Meatloaf, Victoria, Hippoes, Stunguns, Bungi, and Mangoes: Weekend in Livingstone (dont try to get the title)

Around four Saturday afternoon, Janet Sisco Brown and two buses arrived in Zimba. Janet is a full time missionary in Zambia from my church and has recently gotten married. The two buses were filled with 23 missionaries from Ft. Worth, Texas that had been serving in Lusaka for the past two weeks. The group was very nice and I enjoyed getting to know the great group. For their last day in Africa and for me to have some fun Janet has planned for us Victoria Falls and Zambezi River tours for Sunday. Then her, her husband Jim, and I will spend Monday on safari in Chobi and back to Livingstone Tuesday to return back to Zimba. I am very excited for some real adventure in Africa.

However, things did not begin well. The highway between Zimba and Livingstone is awful; they pretty much threw pebbles in large line and called it a road. I remember it being bad on my way to Zimba my first day, but then again I was so out of it because of lack of sleep, I guess I didn’t notice that I was being tossed for one side of the car to the other. Anyways, I get carsick very easily, so while catching up with Janet and Jim was truly nice, a storm was brewing in my stomach. When we reached the lodge where we would be staying the next few days, I took a little sick spell (I am being very considerate to those who might have weak stomachs). Nevertheless, I stayed in bed the rest of the day. Being sick alone in foreign country is zero fun, but I fell to sleep like a rock and felt better in morning.

We met up with the group to go to Victoria Falls. It deserves its spot as a world wonder. It is literally one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen. When the rapids hit the fall line, they transform into these cascades of water that are breathtaking. There is this one observation spot where the mist hits you especially strong, and I began to feel absolutely euphoric. It was purely magnificent. As I stood there getting soaked by the mist and as the small group moved on, I experienced something I cannot explain in its entirety, but it was one of the most amazing, empowering, and genuine moments of my life. Just me standing and laughing in the mist, epic. Then a group of us hiked down to the river gorge to get a new view of the falls. It was so fun just having a small group climbing on these beautiful black rocks and taking in some awesome landscape. Victoria Falls, enough said.

We went to lunch at Olga’s and had Zambian pizza. If you think it sounds good, you are mistaken. Swing and miss for Olga’s, but then we headed to the waterfront for a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River and watching for wildlife along the banks of the game reserve with the mist of the falls rising from upstream, creating the perfect overcast sky as the sun’s rays poke through reflecting on the water. The perfect way to wind down and absorb some scenery while relaxing with some good conversation. If you haven’t understood yet that this place is by far one of the coolest and most beautiful places in the world, I suggest finding some good deals with South African Air because this is something reading and pictures cannot give you. I returned to my room that night (Shocker, the power goes out a lot there too) and fell to sleep very content and appreciative of God’s creation.

Dear future travelers to Chobi, it is in Botswana, a different country. Therefore you will need a passport to get there and back. Woke up this morning, had a nice breakfast, and then wandered around the compound waiting on Janet and Jim. I played around with some jackrabbits and tried to feed some of the guinea fowl, the most awkward puff ball of feathers that is some sad excuse for a bird, and then I discovered the information covered in this paragraph’s first two sentences. My passport is back at the mission locked away in our safe, so idiot face (me) get’s no safari today (another lesson learned, always travel with your passport wherever you are in Africa).

While this was a bummer, it was not going to ruin my day. Even though I was back on my own, I am still in Livingstone and that means ten minutes away from my lodge is the Zambezi River Bridge and that means bungi jumping. So by myself again, I decided to go to the second tallest jumping site in the world and jump head first into the rapids of the Zambezi River. Registering took forever but my somewhat of a beard paid off and they bought that I was 18, so I headed off to the bridge. It somehow seems way higher when you actually are on the bridge watching people jump and then looking as they literally almost touch the water. They called my name, and I got onto the jump platform. I started to get nervous. Next, they strapped me up and before I knew it the guy moved to the final jump stage. I looked down and then, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BUNGI!” I jumped. IT WAS AWESOME! I was trying to yell but the speed and the adrenaline took it away. First, you simply freefall for about 4.5 seconds, and then you get slung back up and do it again. It was the biggest rush of my life. At the end of the jump and as another man came down on a line to take me back up, I was just hanging there, still bouncing a little, laughing and smiling from the jump. I got back up to registration and bought my video. When I watched it, it is the weirdest feeling when the camera zooms out to show the distance between the river and the bridge and little me falling like a speck in between. So glad I did this!

I returned home and relaxed reading my summer reading books (I have finished the Latin poetry but still, ughh). The whole bungi trip actually took almost four hours to do, so after being back for about an hour, Janet and Jim returned from their day in Chobi. We had a good meal at the lodge and they told me about their safari, and I showed them my epic bungi video. Originally that Tuesday morning, we were going to have to leave early so that they could meet up with a missionary in Lusaka six hours away dropping me off in Zimba along the way, but he missed his flight so we had one more open half day in Livingstone, so to make up for me not going on the safari yesterday, we went on a self-drive safari tour in the Livingstone game reserve. I had such a great time. The animals are so much more vivid and exciting in person. Janet, who has done this many times, said it was the best safari by far she had in Livingstone. In one field there were water buffalo, zebra, giraffe, and wildebeest all at the same time in their own large herd mixed within each other. At one point, I was within seven feet of a giant giraffe, and if had been quicker, I could have petted that baby monkey. We spent the rest of the early afternoon doing this and that in Livingstone. It is such vibrant place with so many “only in Africa” moments. And to all the Auburn fans out there, I “WAREAGLE!”-ed this Zambian wearing an Auburn hat. Thank God, SEC football has made it to Livingstone, Zambia- priceless.

Looking back the weekend, things couldn’t have worked out better. God is just letting me take in so much. I got home to Zimba and ate with the team plus Janet and Jim telling funny stories from the weekend. I cannot believe my time is closing in Zimba (because of some scheduling issues I spend most of my last week in Lusaka with Janet and a small team from my church). The mission, the hospital, and all the people are developing a second home feeling in me. This land is so special in every way. I don’t think two weeks in Zimba will be enough. Summing up, this weekend was a complete blast, minus getting sick, but I really want to make the most of my time left in Zimba.

Waiting for what else Zimba has to throw at me, could not be in a better place. PS: Bungi was AWESOME, in case you had forgotten. PSS: I miss you too V! Cant wait to see you and the rest of the fam.


3 Comments on "Meatloaf, Victoria, Hippoes, Stunguns, Bungi, and Mangoes: Weekend in Livingstone (dont try to get the title)"

  1. Little C!!! So glad you got to bungiiiiiiiii! Can't wait to see your video. TAKE PICTURES of everything!! -Glenn

  2. CW Sr. says:

    CWIIThat's my boy!!!!I would have given anything to watch you jump. Big rush huh?Be very kind this week to everyone in Zimba this week.CW

  3. kedefreece says:

    Curtisimo! I have so much enjoyed reading all your blogs and i cant begin to describe how proud i am of you! I'm sorry you got sick but like i told you before you left: obedience is learned through suffering. you are obviously in the middle of god's will and while its so rewarding, it will often not be easy or fun. I cannot believe you cut tendons or whatever in that girls foot and have been performing surgeries! that is so neat as only a 16 year old! you have an AWESOME future in store for you! also, im sure you've seen stuff your not used to at all. i realized in ecuador that no one has the same culture as us. i encourage you to have the mindset of it's not wrong, its just different! so glad your having a blast and can't wait to see you and tons of pictures and videos (especially the bungi jump one)! love you! Fly with Christ, Kelso

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