Sometimes you just meet the best people when you least expect it!
Donald was our boatman in Zambia on the visit in 2010. We gals (there were four of us on that trip), enjoyed our afternoon Zambezi River trip with Donald so much that we requested he take us out again the following morning.
Donald knows the mighty Zambezi like the back of his hand. He took us down river to view the vapor thrown high into the sky by Victoria Falls, an awesome sight. He is familiar with the wildlife in the area, and knew just where along the river's banks to find us amazing birds..........
........such as this colony of beautiful White-fronted Bee-eaters who nest in shallow holes in the sandy banks.
Donald's boat docked at the camp.
Boats on the Zimbabwe side of the Zambezi.
Kim, Paula, me, Donald, Bob and Mark
On this recent visit, Donald was awaiting our arrival at Toka Leya where he continues to work, not only as a boatman, but also growing indigenous trees for planting in the Livingstone area. Donald was thrilled that Paula and I were returning. His family is large and extended and he supports many people. Paula has generously assisted Donald's eldest daughter with her school fees these past two years so that she can continue her education (the Zambian government only provides free schooling through the 7th grade). All Paula asks in return are copies of school report cards and photos. This daughter attends a boarding school in another town to continue her education. The best news of all was that this young lady has been awarded 'Best Student in Zambia' this year! Donald had notified his family we were visiting again and they kindly invited us to visit their home in Livingstone, a great honor.
We were overwhelmed by the welcome we received in Donald's neighborhood. Children came home (and some stayed home we were told!) from school when they knew we were due to arrive........and ran after our vehicle through the streets, laughing and cheering us along.
Above - Donald's beautiful wife and the children............
............the neighborhood children were so welcoming and sharing a little time with Donald and his family was really wonderful.
These are the beautiful occasions which make very special travel memories.
Toka Leya Camp, with the intriguing islands of the Zambezi River right on its doorstep, is a very special place.......it will always have fond memories for me.