We're leaving in a few days time!
I won't be blogging for a while,
not too very long,
but long enough to miss it here...
I know I really will be taking you all with me in a way, because you'll all be in my thoughts and heart every step of the way. I'll be keeping a journal, but the book and pen type, my old familiar friend.
I'll have to think on how I can share that...
Our itinerary will take us to Paris, Johannesburg, Victoria Falls, Botswana, Kasane, Chobe, Hwange, Matusadona and Mana Pools in Zimbabwe.
This will be my third trip to Africa, but it will be a new experience, I've not been to most of these places. It doesn't matter where I get to go though, every time, everyplace, it's like the first time. A thrill always.
If all goes to plan we will meet three blog friends (!!!)
I still can't believe the effort they are making for me, I hope they know that if it doesn't work out, it's OK, I just love them them for thinking about it.
We'll be visiting the Kazungula Day Care Centre and meeting Sharon, who runs the Centre, the teacher, assistants and the children. Karen will graciously meet us there. I'll be sure to take lots of photos to share here later! I've been in email contact with Sharon, the past several months, learning a little about the children, and their needs. My sister (who is coming with us) and I have gathered supplies that they can use and hopefully will like. And then, because they are so small, ages 2 and a half to 6, I wanted to bring something personal. Something from a Mum. So here is my idea, the project I've been working on for the last few months....
I've knitted 35 (a few still awaiting appliques) little hats, made out of the softest yarns, cotton, bamboo and silk. Just like what I would make for my own babies. I found the cutest material too and each hat has an appliqued African animal on it, giraffes, monkeys, hippos and lions... I learned that Botswana can get cold now in the winter.
I hope the babies like them.
I can't wait to meet them.
a letter from Sharon:
"The children are 2.5 yrs to 6 yrs of age, all from Kazungula Village/Newstands area near the lodge. Needy, destitute, HIV children. They learn English, to read, draw, colour, numbers etc from our teacher and her 2 assistants, and then of course they spend a lot of time playing and learning to interact with each. They are with us mon – fri and have 3 meals a day at the day care centre. Of course our big expense is food, but we also try give the kids new or good condition 2nd hand clothing and shoe’s as often as possible, jerseys in winter, hats in summer etc. Anything and everything from a piece of paper to draw on to whatever is put to good use."
I'm going to want to stay.
And then. This book ,
On Safari by David Anderson
is the reason(well, one)that we will be taking this journey.
We will be submitting photos for the second edition of David's next book. In 2004 Chuck and I and approximately 140 other photographer's from around the country went on safari to ten countries in East and Southern Africa.
This book is a result of that year.
Chuck and I went from Cape Town to the Limpopo Province at the Botswana border. Doing much of the driving ourselves the dilemma was who would drive and who would navigate. He decided that I should drive while he figured out the maps. Either way it was going to be a problem because I am the world's worst navigator and not too good with driving in foreign countries with everything reversed, the side of the road you drive on, the steering wheel, indicators, baboons in the road, things like that!...oh but that's part of the adventure and another story!
The assignment again is simple, use the art of photography to visually capture the special magic of the safari experience. Well, simple in theory! Luckily they were happy with our submissions and on one of the most exciting days of my life I got an email saying several of my images would be used.(Chuck too, of course!) I am really, really honored and do believe it's a beautiful book not only because of the images ,but to be part of a project that promotes responsible and sustainable ecotourism in East and Southern Africa.
For more info and a peek into the book you can go to http://www.onsafari.info/
Focus on Africa Publications
I think that's it. Hopefully i'll get one more post up before we go, but if not, I want to wish everyone a wonderful month...
I'll miss all your brilliant blogs...
See you my friends at the end of May :)