Summer or Fall

As we hear from friends in Canada, it seems strange that they are talking about summer having come to an end. In Zambia, the summer is just beginning yet there are many unusual things that occur. Several trees are shedding their leaves and the weather is becoming quite hot during the day. It has also been overcast during part of the day and the clouds remind everyone that the rains will soon be coming again. People in the compounds are tilling their soil in preparation for planting while others are harvesting produce. Many trees are in bloom while others look very dry. The Popo (Papaya) are now ripening (see pics below) and I love eating them every day.We are very aware that the rains are coming and this could interfere with our outdoor shows at the Zambezi Sun Resort. We have invested a lot of money in our costumes, drums, and props for Dancing Around Zambia for the Sun to have a show which fits nicely with the Sun’s desires and we need to recover these through ticket sales. So far we are only able to perform on Saturdays and Mondays as the manager of the resort is waiting for the permanent lighting before we can add Thursdays and pick up more guests. The lights are suppose to arrive this week.

We are also anxious to get the pop-up banners and umbrella cards in the rooms at the Sun so every guest will be aware of our shows. We have started taking our staff to the Sun in the morning of the shows to hand out flyers and this has helped a lot. Here’s the latest poster developed by Jones at the Sun. He is a very talented graphic artist.Yesterday morning when we were marketing at the Sun we had one of our cast members dressed in Bemba Chief Mwata Kazembe’s traditional dress. It was so funny. Many of the Sun’s staff thought it was really the chief and were paying all kinds of respects. Even some of the guests who asked about this man were told it was Chief Mwata Kazembe. It is a great attention getter and probably helped us get a few more guests to attend our show last night.

During this past week, both Marilyn and I have been tour guides for visitors to Livingstone. We often meet people at the shows at the Zambezi Sun Resort who are interested in seeing more of Livingstone but are a bit unsure if it is safe. It is safe…very safe…. and we are happy to meet with them and show they around.

We met this family from Ireland (picture below)who came to our show at the Sun and Marilyn met with them downtown the next day. She took them to the markets and museum and they bought a lot of fabric and other items. The daughter is a dress maker in Ireland and she was thrilled to get chitenge material to take back home. They also came into town on Friday night to see African Shoes and talked to other guests at the Sun who came to our Sat show at the boma.
Meanwhile, the European Union has funded a study of how to make Livingstone more of an attraction for tourists. Mike, the consultant, met with me in our offices to conduct an interview with me and afterwards he asked me if I would show him around Livingstone pointing out those things I thought would be of interest to tourists. We were together for most of the day.

I have a meeting this week with the Deputy Ambassador for the United States embassy in Lusaka and have made contact with the Canadian embassy in Lusaka as well to invite them to our shows. The Livingstone Tourism Association and the Zambian Tourist Board are now both helping to promote our shows.

We had our biggest audience yet at the Capitol on Friday night and also a good size crown on Sat at the Zambezi Sun for Dancing Around Zambia. I have learned that it is not always the size of the audience but who might be in it that also matters. On Saturday night at the Zambezi Sun, a woman from the Czech Republic was taking lots of pictures with a very nice camera and at intermission she approached and asked if I was involved with Dancing Around Zambia. As we talked, Ruzka, said she was involved in an International Folklore Festival in the Czech Repulbic which takes place every June. She was so impressed with our show that she wanted to invite us to attend next year. It is sponsored by UNESCO and she is going to provide more information about funding assistance for us. It would be great to showcase our talent and represent Zambia at such a festival and our staff would love the opportunity to travel to a far off land.

We can honestly say everyone enjoys Dancing Around Zambia and African Shoes. We get such amazing comments in our guest book. After the shows, our cast come out and mingle with the audience and people often say it is the best entertainment they have seen in Africa.

Today, Marilyn and I are going to take a Sunday afternoon off to go for a drive. We work seven days a week from early morning until the end of the shows at night and haven’t even seen some parts of Livingstone or surrounding area.

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