Tag archives for River
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.
Hi readers. Wow, what a week… it started in Serbia. Do you even know where Serbia is? Serbia is a little Balkan country bordering believe it or not, eight other small countries. We visited Belgrade the capital city. Our first afternoon we explored the old ramparts, and oddly enough there was a photographic exhibit on the USA. There was a beautiful picture from every state. Later that night went to the bohemian quarter, perfect for us, and we listened to traditional music.
Our next day we wandered and ate dinner at the coolest opera restaurant, we pulled a rope for our waiter to come and sat in a vintage opera box. At the end of the night a pianist and a violinist came and played, the violinist was hilarious.
Hey readers. We were just in Budapest and had an awesome time. We were all super excited to explore the city so we went on a walking tour along the Danube River. Our guide was great and we learned a lot. Did you know that Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe? It was founded in 896. We also went to the healing Turkish baths and soaked in the water for hours. We were sooooooo pruny when we finally got out. The baths were in an old mansion and have been there for over four hundred years.
The morning started off with a mutual feeling of excitement and grogginess–everyone was up by around 6 a.m. We had breakfast at the hotel restaurant and then all grouped in the lobby. After that we quickly boarded the bus and were on our way to do the first thing on the list-raft down the Missouri River!
At the river, four main groups were almost immediately established: the
girls, the boys, the moms and other women, and the dads and other men.
Later, the girls proved that we could successfully soak every other
group on the river with the water guns conveniently located aboard the
raft. Following a rundown of the safety measures and a distribution of
life jackets, we shoved off from shore and were on our way!
Pasado del Jamon. We pulled in to The Ham Hotel happy to be there. This was one of the coolest hotels in Argentina. There was a big playground, a soccer field and vines to run and play in. There were also all kinds of animals; dog, cats, horses, guinea fowl, puppies, peacocks, and parrots. Mom and dad had fun touring the beautiful wineries and Everest and I had fun playing at the hotel.
After the ride from the mountains of Ella we stood in awe of amazing Tangalle Beach. It was not only beautiful; the Indian Ocean was as warm as a bathtub. I was so glad this was the place we chose for our longest stay.
We did a lot of fun things while we were there, one of my favorites was the turtle hatchery. They are helping save baby turtle eggs from poachers (people that steal the eggs and sell them for a lot of money) and rescue turtles that are blind and handicapped. They even rescued an Albino turtle. My friend Avery has a house in Nicaragua and they have the same poacher problem. They are also trying to save the turtles.
Varanasi is considered one of the holiest and most overwhelming cities in India. When we arrived at the Varanasi train station I had to agree. There were people everywhere trying to sell us things, pushing, beeping, spitting and heckling to be our taxi driver. We finally choose Vinod and he took us to our hotel. We liked him so much that we planned a little tour for later that afternoon.
Today we arrived in Bangkok, which is the capitol of Thailand. It was a big contrast, because it is a cosmopolitan modern city compared to Myanmar which is a third world country. I was so happy to swim in our pool because it was extremely hot. The first day there we did school in the really nice business center, listened to Beatles music in the lounge and ate some delicious Thai food!
Today we took a 15 hour ride on a local boat down the Ayeyarwady River. The sun rise was exquisite as we left Mandalay. We had two plastic chairs and a little floor space but we settled in.
Allillanchu! As you know that is Quechua for hello. There are many amazing things in the rain forest but my fave is the parrot clay lick. A clay lick is a giant slab of clay on a cliff. In the morning, the birds make their screeches, caws, and squawks and then they descend from the sky to the clay lick. There they eat damp clay that helps them with digestion. It slides down their throats and helps them chew their food in the gizzard. Also the minerals found in the clay enhance the bird’s health and well-being after digestion.
The whole Amazon forest has been the most amazing thing I have ever experienced in my life. One thing that really thrilled me though was the canopy tower. After a muddy hike through the jungle, we reached a rickety (well, it looked rickety) metal tower that seemed to stretch on forever and ever up into the sky.
Around and around we went up the winding metal stairs. Only after I was
convinced the metal structure never ended, we were at the top. For a
moment, I didn’t dare breathe. Stretching out below me was an endless
expanse of wonderful trees.