Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sharing memories in Zambia........

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 will always have fond memories for me.


  1. What a wonderful experience for you all. Children in Zambia certainly appreciate an education, I visited an amazing school last time and it was a very moving experience.

    Paula should feel proud of her girl!

    Sft x

  2. Many times people fail to interact with the people of the country they visit and it is such a loss as this post brings to light.....what a special time.

  3. what beautiful images...I am inspired to visit... xv

  4. This post just warmed my heart, Mary.
    The joy Donald's family showed for your visit is so sweet and Paula's help with his daughter's education is really kind and obviously well appreciated.
    The birds are so gorgeous. Just amazing what you saw on your trip!

  5. What a beautiful country and beautiful people! Donald's wife is very pretty and his children are so cute! Thanks for sharing your special trip with us!

  6. What a thrill to visit Donald's home. That is indeed what makes traveling to other parts of the world extra special. Paula is doing a wonderful thing by supporting his daughter in school. Congratulations on her honor too. The children and Donald's wife are all beautiful.

  7. Mary, your fabulous adventures make me want to drop everything and grab my passport!
    Victoria Falls!

  8. Mary, what a beautiful post! I was smiling ear-to-ear! The relationships, the birds, the children and sights wonderful! You all look so happy. Thank you for sharing. hugs and love, Mary Ann

  9. The trip is always so pleasurable when you have an excellent tour guide to take you along. And with that big, beaming smile, Donald looks like he is a wonderful, happy tour guide indeed! What a blessing for Paula to help his oldest daughter continue her education ... when someone is given a chance, when others believe, they are bound to excel. Kudos to her for being the best student in Zambia. Absolutely fantastic! Those bee-eaters are so very beautiful -- and the the pretty pastel bird in your header is incredible. What a wondrous trip! No wonder you want to go back again and again. Best wishes and blessings, Tammy

  10. That is so wonderful! Big congrats to his daughter!


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