No visit to Livingstone is complete without a trip to Victoria Falls, so this was definitely on the agenda. A couple of weeks before leaving for Zambia, Jay emailed Mom and me to ask if we would like to bring some of the children from the school with us. Of course we did! From there, the trip evolved into a visit with elephants before the Falls and ice cream after the Falls and all three of these things would be a first for the children.
One of the teachers, Constance, selected four children (all 4-5 years old) to join us and she came along as well. We were also joined by Peter, who is a bit older now, but attended Siankaba Nursery School a few years prior. The five of them met us at the lodge, had some breakfast there and off we went.
The kid’s eyes were huge as we drove out of the village and they were completely silent the entire drive. Our first stop was a visit with semi-wild elephants. We were all given a brief overview of the elephants we were meeting and then went off to visit with our individual elephants. The kids went over to meet a baby elephant that was barely as tall as they were. As to be expected, they were pretty frightened, as they are taught that elephants are dangerous from very early on. We didn’t spend much time with the elephants before we had a nice lunch and then went off to the falls.
As I mentioned, the visit to the falls was a first for the kids. Again, they were very quiet and wide eyed as we got closer to the massive, water filled gorge that we could hear thundering and swishing the whole way in. We walked a bit with the kids and took them to some lookout areas that they didn’t dare get to close to.
While there, Charlie did not want to pass up an opportunity to zipline across the gorge. I loved the kid’s faces as they watched him get buckled in and then watched him fly off the cliff. I can only imagine what they were thinking as they sat there in complete silence.
After a couple of hours at the falls, we went into town for a stop at the “Hungry Lion” for some ice cream. Again, a first for the kids. I wish I could have seen them enjoy it, but I opted to go with Sarah to take Peter to get shoes for the next school year.
Maybe the shock of the day had worn off, or the comfort that we were going home had settled in or, maybe it was just a sugar high from the ice cream, but the kiddos that were so quiet the entire day were quite chatty on the way home. They were speaking to eachother in their own language, but it was pretty clear they were recounting the events of the day.
As we settled in after the long day and as we continue to tell this story we talk about what a day they had. But, what a day we had, too. I will mention this more than once in postings about this trip, but what made this trip stand out was the people. Not only the people I was traveling with, but the people I got to meet and actually spend time with along the way.