We returned to Lusaka late yesterday afternoon after spending a very enjoyable weekend in Livingstone. Friday’s trip down there was supposed to take six hours by bus, but three breakdowns lengthened the trip to 12 hours. We arrived safely though, at 9:00 p.m., having quite a story to share about our experience. This included finding bathroom facilities in the “bush,” meeting many nice Zambians along the way, listening to several hours of Christian music (chosen by our bus driver), watching six Zambians change a bus tire, and driving the last hour through a rainstorm – even though it is supposedly the dry season here and it never rains during the dry season.
On Saturday morning we were up before the sun for our game drive (AKA safari). We were greeted at the entrance of the park by impala (deer) and the cameras came out in full force. Little did we know that there are impala everywhere! We eventually saw warthogs, baboons, monkeys, birds, lizards, a hippo, and elephants. We also got a special treat – the chance to get out of our vehicles and walk up to an area to view rhinos. An amazing experience!
In the afternoon we headed to Victoria Falls. Our pictures and video and stories will never be able to capture the full essence of the experience. The water is exceptionally high right now, so the force of the water was absolutely amazing. The spray of water is so strong that when people stand along the observation areas they get completely soaked. Ponchos are available for rent, but the students went without and enjoyed the downpour.
We also got the opportunity to do some shopping from vendors at the Falls and in Livingstone. It was an interesting experience trying to negotiate prices and convert kwacha to dollars in our heads. Coasters, small carved animals, bowls, and jewelry were the most popular items for purchase.
Today we were back to clinicals – one group at the children’s hospital, the other at a hospital for those with mental illness. The students are learning about nursing care from a very different perspective than what they see in the United States. What is not so different though, is that regardless of the disease or condition or what part of the world where they are, the patients need help that nurses can provide.