Today we went for a day out, a day of chillaxing, a day together, a day to reflect and process and start preparing to leave. With Pastor Temfwe and Clarice we drove to Nsobe national park. This was a tourist day, a chance to see what the tourists see.
It was really strange to realise how little the average tourist really sees of Zambia and how most people live. Sure they see some of the bush villages, but there's no exposure to urban living conditions and the reality of life in Zambia. It was an eye opener and one that I'm glad I saw and experienced.
Nsobe is a fantastic example of what can be done for a community. The park was bought, owned and run by a white couple but they had a vision for a fairer economic model and so now half of it is owned by the staff. What vision and example.
We went on a very exciting game drive when we arrived; on a fully exposed and pretty rickety truck with mounted seats. I wondered how safe it was and when the top seat's weld sheared off we were even more worried; but we all survived.
On the drive we saw:
- 7 or 8 species of antelope including Kudu, Impala, Dyka and Elland
It was wonderful for those of our group who had never been on safari and a great experience for those of us who had. We spent the rest of the day having lunch by the lake, walking around the park and visiting the crocodile and snake and bird houses and just chatting. Perfect all round.
In the evening we took the Jubilee Centre team out for dinner to their favourite restaurant - an Italian. We chatted and shared our lives and laughed a lot. We also cried as we shared our best bits and realised we were nearing the end.
It's hard to face leaving this wonderful country and these new found friends. It's heartbreaking to think about how leaving will feel; but it's balanced by the joy of seeing our families.
One things for sure; Zambia is now in my heart and I will have to come back. Dare I request a sabbatical for Mike?