Adventures? We Had A Few.

What an amazing trip!  I couldn’t possibly include ALL of the adventures in one post, so here are some of the highlights, which, coincidentally happen to be the answers to Africa Quiz #3.

1. Bungee jump? No way! Even after Jeanne and I were offered two for the price of one, we declined. Did the vendor want to show that insanity knows no age limit?

2. Zip line across the gorge…you bet! And it was GRAND! Fortunately, my friend Jeanne was up for it as well. And no, that is NOT a tattoo on my arm. It is a special code– so if the rope broke, the divers would know who was who. (Only kidding–it was our weight, in kilograms, and other secret stuff). P1100925 You are probably going to want more than just a photo of us leaning against a sign, aren’t you?  Well, Jeanne went first, so she was able to take these photos of my transit. IMG_0486

Did I enjoy the experience?  See for yourself. IMG_0489

3. Yes, we did play netball, a type of basketball, with six very pregnant young women. The staff at the health center encourages them to exercise, so after their checkup they go to the school playground for a fun game of hoops. IMG_4856And yes, I WAS tossing the ball to a member of the other team.  She’s PREGNANT, for crying out loud!  I didn’t want her to have to run TOO far.

4. All 8 of the women in our group were taught the many uses of the chitenge by lovely Doris. Here we are, rockin’ our new look. IMG_4380 5. Friends and family will be shocked, because I am known as a picky eater, but I DID consume a mopane worm. IMG_4499 Despite the look on my face after that first bite, I actually DID finish it.  Jeanne was equally enthusiastic. P1100137 6. On the other hand, I did NOT finish the beer.  One mouthful was more than enough– enough to convince me that it tasted exactly like dirty gym socks. Not that I have ever tasted dirty gym socks before, but if I had, that is exactly how I imagined they would have tasted. P1100146 7. Since I am sharing the contents of my overactive imagination with you,  I might as well admit that wallowing in the mud with the hippos was indeed an imaginary activity. The only mud wallowing was done by this fine fellow.  What’s he doing?  Why, he’s asking the others if two tones makes his butt look smaller.  I think their body language indicates their answer. P1100725 8. Mike and I loved the helicopter ride over Victoria Falls. The views were spectacular! P1100965 9. Yes, I did trade my tevas, and fortunately had flip flops in my backpack so I didn’t have to walk back to the hotel barefoot. Same for the tee shirt.  Us former girl scouts are ALWAYS prepared.  No photos of the transaction exist, fortunately.

10. Although I climbed more than one tree, I never made it to the TOP of a baobab (sorry Sammy).  This one was growing through the lobby of the Moremi Wilderness Camp.  I made it as high as the ceiling allowed. P1080579 P1080900 11. We had a fantastic dinner at Savoy Cabbage. Mike gave me a taste of his warthog, and I sampled the “other” Mike’s kudu, but stuck with rack of lamb for my entree.  Neither of us had our cameras with us, so sorry–no visuals exist.

12. I never missed a chance to sing and dance with the camp staff. They were incredibly talented. We were willing and enthusiastic.  That blue arm on the left belongs to me. IMG_4474 13. The kids were sweet, beautiful and curious. When one asked about snow, I ran back to the bus to fetch my ipad. IMG_4822 14. I did not grind millet, but Connie and Marisa (mother and daughter) did. IMG_4874 15. We all had our Ringo Starr moments in the Boma, an outdoor meeting place, where we would gather around the fire the last evening at each camp for a great dinner and entertainment.  Check out my very own rock star! P1100777 Remember I said I did 10 of the 15 activities?  Well, I was in such a hurry to upload the post before I ran out of time and MBs that I miscounted.  I actually did 11 out of 15.  The only ones I DIDN’T do were:  bungee jump, wallow in the mud with the hippos, climb to the top of the baobab and swing down, and grind millet.

Our Africa trip is over, we are back home, but if I get inspired, I might be able to come up with one last Africa quiz. Thanks to those who played!  I loved seeing the answers and the logic behind the choices.

The “Adventure” part of Overseas Adventure Travel

During our trip, we had so many wonderful opportunities for what Arthur, our wonderful guide termed “learning and discovery –and I took advantage of MANY of them.

Are you ready for another quiz? My sisters, cousins and friends MIGHT have an unfair advantage with this quiz. But maybe not. Let’s see who does the best determining just how much of a spirit of adventure I have.

Which of these activities do you think I did? I’ll give you a hint: I did 10 out of the following 15, and a couple of the activities are figments of my imagination.

1. Bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge

2. Zip line across the gorge

3. Play netball against a barefoot and pregnant team

4. Model a chitenge

5. Eat mopane worms

6. Drink local beer

7. Wallow in the mud with the hippos

8. Ride a helicopter over Victoria Falls

9. Trade the shoes I was wearing for bracelets and my tee shirt for a carved hippo

10. Climb to the top of an Baobab tree and do my Tarzan imitation to get down

11. Taste kudu and warthog, but pass on the zebra.

12. Sing and shake my booty with the camp staff

13. Play with the children at a village school

14. Grind millet in a village hut

15. Play the drums in the Boma

Answers when we return to the USA and I can upload photos, because I know you’ll want visual proof!

Answer to Quiz #2

August 3, 2014
Today will be a travel day. We leave Victoria Falls, change planes in Johannesburg, and end up in Cape Town tonight.

I loved YOUR answers to Quiz #2 — and you definitely get points for creativity!

Here are MY answers.
1. Yes, deer have antlers and antelopes have horns.  The horns are actually part of the animal’s skull.  Antlers are shed every year.
We didn’t see any deer during our safari. Guess I’ll just have to wait till I get home and look on my back yard for one of them!

2. That is a termite mound! Africans use it to build their homes. Termites are edible, but our guide, Sondy chose not to demonstrate. He just dug into the mound with that stick and pulled a couple out for show and tell.

3. The two names are Wildebeest or Gnu hanging out with his buddies, the impalas.
4. Can you see the eagle peeking out of his nest?

5. The impala was dragged up the tree by a leopard who wanted to keep his dinner safe from other predators.

6. There are two correct answers for this one: lower jaw of a hippo, or African bush toilet.

Just flip it over, prop the back up with a stick, and you’re in business!

That’s all for today.  Thanks to all who have been playing along.  I hope it’s been as good for you as it was for me!

Africa Quiz #2

We had so much fun with the last quiz ( and I believe I am using the papal “we” here), I figured we’d do it again.

1. What is the difference between an antelope and a deer?
2. Which creature built this structure? Hint: the one with the hat is NOT the correct answer!
3. This animal has two popular names. Do you know what they are?
4. What creature built THIS structure? image
5. How did this impala get into the tree?
6. What do you think THIS is?

Good luck!
Answers when we get to Cape Town.

Answers to Africa Quiz #1

We are now out of the bush, and into the falls. Victoria Falls, that is. They are quite magnificent, as you can see.


But enough about us.  I know what you really want is the answers to that first quiz!

1. Those were indeed elephant tracks.  Here’s one of the big guys in action.


As you might imagine they do quite a job on the trees. You can easily tell when a herd has been hanging in an area.

2. When a giraffe eats its leaves, the tree reacts to being over browsed by producing tannins, which makes its leaves bitter. Believe it or not, the tree communicates with neighboring trees, warning them of the danger, so they too produce tannins.  How do they communicate? Courtesy of a renewable resource, wind power.
The giraffe is no dummy. It just moseys downwind to the trees that are out of range of the early warning system. Isn’t that amazing?!


3. Yep, that is indeed a hippo under the water. Check out the dental work on this guy.


Want a closer look?  Boyd, our guide used a hippo skull to demonstrate how this behemoth protects itself.


4. I believe the warthog had a starring role in The Lion King. They definitely were the stars In Karongwe River Lodge, wandering freely through the camp.


5. Setepi, our guide at Karongwe explained that elephant dung has many uses. For example, you can burn it and inhale the smoke to stop nosebleeds.
AND if you are lost out in the savannah, without food, you can make yourself a dung sandwich (minus the bread,of course). Don’t believe me? Setepi demonstrated. No, he didn’t spit it out. I watched.

6. What he DID spit out was antelope dung. It is true that antelope dung spitting is a popular game—whoever spits the furthest wins. I’m not certain, but I have a hunch only boys engage in that sport. I’ll spare you the photo of antelope dung. It looks like little black pellets.

7. Although hippos kill more humans than rhinos, it is mainly because there are far more of them. The most dangerous animal? It’s the one in a bad mood, standing a few feet in front of you!

At one of our camps, our tent’s deck was literally a couple of feet from the edge of the river. I was sitting on our deck reading, when I heard a splash and saw the big butt of a hippo entering the water about 15 feet away from me. I can’t believe I had a book in my hand instead of my camera!

Congratulations to all who tried. If you didn’t get them all correct, well, not to worry. More quizzes in the coming days, as time and Internet access permit.