Wow, what a treat to get on email and get so many responses! Just a touch of civilization is so appreciated!
All is well, everyone is doing great. The boys have really settled in to the ebb and flow of routines. Mainly breakfast, lunch and dinner… at dinner there is a bell they take turns ringing and immediately our cook brings out dessert. I am threatening to bring her home with me… and the bell!
Kazden counts his mosquito bites each morning, he’s up to 29. We have no idea why they like him so much. Thank goodness everyone is tolerating the anti-malaria medication.
Braxton’s only issue is burned feet. He keeps forgetting how hot the rocks are, temps have hovered in the 90’s and up to 100. Running around out of the pool it is easy to forget to slip on the flip flops. Then to put those hot toes in hunting boots and walk several miles, yikes, he is getting tough!
The boys are making new friends with the staff, they are all local people from the nearby communal lands. Working at this lodge is a good living for them and many of them support up to 20 people with their wages. They do everything from the cooking, gardening, laundry and pool care. We are looking forward to a trip to their homes to share toys with their children.
Tomorrow we have an appointment with the local village school. We were told it was a small one with only about 1,000 kids! The boys will be spending time in the 2nd and 4th grades and there will be an assembly for us with singing and dancing.
Last night we enjoyed a traditional African meal of meat stew (eland) and meilie pap (basically a white thick polenta). The stew is placed in a large shallow pan and clumps of meilie pap are placed around the outer edge. No utensils are involved so you have to make a ball with a little indentation in it to pick up a piece of meat and vegetables from the stew. Everyone just goes to town and digs in. After a few burned fingers, we got the hang of it. Thank goodness we were eating outside as it gets messy. Kazden found a piece of meat in his shoe… we didn’t make him eat it.
Another custom the boys are enjoying is tea with milk (and sugar of course). Many times a day, time is taken to enjoy a “cuppa.” For the boys it is just a great excuse to drink sugary milk with a little tea in it. I have to keep them out of the caffeinated box though!
Without any TV or electrical entertainment the water hole has become our #1 source of visual stimulation. We are now recognizing different groups that come in. The babies are the most fun to watch, especially the wildabeast with their antics. Warthogs come in a a close second, they are very funny. It is just amazing how individual and unique these African creatures are.
Thanks to those of you that offered care packages… due to the failing infrastructure of this country there is almost no mail to speak of. What there is, is very unreliable. The nearest place to get mail for the lodge is 2 hours away in a small town West Nicholson. (In this town there is only a small market and a place that sells meat. The giant sign on the butchery reads “Home Killed Meat.” They buy from local people and package it up for sale.)
The mail only gets picked up every few weeks, and packages almost never make it to their destination. We hope to send postcards to the boys classes but unless we find more in Victoria Falls, we won’t be sending any others. We will most likely beat all postcards home.
Hopefully if the filming schedule is as planned, we will be leaving for Victoria Falls on April 5 and then on to Namibia on April 8. Kazden is eagerly anticipating what his birthday in Namibia will be like.
Well, I’ll sign off now, it’s time to head back to the lodge, the dirt road gets a little busy with donkey carts. That is a luxury ride as most people walk everywhere. It is nothing to walk hours to and from work and to gather grasses and wood. We’ve taken some great pictures of women with loads of wood, baskets of food and all kinds of things carried on their heads. It is amazing.
Hlalah Guthie (Not sure if I am spelling it right but it is how people say goodbye, it translates as “Go Well”)
Tiffany & the boys
PS. Some of the wasps here are the size of small humming birds! The small ones are the worst though, Scott got stung today and actually thought he’d been shot. Said it was the worst sting he’s ever had. Thankfully, he’s okay, a few anti-histamines and lots of ice did the trick.