What a great team of awesome people God put together. I also have to mention the wonderful learners we had. These men and woman came from up to 2-3 hours to get to our class! Now that is dedication to the tiny people of Zambia!
After our class we ran back to the hotel to change and get on the road to Livingstone. We made it in time for the sunset cruise on the African Queen. We saw tons of hippos and elephants. It was lovely. On our return we went to hotel we went to the Royal Livingstone and played some games and had great laughs!
We played the lying game which was hysterical. I learned a lot about about my teammates!! After a day that started with hard but very satisfying work...we ended with much needed relaxation and laughter.
It was the perfect end to the day. We started with hard work but ended with laughter and relaxation. What a wonderful and fulfilling day.
Linda for team TPM
Friday, November 14, 2014
Our last full day in Africa, and it was a day full of activities. Our "work" is complete. Marc and Melissa did the math and for the total we trained approximately 240 midwives, birth attendants and others during our time here. Leonard talked to us yesterday about "finishing well," and I think we did just that. We arrived here at the resort yesterday transformed into tourists.
The hotel has some interesting features. Since it is situated just outside Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, there are zebras, baboons, giraffes and impalas that roam freely around the grounds. The zebras spend most of the time around the pool area grazing. If you get too close they will kick you. The baboons also have an attitude. This morning at breakfast one of them jumped off the roof onto a table in the outdoor dining areas, and broke a bunch of dishes before being chased off. Mosi-oa-Tunya means "the smoke that thunders," which is the local name for Victoria Falls.
This morning after a huge buffet breakfast was our long awaited safari, a game drive in Chobe National Park in Botswana. First we rode a large van to the Botswana border, crossed on a boat into the country and picked up our Botswana transportation to the park. At the border our tires and shoes were disinfected and we were screened for Ebola - which amounts to a nurse looking through are passports for any travel to West Africa. The nurse was Elliot, and when Melissa saw his name tag listing him as a midwife of course she had to give him her 60 second "elevator " pitch on Helping Babies Breathe. He was interested and they exchanged information. Maybe next year we will be giving classes in Botswana.
On the drive to the park in the open air vehicle Beckie was hit in the knee by a flying dung beetle. We got some nice photos of the beetle, which I'm afraid was too stunned to survive.
Our two excellent guides were Moses and Furube, which sounded like "Frisbe" when I heard it.
This is the very beginning of the rainy season here, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Many of the trees have beautiful flowers, but most have very few leaves, so spotting game is a lot easier, and since the water holes are still dry, many of the animals congregate at the Chobe River so they were conveniently out in the open for us to view.
Here is a list of the game we saw today, many of them in great numbers and at close range:
Birds - many species
Dung beetle at work
We also saw many elephant skeletons, not from poaching but from natural causes - not surprising since our guide explained there are approximately 120,000 elephants in the park!
The game drive ended with an excellent lunch, then back to Zambia. At the border we did some bargaining for wood carvings and other items. These vendors really got in our personal space, especially Jen's. We made some pretty good deals for items that will show up at TPM fundraisers.
Back in Zambia the rest of our luggage had finally arrived at the hotel - a long story involving using Leonard's van to transport Robin to her earlier flight out of Lusaka and breaking down on the way back. We learned that Robin made it back to PA okay, but in her words the trip seemed "endless."
In the afternoon most of us walked down to Victoria Falls. The flow is pretty low this time of year, so today one can only imagine the spectacle of this place at full flow in a few months and why it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Also more shopping for local items by Melissa, Linda, Cathy, Betsy, Amy and Jen. Linda and Melissa seemed like they were competing for which one could buy the more ridiculous item. Marc actually bought a chess set for 50 dollars and the pair of socks he was wearing after more than an hour of bargaining and making up stories.
Later many of us just relaxed around, and in my case in the pool. The pool was wonderful therapy. On my back in the shallow area I was so relaxed Beckie thought I was dead and tried to rescue me.
Tomorrow we catch our various flights home. I figure about 30 hours of travel time for most of us, some even more. Natotela - Thanks for your support and attention and a special thanks from all of us to Leonard and Rose for all they have done to make this trip a success..