Mosi-O-Tunya / Victoria Falls

A roaring waterfall, a sky full of rainbows, and a weekend with Mimi and Dede visiting one of the world’s most wondrous of wonders.

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When David Livingstone stumbled onto the waterfall, he named it Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria.  To Africans who have lived amidst its majesty for centuries, it is Mosi-O-Tunya, or “The Smoke that Thunders.”   There is so much water from the torrent rushing over these cliffs that the air is filled with perpetual raindrops.

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Fortunately they sell flimsy plastic ponchos for 50 cents!  We hiked out on the Knife Bridge, a slippery walk suspended next to the crashing chaos of water, so loud we couldn’t speak to each other. so slippery we had to hang on with both hands.  Losing sight of the little blond heads of my babies was frightening, until up ahead I saw they’d made some new friends.

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A railroad bridge stretches across the Zambezi River, although I’m not sure I would ever want to be the first person testing out that bridge on a 200-ton train.

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Down below, where the hot summer sunbeams and river mist are perpetually swirled a humid soup, there is a rain forest full of monkeys and broad-leafed trees.

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We had to talk Dede down from one of his crazy ideas!!

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This poor guy was carrying an awful lot of orange juice in the 100 degree heat.

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With the mist of the falls falling onto our heads, we dropped Mimi and Dede off to go walking with some lions, while we rolled up the car windows to keep the monkeys.  Mike bought a few billion dollar bills and we some hot and flaky steak pies for lunch, and by afternoon we were all ready for Happy Hour back at The Green Tree.

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We were grateful for our little lodge and a welcome dip in the pool!

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Settled among a lovingly tended family of trees, bearing mangos, lemons, oranges, bananas, papayas, and even pineapples.  Did you know that pineapples grow on a bush?  We had no idea!

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Jake, with his boundless energy, kept wanting to have races.

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Eli found a dirt pile and went hunting for guinea fowl.

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We adults uncorked some Captain Morgans and Bitter Lemon, and stretched out to listen to the birds.  And wonder about the name “Esnart.”

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We ended our day with pizza at Olga’s, maybe the best place in the city to unwind and feel normal when in truth, you are on the other side of the earth.  Zambia is distant, dreamy, yet full of the human adventure that defines and connects life everywhere.   The best human connection is that Mimi and Dede are here with us, to prove that in years to come this experience really happened.  Did we really just visit Victoria Falls while fending off a bunch of monkeys?  Were those real lions out there this morning?  And is this meat on our pizza actually real pepperoni?

I guess sometimes we just have to jump in feet first without knowing the outcome,

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and be thankful when the rope holds.

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