Monday, July 22, 2013 – Kafue, Zambia

This morning the group split up. Polly Anna, Winston, Monica, and Scot went on a fishing expedition, while the rest of us went on a bird-watching boat trip on the Kafue and Lufupa rivers. We saw snake-like darters, an African open-billed stork, a Hadeda ibis, a sandpiper, Jacanas (Jesus birds), and a brown hooded kingfisher. We also saw the elusive and only 1-inch long malachite kingfisher! What a gorgeous bird! We also saw green backed herons, a male giant kingfisher, day lilies (lotuses), a crocodile, a huge weaver bird nest, Lala palm trees, a black-eyed bulbul, a white-browed robin chat (or Heuglin’s robin_, velvet monkeys, a half-collared kingfisher, a water thick-knee bird, and a white-breasted cormorant.
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the birding boat gets ready to set out on the Lupufa River with June & Arthur Kay, Judith Blecha, Marilyn Herel, Arthur & Martha Luehrmann, Ken & Laura Westray, Marian Moran, and Janet Shi

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the fishing boat gets ready to set out on the Kafue River with Golden, Abi Nyoni, Monica Shephard, Polly Anna Randol, Scott Shephard, and
Winston Padgett

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June & Arthur Kay, and
Arthur & Martha Luehrmann

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Waza sees us all off

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Robert Chitenge (our birding guide) takes our picture while _ watches

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African billed stork

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brown hooded kingfisher

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green backed heron

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Malachite kingfisher

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green backed heron

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Malachite kingfisher

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male giant kingfisher

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Malachite kingfisher

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male giant kingfisher

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Jacana (Jesus bird)

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Jacana (Jesus bird)

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African open bill stork?

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Malachite Kingfisher?

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male giant kingfisher

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Grey Heron?

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lotus flower

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red-billed duck?

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open-billed stork?

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Jacana (Jesus bird)

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black-eyed bulbul?

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snake darter in the water

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fish eagle

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snake darter

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Malachite kingfisher

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Malachite kingfisher

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half-collared kingfisher?

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oxpecker bird on hippo mother and calf

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Laura Westray and Robert Chitenge

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velvet monkey in a Jacoberry tree

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white crowned robin chat?

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half-collared kingfisher

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Water Thick-Knee bird

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malachite kingfisher

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white-breasted cormorant

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fish caught by our intrepid fisherfolk

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white-breasted cormorant

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our beautiful ceramic washbasin

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Kafue camp birds -- what kind?

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our bathroom

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Arthur reading in bed

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our toilet

Back at camp we were given a talk on Zambia by Robert and Sophie. It was Northern Rhodesia, and became its own country on October 24, 1964. It borders 8 countries. Zambia is about 2/3 the size of Texas, and its biggest park, Kafue, is about the size of New Jersey. The capital used to be Livingstone, but now is Lusaka. It has copper mines in the north, agriculture on the south and the east, pineapple plantations in the northwest and sugar plantations in the south. It also grows corn and tobacco. Zambia shares a hydroelectric dam on the Zambezi with Zimbabwe. Zambia imports oil from Tanzania. They transport most goods through South African ports. The airport at Livingstone was renamed the Harry Munkala Kumbala Airport in honor of a hero in the desegregation movement. Zambia’s first president, Kenneth Kaunda, set a national reconciliation date, like a statute of limitations, on transgressions that occurred during the colonial eras and the desegregation of the country. It is a very stable country and has never had a revolution.

In the 80s they had a huge 10-year drought, and problems in neighboring countries led to much immigration. There were lots of economic problems. Ian Smith’s thugs burned huts in the black townships and hung one man from a helicopter, and threatened to pound a child in a mortar until parents confessed.

Kaunda was the president for 27 years, but he cheated in some of those elections to remain president. He was finally challenged by Frederick Chiluba of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, or MMD, and Zambia’s constitution was redrawn to have 5-year terms with a maximum of 2 terms. The current president is Michael Sata, and his vice-president is Guy Scott, a white Zambian.

Current problems include lack of employment and poaching, English is the official language and is taught starting in elementary school. You can only speak English within school walls, otherwise you get caned.

Robert’s wife, Sophie, spoke to us about Zambian culture. The most important item of a woman’s dress is the Ichitenge: a 1 yd by 2 yd rectangle of brightly colored cloth which you can wear as a wrap around skirt or use as an apron over your clothes. You can also use and ichitengo to tie your baby to your back or side. One end goes under your armpit, and the other end over your shoulder. You can pull the baby to the front to breast-feed, or to the side to carry around. You can also use an ichitenge on top of your head to balance things you are carrying on your head. The ichitambala is a square 1 X 1 yds. You can fold it into a triangle and tie it over your hair in back if you are married, in front, or tied fancily if you are single, and wear it in a rolled crown showing the hair on top if you are a widow. Girls are given an ichitenge at age 10 or 11. After that they can no longer expose their legs or play with daddy or touch brothers.

Standing cross-armed is rude. That position is used to confront someone. Putting hands in pockets or behind your back is rude when you are talking to someone older than you. When talking to people who are older, or more important, you kneel or sit lower. You should always avoid eye-contact and body contact. Eye-contact is considered extremely rude. Hanshakes are usually not done. A woman greeting a man would have to kneel. A man greeting a man would give a quick bow with one leg bent back, like a half-kneel. In some tribes people just slip their hands past each other like a ghost of a handshake. You very rarely hug anyone in public, and you NEVER hug an older person or your in-laws.

Caning is encouraged.

You are not allowed to date. Marriages used to be arranged, but now that is changing. TV has changed city culture. If you become a city girl you are treated as an outcast in the village. Adoption is not done with children that are not from your family group. You are super open to each other within families, but not open at all to others. Dating is very minimal. If you are together for 10 minutes, you are already talking marriage. If a girl’s reputation is damaged in the village, she never lives it down, and will find it difficult to get married. Boys and girls can’t be friends until they are married. Dating is usually for about 2 weeks, and never over a month. If you decide to get married, you don’t go to the parents of your intended. You have to find an auntie or uncle or grandparent to intercede for you and be the go-between. Then the two extended families will get together to arrange the marriage. The parents of the prospectivew bride and groom will not be directly involved, or only involved in “back-room” discussions. The ones who will negotiate are the aunties and uncles and grandparents. There are usually no invitations to the wedding. It is a public event and everyone comes and brings food and stuff. The new couples spends a honeymoon at the groom’s house. For one week someone is checking and noting down what time you wake up and leave the house and what time the husband showers. The bride is supposed to wake up at 5am every day. By law a man can have up to 5 wives, but no polyandry is allowed. Divorce is very difficult — the maximum is separation. Zambia does not have female circumcision.
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Robert Chitenge

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Sophie Banda Chitenge

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map of Zambia

That evening we all went on another birding boat ride on the larger Kafue river where we had a relaxing ride with a sunset and a full moon rise.
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Sophie Banda Chitenge and Waza see us off on our boat trip

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one of the boats gets ready to go out on the Kafue River

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monitor lizard

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the Kafue River

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roots reaching down to the water

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African pied wagtail

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monitor lizard

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giant kingfisher

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sunset on the Kafue River

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Monica Shephard

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Arthur Kay

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Janet Shi and Marian Moran

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Winston Padgett

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Scott Shephard salutes the sunset

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Robert Chitenge and Abi Nyoni

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moon rise over the Kafue River

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moon rise over the Kafue River

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sunset on the Kafue River

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traditional dinner of okra, greens, grits with spicy sauce, chickpeas, and a porkchop

Back to camp for a traditional dinner including grits with a spicy sauce, okra, greens, chickpeas, and a pork chop. And we were regaled with music and dancing in a farewell party. One of our camp staff, Waza, was dressed in what looked like a Scottish kilt outfit, which is the national traditional dress, hailing from the colonial days.
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farewell performances

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Winston Padgett leads the group, including Robert Chitenge, Waza, and _, in Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Waza leads the group in a farewell dance