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Diamonds And Plastic

Friday, May 31st, 2002


On the way back to Maun Botswana in the Safari truck, Rod explains that the area around Maun is in the fastest growing area in the southern hemisphere because of the discovery of diamonds and with it comes the technology to make plastic-there is paper and plastic everywhere.

Gary says the safari owners have tried to start campaigns to clean up the plastic but the grocery store clerks, for example, will put individual chicken pies in plastic, several of these go into a plastic bag and that goes into another plastic bag at the check-out counter. So it hangs in trees like Christmas ornaments, gets caught in bushes and fences and clutches the sides of the roads. Actually it reminds me of Los Angeles freeways. We get to quickly check email before driving on to the Truck camp.

All over Africa we have seen references to preservation of culture, celebration of diversity and unity in diversity, themes familiar to us as westerners.

May 31 Sitatunga Camp
We hit the showers and camp again that night at Sitatunga. It feels like we are back in civilization again; I fall into George’s arms saying how happy I am to see him again! He loves it. The other riders party in the bar but Bob and I hit the sack as we will be up before daylight to hit the road again.

Fireside In The Delta

Friday, May 31st, 2002

In Maun, Botswana, the overland truck had arranged for a makoro (canoe) safari out in the middle of the Ocavanda Delta. It included a four hour animal walk and swim in a swimming hole but I stay at camp. We discuss the use of the word “togs.” New Zealanders use it meaning a swim suit and the English use it to refer to any clothing.

That night we sit around the fire and the makoro polers entertain us with Hippo stories and magic tricks.

Then I thought of that one dark rainy day in Lisbon, Portugal, months before, when we had been walking through the Columbus plaza. It was empty except for a small group of Black vendors selling dark glasses out in the middle. Curious…because who would want dark glasses on a day like that, I walked up to them. Duh!

“Hashish?” they asked. “What the hell,” I had figured, and bought some. Then forgot about it…until we were sitting around that campfire that night in the ocavanga Delta in Botswana. So I brought it out and offered it to the kids…mostly Brits but also an Aussie and Kiwi couple (Bob and I were the only ones older than 25 on the truck). The look on Rod’s face-Rod the South African trip leader-was horrified. “You had that on you as we crossed all those borders?!” he yelled. The borders only having been Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana. 😉 “Yes,” I sheepishly answered. Then he made the kids smoke the whole bag before he would let us leave the campfire!

I crawl into the tent this night because I am tired of sleeping in dirt and wouldn’t you know it-that’s when the animals all came through the camp during the night-lions, jackals, elephants, zebras and hyenas bringing all their different voices with them. I now realize the polers all sleep around the campfire for a reason…

Okavango Delta By Makoro

Wednesday, May 29th, 2002
The Makoro Trip through the Delta By the time the 1300 km long Okavango, southern Africa's third largest river, enters Botswana from Angola, through the Caprivi Strip in Namibia, it begins to spread and sprawl as it is absorbed by the ... [Continue reading this entry]

AIDS & The Ocavango Delta

Wednesday, May 29th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193161808725.gif Wed May 29-30 , 2002 Can't stop in Maun to check email because nothing opens until 10am. Gary takes us into the Delta on his Safari wagon with two long seats back to back ... [Continue reading this entry]

Maun & Sitatunga Camp

Tuesday, May 28th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193161808725.gif Tues May 28,2002 To Sitatunga Camp near Maun Botswana Up at 5:30 again. Had wieners, eggy bread (French Bread) with honey and canned spaghetti for breakfast. James is doing his usual antic-body stuff ... [Continue reading this entry]

Buffalo Fence & Planet Baobab

Monday, May 27th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193161808725.gif May 27, 2002 We see the 3000km of 1.5 meter high "Buffalo Fence" along side the road on the way to Okavango Delta in Botswana. It's actually a series of high-tensile steel wire barriers ... [Continue reading this entry]

Chobe National Park

Saturday, May 25th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193161808725.gif The border crossing from Zambia into Botswana is at the border post of Kazungula. The truck ride on the Kazungula Ferry across the Zambezi River is not much of a hassle. Rod ... [Continue reading this entry]

Nairobi to Cape Town Overland

Monday, May 6th, 2002
HF0m0NezqDnitkljwNP8lg-2006188104829364.gif May 5, 2002 We left for the 4000 mile seven week trip in a Mercedes Benz truck overland from Nairobi to Capetown. As Bob suspected there would be, there are 17 kids all under ... [Continue reading this entry]