Monday, June 1, 2009


Yebo! and Salibonani, Hello and Greetings!

We're back from our epic trip to Zimbabwe and Botswana.

I have so much to write about, where do I begin? I kept my journal, it's all filled up. It is a treasure to me, more than a personal account of a journey, but a record of people i've met, names, addresses, this time even a language lesson carefully printed by an Ndebele man ( i'd asked to learn the basics, hello, thank you, please, good morning... Sibhekinkosi filled up another entire page with words he thought I also ought to know, giraffe, crocodile, impala, frog...)

But today, i'll start at the beginning of our trip, I know that Val and Karen and Angela already talked about our meeting (and phone call!), I must go back and leave comments to you all (when I'm a little less foggy and without tears in my eyes!! thank you friends) so now here is what it was like for me...
We'd been in Africa less than 24 hours (after two days of traveling) and were already on our way to the Kazungula Children's Ark ~ and Karen! As our bus bounced along the road to Botswana (we were coming from Zimbabwe) my phone did it's little blipblip thing it does when it has a text message. Hmmm? i've had no service except for the airport (thanks Lola!), what's this? I wonder? oh my gosh. It's Val!! She said she was with Karen and was looking for me. At this time I am fading fast, going on day four of no sleep, jet~lag had me in its grip. Now I'm on the edge of my seat again. This is really going to happen. It was all just so much, I can't explain how I felt. But the combination of being in Africa again, meeting blog friends that I love and going to see the children, well, it was overwhelming.

When I look at this photo now, I remember thinking, "be in the moment". But the feeling was so surreal, I felt like I was watching everything from a window, like I was outside looking in. Karen and Val were exactly like I imagined. Karen, so witty and charming and kind(and soo pretty too!) Val felt like a friend i'd known all my life. With a calm dignity about her, she was just like her blog, full of warmth and beauty. I wished that we all didn't live so far apart.

And now the school, and the babies! They waited...

...and waited...while we were given a tour of the school...

...and teacher Emeldah demonstrated just how it goes day to day for these little ones...

...we were treated to circle dances and songs, and then finally it was time to get down on the floor with the children. Time to bring what we'd come all this way for. Luckily Karen was willing to help me in the distribution of the little hats, I felt so shy and nervous. I really hoped they'd like them. Thank you to my husband for capturing all these photos of the
babies + hats + love

...Karen told me about the hair treatment!...

....and we got a big Thank you and we Love you!...

~ The Kazungula Children's Ark ~
I learned that this center will be celebrating it's 3rd birthday on the 5th of June this year. Bless Emeldah, Sharon(sorry to have missed her) and everyone who supports this little place. The feeling we had was it is a place for learning, having fun and most of all, being loved.
Thank you Karen, Val and Emeldah for letting us share
in a little bit of the magic. Oh! those babies...*sigh*

now, for the rest of our trip... :) is my journal, complete with lots of dust and crumply pages...

....and tiny little photos, I have the most amazing little printer that lets you make these 2x3 photo stickers. You can just plop them into your book or even better hand them out to lovely people...

...I wish I could just make a copy and send one to each of you, because I wrote over 90 best to share?

...a few drawings, not much time for art...

....I'm up for some suggestions on what to share, maybe just
a few photos, you want to hear about Mr. Ngwenya or maybe the leopard in a tree we saw? :) :) :) :)

so...'till next time...
Salakuhle ~ stay well
love, lori

p.s. thank you all so much for the birthday wishes yesterday!


  1. wow! you're back! missed you... lovely post, and you have some gorgeous pics of the little ones! looking forward to hearing all your African stories one of these days, and hope you're getting over the travel-lag!

    Sharon asked me for your address to send you a thank you card from the children. Thanks to Geli, i was able to do that so your card is on its way.. xx

  2. Publish it! Publish that gorgeous travelogue - I'm sure there are publishing houses that would jump at it. And I would certainly buy a copy. The proceeds could go to the children - Kingsley Holgate does it, and I don't think he draws as beautifully as you, Lori.

    Looking forward to hearing more more more.

  3. Lori, welcome home! Cyberspace has missed you! I have missed you and having been sending happy thoughts your way. The hats look so cute on the children.

    Your pictures are so inspiring and I can't wait to see more.

    xx Aden

  4. Yeah! You're back to tell us all. Just let it rip, everything and anything.

    Happy belated Birthday.

  5. Ok I'm late, but I don't look at facebook that much is my excuse.
    Welcome home and Happy Belated Birthday. I hadn't even checked here before I sent my email! So useless all round.


  6. Welcome Home! We've been waiting for you. I can't wait to see what you have to share. The pictures of the children were fantastic. Smiling beauties, always a good place to begin.

  7. I'm so glad you are back safe and sound - we have missed you! Happy belated birthday.

    I cried when I saw all those happy, sweet faces with your hats. How amazing that must have felt.

    Looking forward to snippets of your trip. Rest up, and welcome home, dear friend.

  8. It's so good to see you are back home safely and that you had such a wonderful trip! I love the pictures, the hats and the kids are so cute!! Your journal looks really nice too, I'm excited to see some more pictures and stories!

  9. The hats are gorgeous!!!

    Hey Lori - you're going to have to do an e-book of your journal for us and then we can all page and read through it online.

    Glad you back safe & sound

  10. Well I'm all for wildlife photo's but the ones of the children were just fantastic! I will be happy to check out any and all that you post.

  11. I am glad you are back but i wish you were here! does that make sense?
    Jeannie's right - can youpublish the entire journal?
    well there was a big hole in the blogosphere while you were away, but lucky us - we caught a glimpse xxx

  12. Again Buon Compleanno for yesterday and welcome back to blogland too!

    I had to say, that first photo of you and the babies with the knitted hats made me weep tears of joy. How happy they mus have been. How happy YOU must have been!

    I agree, publish the journal. Take out all the really personal stuff, and make it into a guide for those seeking more than just a travel book. The account of one very important journey.

    I'm sooo happy you're back, because now we all have something to look forward to: images of beloved Africa, stories, adventures, emotions...

    Now take a moment to rest and return to a normal sleeping pattern. Then begin sharpening your pen, because we're all eager to hear about it all.

    Ciao lovely girl. If you stop by my place, there's a little blog-thought for you (don't know if you "do awards," but in case you do...)

  13. Great post AND looks like you had a wonderful time.

    Look forwrd to seeing some more pictures ;-)

    Wizz :-)

  14. Welcome back! I squealed when I saw that your blog was updated!
    The photos are great! The children have the best smiles!
    I can't wait to see more and learn more about what you saw and did and ate!

  15. Wow - you are back. you were greatly missed. I just love how you document your trips. The pictures are amazing - those little hats are so cute and the kids wearing them look so happy.

  16. Hey! Love your blog! Those children are cute!

    I'm new to blogging and was wondering, how did you manage to get that image in the header? (im using same template)

  17. My sister has returned....YAY!!!!
    I have missed you very much.

    Oh Lori the hats....they are divine....look at how happy those kids are with their beautiful handmade presents. What a wonderful thing to do AND to be able to give them to them in person...sigh....
    I want to hear what your favourite things about the trip were, what touched you the most, what took your breath away, what brought tears to your eyes, what you would return to see and/or do again...
    I am so glad you are home, you have been missed.
    i love you
    namaste xm

  18. Welcome home and happy belated birthday.
    So nice to read your smiling words again.
    Looking forward to all that you choose to share. I like what you've shown us so far, especially the babes.
    Love the idea of a sticker printer... that's fun.

    best wishes

  19. Hi Lorry!Sob,sniff - those beautiful little smiling faces just did me in. The children certainly seemed to LOVE their hats. I couldn't view the video clip???????
    No matter, Glad you and Charles are safely home and am looking forward to any thing you want to share with us.
    Love to you, Natsy.xx♥

  20. Ah thanks Karen! I was so sorry to have missed Sharon, thank you and Geli for giving her my address.
    I figure we may have a couple more days of falling asleep at dinner! :)

    Wow Jeannie, thats really kind of you to say, i will have to think about that! I don't know who Kingsley Holgate is, i'll have to go find out.Thanks!

    Hi Aden, thanks, the kids were so cute really anything would have looked wonderful on them.

    Thank you Rosaria, then i may just have to start an Africa blog, it's all so amazing.

    Mandy, no no not late at all, I haven't been to facebook in weeks, no worries! thank you for the bday wishes, i had a lovely day!

    Jennifer,thanks so much, your right~ the photos are priceless, I treasure them.

    Thank you Love, seeing them smile,laughing,playing was the best gift in the world.

    Colleen, it's hard to believe we're already back home, it goes so fast. But now we have memories and lots of photos to look at!

    Janet, what?? what's that? an ebook? you'll have to let me know. OR i'll just bring it too you since i missed you in Joburg! i wish...

    Thanks Ken, thats good to hear, i have alot more of both!

    Val,it makes perfect sense. as we lifted off in Joburg Chuck looked at me and said "don't look so sad. We'll be back." we have to, a part of my heart is there. love.

    Lola love, you know what i need? one of those italian dictionarys! I want to understand everyword you say to me. I'll do everything you say, i'm on my way to Rome right now!

    It's great to come back to such lovely friends! xoxo

  21. Thank you Wizz! ok, there will be more of them.

    Tulsa, haha! i know that feeling, i get so excited to learn about new things too, I have lots to show and tell!

    Thanks Bhavana, i get some curious looks, writing in my book.Some say it's alot of work, not to me. It's a way to hold on to/process what i've seen. I love everything.

    Hi Dave, New Zealand heh? I LOVE New Zealand. Oh, the photo? It's me, my husband took it of us paddling. I think if you go to the page where you build your blog you'll see where you can upload your own image. Welcome to blogland!

    Michelle,sweetheart, wow, i love those thoughts you have put into my head. That is just what i'll write about. Even though I love being away, it's good to be back.

    Ribbon, thanks so much dear, it warms my heart to be back here. You ought to try the Pogo by Poloroid,it's really fun!

    Hey Natsy! don't cry, but i know how you feel...they are precious. Thanks for letting me know about the video, i fixed it now. I hope you and all your doodles are well?

    Thanks everyone, i'm glad you didn't forget about me :)

  22. Wow! Such spectacular photos!
    I can't wait to hear all about your adventures.

    The little ones look so sweet in those hats. Well done!

    So, now that you're home, where to next?

  23. Hi Lori!

    Kingsley Holgate is an adventurer; he now has all sorts of sponsorship deals but his travels are still really interesting. His main drive has been to distribute mosquito nets throughout Africa - I have no idea if it's been successful or not. What made me think of him was seeing your gorgeous journal, with all the little photos and beautiful hand drawings.

    I'm not very good at doing links - I hope these work! Hoping the jet lag is easing off for you now...

  24. oh i want to hear all of the stories!! welcome back! thank you for posting the wonderful pictures of the children - it made my heart sing to see how happy they are to get your delicately crafted hats. you are a wonderful woman to have made those! and again...welcome back!


  26. Oh hey, where have I been?!! 25 were before me!! Lori, you KNOW all I want to say, my heart is flowing over! Yes, publish your diary, whether as a book or as an e-book (?), but we all would love to follow you on every path and see that leopard and meet the people you met and HUG those little children. I loved to see you short video and how you reacted to the little one stroking your hair. Did I tell you how I once had such an encounter when I was seven and in a sanatorium? My great uncle from Argentina had come to visit "me" (I was sure). and he was TALL (3 metres!), as tall as our Christmas tree, and I have NEVER forgotten this visit! Nor will these children. It was the DAY WHEN I GOT MY HAT!
    I love you, Lori the Fairy!

  27. Welcome home! Thank you for sharing about your lovely visit! And Happy Birthday!

  28. Nice pictures and interesting way of keeping track of your travel through the journal. Kids are fun to be with.

  29. hi, me again.. just to let you know that you have been "splashed" (visit my blog!)

  30. Welcome home Lori! We missed you. Great stories and pics.

  31. I want to hear it all! Every little detail you can share! The photos made me smile and cry at the same time!

    What an inspiration you and your husband are ... and everyone else who is involved in this effort!

    Those hats, those engaging eyes, those smiles filling precious faces .... I am so looking forward to more stories, artwork and photos.

    (and a huge thank you for your support) (and it looks like I missed wishing you a happy birthday)

  32. Lori how lovely to have you home in Blogland! Your trip sounds absolutely fabulous, I'd love to hear anything you want to share, but also what inspired the trip? The photos are gorgeous and how great to meet two such wonderful bloggy pals. xx

  33. How absolutely fantastic and what a thrill of a life time.

    You look beautiful and the kids look over the moon with their new hats.


  34. Welcome back Lori. I so enjoyed the photos...that girl in the photo alone...her smile and liquid eyes are adorable...thank you for sharing some of your trip so quickly. Maybe you could share some pages from your journal...I think that would be exciting! It's so good to see that the hats you made are appreciated and the sweet children. Love to you and all those you touch through your generous heart and hands. xxoo

  35. Ah! Welcome home!!

    I saw pics of you at Border Town Notes and Monkeys on the Roof, of course. And of course Val and Karen are as lovely in real life as they are in their blogs. You, too, must be as radiant as in your blog. How cool to think of the three of you meeting up!

    Love the pics - the vid is excellent and your journal looks b eautiful.

    As for what to share? Just let the stories come as they may. Your reports don't have to be chronological or anything.

    So excited that you got to do this journey, and so glad you're home! Bravo!!

  36. Welcome home Lori. What a marvelous collection of memories. Oh my God, the children were adorable and they just loved the treasure of your hats! What a great gesture. Not to be picky or anything but uhm, I want to hear everything. I've got all the time in the world!

  37. Meagan, haha, i can't say yet. Thank you sweetie for the kind words.

    Jeannie, thanks so much, your a love. I did look him up, wow, i am so glad you told me about him, such an interesting man. I will think about how to share the journal. Oh, and the links worked fine from my gmail account. Thanks!

    thanks Bodaat, it's good to be back here too. But oh, i miss africa! There is nothing like falling asleep to the sound of lions calling... :)

    Janelli, I wish i could tell you the stories and you could write them for me.ok? they would def sound alot better then.

    I love you too Gaily~Geli.
    I'll just bring the book when i come to Usedom someday. Ok? ☺

    Oh Thanks Diana! the kids are lovely aren't they?

    Welcome Rajesh, thank you for the comment. I know, journaling is a bit of a compulsion for me, :)

    Karen, hughughug. thanks!

    Miranda, Hey! hi! hug yourself and that baby belly for me ok? and no driving,no no no, you are required to listen to your elders. Hahaha!

    Dear Helen, thank you so much kind friend. I'll do my best to share. Your posts make me laugh and cry too.☺

  38. Dear Joanne,
    thanks so much, it really was a wonderful wonderful experiance. I wish i lived closer to those children.

    Renee, it really was. When we left we could see the kids playing outside, still wearing their soft little hats..sigh...i love them.

    Thanks so much Cynthia. I think we were lucky since the timing was right, it's cold now in Botswana when the sun is down. I'll try to think how I can share more of our trip.

    Thanks Reya, I like your advice, and i'll do just that, whatever pops up. And your right, it was really really cool that we could all meet ☺

    hi Bogey, oh your so kind. yes, i'm glad for the pictures so everyone could see how precious and happy the babies were. And SO cute in the hats. I do have more children pics so stay tuned(i see your face up there in those little tiny squares,ha,thank you)☺

  39. The hats could not be more adorable on those adorable kids!
    Welcome back and looking forward to hearing more about your adventure.

  40. Thanks so much Lori Lynn! It was an unforgettable day. I love those kids.

  41. Hi Lori... me again - just lurking as I love to share your photos with family and friends :-)

    xx Ribbon

  42. Dear Lori,

    I've just spent the last little while reading your amazing posts on your time in Africa... Your compassion and ability to see beauty everywhere are so inspiring,

    Much love to you my friend,



xoxo lori