet from our boat and ready to tip us at any minute. Our guide Phaladi steps on the gas and rides right over this massive creature and into the next channel before we become his lunch.
Our next spotting was a baby crocodile lurking in the murky waters just inches away. He was so close I thought he would crawl into our boat but fortunately Phaladi assured us that would not happen. Phew!
Our next morning we took scary to a new level and walked out of our tent and into the animal filled savannah with nothing but Phaladi to protect us. My heart felt like it might just jump out of my chest. Within minutes we saw dozens of different antelope and my dad kept saying, “Where there are prey there are predators”, but to be honest I had no interest in seeing any predators especially lions. AHHHHH!
We finished our walk a few hours later in one piece without seeing any predators and got back into the canals of the Delta. The reeds in the water form a massive maze. Fortunately Phaladi grew up here and knew where to go because I would have been totally lost in about two seconds.
Everest was excited to go fishing and we were excited to have grilled fish for dinner so Phaladi took us to an island where we cast out our lines and put our feet in the sand (hoping they didn’t get bitten off by a croc). After an hour of trying we came to the conclusion that the crocs ate all the fish and didn’t leave any for us.
As the sun was setting we road back to camp and saw six more hippos, all just as frightening as the first especially because we had heard more stories about boats being tipped by hippos. We arrived back to camp and listened to the low moans of a lion off in the distance and enjoyed our fishless dinner under the stars.
Our final day in the peaceful Okavango Delta was spent speeding down the reed canals and keeping a lookout for hippos and their bubbles.
We had an amazing time and didn’t want our Okavango adventure to end but there are sooooo many more great things to come!
BOOK NAME: Christmas in Williamsburg
AUTHOR: K.M. Kostyal
When I say the word Christmas, what comes to mind? Things like Christmas trees, mistletoe, and the smell of cookies baking are probably just a few. While imagining this, have you ever stopped to think about where Christmas and the traditions associated with it came from? Most of these traditions are recent and come from many different counties. Many of them were brought by some of our earliest European settlers in Williamsburg and others were originated in America when they came here.
For example, a man from Germany introduced the Christmas tree to Williamsburg and it stuck as an annual tradition (hard to imagine Christmas without it). Today you think of the family sitting around the tree with presents for the kids underneath. But back in colonial times this holiday was not geared for the family, but was mostly a festive holiday party primarily for adults. Many people in colonial times got married during this holiday season because it was the only time the entire family was gathered. Even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were married during Christmas.
This book describes American Christmas history and traditions from the past and present. It also gives instructions on how to mimic these traditions so that you may enjoy them at home. I followed the craft instructions for the paper chains and as I decorated our tree with my handmade crafts, I felt like it really made this Christmas special by reminding me where our traditions came from. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to put some of the old Williamsburg traditions into their own Christmas. Have fun doing this with your family and have a very Merry Christmas.
This Sunday, May 8, is Mother’s Day. Kick off the celebration by watching this video about baby seal Puff and her search for her mother.
What are you going to do for your mom this Mother’s Day? If you need inspiration, try these cool activities:
“Senorita, senorita. Mira, mira! Compra?” ” Little girl, little girl, look, look! You buy?” This is what I hear on the streets when we are walking. There are many street vendors on every corner. Mostly, they are selling things like Peruvian hats, shawls, blankets, and scarves. The men tend to sell paintings, carved gourds, and tour books. I even saw a couple of them selling memory cards for your camera!
When we came out of the airport, the vendors approached us rather quickly, because they knew that they would only get a limited amount of time to make a sale. They followed me to the bus, and even start tapping on the window to get my attention! At other markets, you could barter for the goods that you wanted for a lower price. When ever I bought something from a vendor, I always bartered. It was kind of like a game. I would start to low, they would start to high, and we would always end up somewhere in the middle. I wanted a necklace from a vendor on one of the stops before we went to Machu Picchu. She wanted five sols for it. That is the currency here in Peru. I thought that maybe I could get for lower, so I asked for about two sols. The lady agreed after a very short time, and I ended up subtracting three sols from the original price.
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