Changing my birthday

I will soon be having another birth day (party) and since this will be the second or third one I’ve had in Africa, I’m thinking of changing the date.   I wasn’t sure if that was actually still allowed since I’m Canadian and not Zambia and our permits to live here don’t make us Zambian. (Although we do get into Victoria Falls at the ‘local’ rate with them.

African Kittens

I know Canadians were also allowed to change their birth day (party) when Pierre was Prime Minister but things have changed….According to the political map of Canada, everything west of Winterpeg is a gigantic LAKE. I miss Pierre.

Reading lesson with Marilyn

Turns out it is in the Constitution to do so under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s not exactly spelled out but if you read between the lines you can pretty much get the interpretation you want.  Sorta like the bible. I should point out, however, that changing the day is okay but changing the year you were born is definitely outlawed unless it is to gain entrance to a restricted movie or join the army.

So I’m changing it (for this year only) to August 18 to August 22 and August 26 to August 29. Marilyn and I will have a party in Africa on the August 5th weekend but it won’t be my birthday party, it will be our wedding anniversary.

I chaired a fundraising committee for the LTA (guess) this past month. It was a pizza party at Olga’s with a DJ, door prizes, free pizza, and a silent auction. I bid on some of the vouchers and got some incredible savings on –a lion walk – two microlite flights over the Falls,  – a boat trip on the African Queen – A three course dinner with a bottle of wine at the very posh DLSL (guess) – dinner for two with show at the Arts Cafe (just kidding). Then I won a door prize three course dinner for two with a bottle of wine at the very nice Maramba River Lodge.  We’re going to have some fun in the next couple of weeks. I hope the microlite doesn’t crash or a lion doesn’t suddenly find his “wild side” and eat Marilyn.

We also had some good news this week when the Finland Embassy called to say my grant proposal for 20,000 Euros had been accepted.  We’re going to use this money to buy sound equipment and instruments for the bands with which we work, pay for some recording studio time to cut a CD of “Livingstone” music, and market cultural entertainment.

We had a group of Canadians at the Arts Cafe on Wednesday for lunch and cultural dancing. They were great guests and absolutely loved the dinner and dancing. Their tour guide was also quite impressed.

Tour guides are an odd lot. Most are pretty up-tight trying to make sure everything is perfect. They don’t have much choice because the groups they organize have already been sold a guaranteed ‘luxury’ vacation. When the Canadians came on Wednesday, I turned to the guide and said; “Well I’m the expert on this group I guess.”

Tour guides are always looking for favours: “Hello, is this the Arts Cafe? It’s Bernard from Seeing is Believing Africa Luxury Tours. I’d like to book a group of 7 for dinner and show plus 4 guides. Do the guides get to eat free?”

Once we had a group of 37 with a guide who immediately came into our restaurant and rearranged all the tables. In so doing, she eliminated seating for 6 people. Then she complained that it was too dark and the guests couldn’t see what they were eating. I turned every outside light on and bombarded them with 30,000 combined watts of halogen. When I walked over to the kitchen staff, they were all laughing “I think they can see what they are eating now Uncle Bob” (chorkle, chorkle).

It isn’t always this much fun. Once a guide was upset that it was taking so long for her guests to get their food which made me think they really needed to relax or perhaps should have considered visiting another continent…or maybe Florida. In Africa most things get done next year. Then he came up to me and said ‘people are starving’.  I said: “If they have five minutes, I can take them to where people are really starving so they’ll know the difference.” Marilyn gave me heck for saying that.

Still there are others who are great. A guide named Amy (who has now brought groups a few times) was running around the first time being all anxious  when I suggested she could relax and we’d take care of everything, She did ….and they almost had to carry her out of the building she partied so hard.

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