Elephants and more

This past week we went to Tjisse’s after our show. His lodge is up a very long deserted road and on our way home we had to stop suddenly when a lone male elephant came out of the bush no more than 30 ft in front of us. I quickly stopped, and lowered our lights but it turned and faced us. A lone male elephant is considered dangerous and it is not uncommon for them to attack cars.

I immediately started backing up while the elephant looked straight at us. It was very dark and impossible to turn around.Finally, I reached a small lane and backed up slightly angled to see if the elephant was going to come towards us. In the end, it crossed onto the other side of the road and disappeared into the bush. Cautiously, we headed back down the road and made it safely home. Sorry, no time to take a picture of either the elephant or the sweat on my brow.We also saw elephants on Thursday when all our staff went on a boat cruise. On Tuesday, we joined the garbage clean up organized by the Livingstone Tourism Board. It is tourism week and as a reward for helping we all got to go on the boat for the afternoon with drinks and snacks.On Saturday, with a good size crowd at the Kingfisher at the Sun it started to rain just a few minutes before our show. I had the most horrible sinking feeling as I worried that we would have to refund all the money from ticket sales. It is most unusual for the rain to come so early as it normally arrives in November. Anyway, it only rained for a few minutes and we went on with the show. It is a concern, however, that we may have shows canceled once the the rains come.
During our show on Saturday, we had a few members from our audience get up and dance with our cast. It is a common thing for local residents of Zambia to just join in and our staff are excellent at how they handle this.

I met with some individuals involved with tourism in Livingstone as part of a consultation with the Deputy Ambassador of the United States Embassy who was Livingstone to open a new US funded wing of the local hospital. We discussed possible assistance from the Embassy and there is a fund to support tourist related projects. The US government only funds NGOs and doesn’t give money directly to the government of foreign countries. We had two young men come to our house this week. They are hip-hop singers who have been doing AIDS awareness songs in the schools and they heard about us. We are going to see if we can help them get some funding for their efforts.

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