It’s Monday 9th April 2007 and a Happy Easter


It’s Monday 9th April 2007 and a Happy Easter

the Little Family Easter Monday and I am sure you are enjoying the holiday season. We have been very busy over Easter, as always, and I have had the Little Family visiting me again. I was at school with Kate and it is wonderful to have her family here. Max, the eldest son (in a red Arsenal shirt) is staying on for three months to work in the community – coaching football. All of Africa is football crazy, and Mfuwe is no exception, the schools have their leagues, as does the adult population. Max did a coaching course back in the UK and is well prepared. So with nets, whistles, football shirts – well the full kit I am told – he will visit the schools and villages and coach the teams. It will be interesting to see how it goes – the level of fitness here is high and might surprise him!

StorkBird

On Easter Sunday Robin and I decided to take the entire day off and “go on safari”. We joined the Littles and found it was one of those mornings when there was not much around in terms of the four-legged beasts. However, there were as always, fantastic birds. Well, as you can imagine, the three teenagers were soon making it very clear that this had to be the most boring activity they could imagine and there was lots of jokey bantering going on. Robin and I, on the other end of the scale, were extremely excited to see a lesser gallinule with two chicks running around on the same lily pads as a jacana with four chicks and a pair of white faced whistling ducks with ten ducklings. This lagoon was a birders heaven! But the jokes about birders were coming thick and fast, so we moved on to the Chichele Hill to have our tea. I do remember as a teenager getting very frustrated as my mother and elder sister Hermione wanted to stop at every eagle in Kenya when we were on safari. “Come on, it’s just another big brown bird looking very like the one we stopped for only two minutes ago!”

Crowned crane, with chickEaster egg

Now, being Easter, you have to have an Easter egg hunt… It’s a must. So during tea Robin and I hid the eggs in the bush and we had a happy time searching for them. Somehow, there is always one left for the baboons. I love Easter egg hunts so much we had a second one at tea back home!

Giraffe When we got back to our house for lunch we found a family of giraffe and a number of elephant in the back garden; Max, Sam and Lulu all commented, “we should have stayed here!”.

HippoCrocs

We have been boating past the growing island in the middle of the river to reach the harbour on the park side, but to date have not been able to land. Feeling brave we decided to give a shot, so passing a pod of hippos and waiting for a few stray crocs to move off, we aimed at a potential landing site, Robin jumped off the boat and yes – we could land!

on the sandplaying catch

So an afternoon game of cricket (more like catch in the end) and sundowners was planned. There are usually reed beds and loads of other debris littering the sandbank, but this year the flood has moved the sandbank downstream, and it is smooth fresh sand. Perfect for lots of fun over the next ten months, before the river rises again.

The Luangwa Safari House finally reopened this weekend – well done to Emily and Jacob. I proudly showed the house off to the Littles. They had not seen it before and were blown away. Sam’s comment – “why aren’t we staying here Dad?”. Next time.

Have a wonderful week

Cheers,

a

PS thank you to Dorinda and David for some of the photos.
PPS note the chick following the crowned crane

Sunset over the river

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