Well, you surprised me. I never thought you’d figure out this first one, but Sue, Lindy and Sandy know poop when they see it.
1. The can attached to the bumper of the jeep contained elephant dung. It is set on fire and acts as a VERY effective mosquito repellant. So glad we didn’t have to rub it on our skin!
Is there no end to the number of uses for elephant dung? With so much of it around, you might as well find a way to use it! I was continually impressed by the inventiveness and creativity of Africans.
2. This is the sink in the ladies’ room at Phalaborwa Airport. The water bubbles up from holes in the sink’s surface. All you have to do is turn that brown knob on the right to get the water going. WE probably never would have figured that out, except a local lady happened to be washing her hands while we were there.
And what a cute airport Phalaborwa is! A South Africa copper mining town, it appears to generate enough revenue so the government can afford to make the airport quite lovely and comfortable, with great animal sculptures.
Note that not ALL airports were like Phalaborwa.
What you see in the photo above is what you get– a landing strip and a little shed with ax, fire extinguisher and stretcher. Oh yeah, and a few huge termite mounds. Did you notice the big one on the right?
The airport for Lufupa, the Zambian camp, was a bit larger–it had TWO structures.
3. The connections among these objects? The mopane worm feeds on those leaves, which are from (no surprise) the mopane tree. The worms are a delicacy, so much so that they are featured on the coins of Botswana.
Hey, before you get all judgmental on me, remember, we eat lobsters and crabs–and don’t even get me started on that rubbery stuff we call calamari!
But don’t think that we were just eating worms and warthogs. Check out this feast…I mean snack.
4. The Nobel Peace Prize winners were Chief Luthulu, Archbishop Tutu, De Klerk, and Nelson Mandela.
The long flights, plus time spent hanging in airports, gave me ample opportunity to read all 600+ pages of Nelson Mandela’s Autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”.
What an incredible man-to be imprisoned for 27 years and still be able to forgive his captors because he knew that was the only way for his country to heal and to move forward. He makes our red/blue, right/left, Democratic/Republican disagreements look so very petty and silly.
Travel is such a broadening experience. Seeing how far South Africa has come since apartheid and comparing it to Zimbabwe under Mugabe further underscores Mandela’s greatness and the power of forgiveness. We could learn so much from Mandela.
5. Cecil Rhodes managed to accomplish so much during a rather short life time.
Although he died before his 49th birthday, Rhodes amassed quite a fortune from his success mining diamonds. Some noteworthy accomplishments: He bequeathed the land that became the Kirstenbosch Gardens to South Africa, he got the bridge over Victoria Falls built, he established a trust that funds Rhodes Scholars, oh yeah, and he did manage to get a country named after himself (Or was that TWO countries? What is now Zambia was Northern Rhodesia, and Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia.)
Time to take a break from Africa and move to another continent. Hope you’ll come along!