This Tornado Loves You

There is nothing like rain to break up the constant heat of the bright african sun.  The summers might bring wicked heat but there is also these short, magical rain storms that smell just like Arizona and I am reminded of my childhood.

It’s Thanksgiving!  My family is congregating to Portland to celebrate and eat delicious food.  My three week old nephew is being held my aunts and uncle and grandparents.  I’ll admit, I would rather be with them.  For lunch today, I’m having crackers and chakalaka.  Not quite turkey and stuffing.

A few weeks ago I went to the magical land of tourists, elephants and guided tours.  This magical place is called Kasane.  Kasane is only a three hour drive north of Nata in the most north eastern part of Botswana.  It sits on the border of Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  It rests on one side of the Chobe River that houses many animals such as elephants, buffalo, hippos, crocodile, antelope, lions, wart hogs, and too many birds and many other animals that can be seen on Nat Geo Wild.  I went with my pal, Jonathan, and we blew our meager volunteer allowance on the a super fun weekend in Botswana, Zimbabwe and even Zambia.   So it’s chakalaka and pap for the rest of the month but it was so worth it.

One the first night there our friend took us out to the local land fill where we saw hyenna, buffalo, antelope and stork. She took out a large spotlight and watched for eyes in the bush.  At one point I thought the buffalo were going to charge our vehicle.  But then they didn’t.

The next day we started off with a boat cruise one Chobe River.  It was so beautiful and exactly what you imagine Africa to be like if all you know about Africa is what you watched on National Geographic.  So let me show you just a few of the hundreds of pictures i took that day

hippos and buffalo

oh yes, hello elephants

then the elephants swam across the river

Mr. Crocodile

just hanging out with elephants

Sedudu Island

After the boat cruise we had a perfect lunch at the Chobe Safafi Lodge.  Then we headed out for our game drive in the Chobe National Park.  We saw more of the same, but still cool.  Because its the end of the dry season, many animals congregate around the river, as their only source of water.  I took way too many pictures and you can view some of them here.  There is such a stark contrast between the lush green of the Chobe River and then the dry brown bush of the park.

overlooking the chobe from the park

And the fun doesn’t even stop there, my friends.  The next day we crossed over to Zimbabwe and went to go meet with the guys over at the Zim-Zam bridge.  There we signed our lives away and consented to going bungee jumping.  It was a package where we first went zip lining over the gorge (no big deal) and then jumped on the bridge doing the canyon swing (scary but manageable) and then lastly going for the swan dive over the gorge with towels and roped tied around the ankle, or bungee jumping.  I think because I had just done the canyon so I knew what it was like to jump and then fall, the bungee jump was so scary.  I was freaking out a little bit before I had to jump.  I didn’t think I could do it, but then I reached deep within me and found the courage to jump straight out five meters with my arms straight out.  Either that or they counted to three and I had no choice but to jump.  Two possibilities.

zip line over gorge

preping to jump

I look excited but I’m actually scared to death

somehow, I jumped


‘never again’

After this exhilirating morning, we wandered back over to Zimbabwe to view Victoria Falls, the largest waterfalls in the world.  And they truly are an impressive sight to see and this is at their low water stage.


And there was so much more to the weekend.  One night we made delicious pizza.  And on our last night we went to the middle of a valley and had a bon fire, while elephants walked past us on their way to the water hole.  And we swam, relaxed.  And also, when we were at Victoria Falls a baboon attacked my friend.  It was crazy.  He’s ok, but never trust a baboon.  I’m telling you.

they look cute, but they are not

One thought on “This Tornado Loves You

  1. I love your “victory” picture. It just reminds me so much of you! Way to be! I know, I owe you an email response, i’ll sit down sometime soon and write. promise. much loves!

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