Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Activities through the words of students

Haikus About Curio Markets
by Sydney SG, Junior, Illinois and Marley, Junior, Montana

[editor's note: formatting is intentional, according to the authors]

colours everywhere
under table, even more goods
reaching for kwacha

inside stalls I'm trapped
overpriced, I will barter
"Made by my brother"

"And only this stall"
"Real cow bone, I promise you"
kwacha exchanges

everyone is glad
time to leave, purchase in hand
souvenir for mom

[note from the authors: read between the lines, there is a secret]

Drumming in Livingstone
by Maia, Senior, New York

We all herded through the common area at Jollyboys to the lawn adjacent to the outdoor kitchen. All of the wooden benches we had been sitting on during meals were arranged in a semi-circle around a big, colorful bass drum. We were each told to find a seat behind one of the smaller drums that had been set out in front of the benches. Two grinning Zambian men were waiting to greet us, their dreadlocks flopping in their faces. One of the men stepped forward and introduced himself as “Lion,” which was fitting considering his shirt had a graphic of two lions on it. He was also wearing a faux-leather hat which he removed to reveal six enormous dreadlocks. His dirty, all-white Adidas sneakers each had red, yellow, and green beads strung through the laces. The other man was wearing the typical “embarrassing dad” Hawaiian shirt, complete with a plethora of silhouetted palmtrees with a blue background.

Lion taught us how to properly hold our drums: between our thighs with our ankles crossed to make sure the instrument didn't slide down. We played “Call and Response” for awhile, after Lion had described the difference between the different sounds the drums made depending on where you hit it. If you slapped the middle it made a deep bass you could feel in your chest while slapping the sides made a shallow “thuack!”

The man in the Hawaiian shirt, who was also sporting natural dreadlocks accompanied us on the bass drum and entertained us by randomly shouting things like “Africa!,” “Zambezi!,” and “ZAMBIA!” in his raw, throaty voice.

The sound of the drums echoed for miles, bouncing off buildings and throbbing in the smokey evening air. After our hour of drumming, dancing, and yelling weird noises, Lion gave us a short speech about how we have to “feel the music inside of us.” We asked him to play something for us and he proceeded to impress us with an improvised duet with the bass drummer, which was an excellent way to end our session.

We lumbered off after saying our "zikomos," our hands throbbing and red. The drum rhythms pounding in our heads, we exited to put our malaria clothes on and continue our crazy lives.

Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi
by Marisa, Sophomore, California and Hannah L. Junior, California

As the bright light of the golden sun reflected off of our skin and bounced off of the water, our voices harmonized to the familiar melody of "Rivers and Roads." To our side, hippos bobbed up and down the deep trenches of the great Zambezi river, and elephants joined by the tail opened their ears to listen to the vibrations of our sweet song.

We decided to make our final night in Zambia a memorable one. We put on our fancy, long skirts and brushed our hair. When we stepped on to our private boat, our eyes widened in excitement at the appetizers laid out on the table and the assortment of sodas placed on the bar counter.

As we dined on the top deck of the boat to the setting sun, memories floated through our minds of South Luangwa, Lusaka, Bovu Island, and Livingstone. The sunset cruise was a perfect way to wind down the evening, and our time in Zambia.

Hwange National Park
by Baylie, Sophomore, California

Who doesn't love waking up and getting ready at 4:45? It's a lot easier when it's because you're going on a game drive and want to catch glimpses of wildlife as the sun rises. Hwange National Park was where we went on our third and fourth game drives. Anytime you're bouncing down a dirt road through the savannah in a safari truck is pretty cool, but the Hwange game drives paled in comparison to South Luangwa. On the evening drive in South Luangwa we saw a pride of sleeping lions and several leopards prowling through the grass. Their mannerisms reminded me of my cats back home! It seemed like every corner we turned there was an elephant or a giraffe or some other stereotypical African animal. The Hwange game drives were much more mellow, although we did see quite a few elephants and antelope. For me, it was a meditative experience to zone out and appreciate the silence. The dusty dry landscape sprinkled with acacia trees was the ideal backdrop as the hot wind rushed through my hair. All the game drives have been incredible experiences. It's pretty neat to reach the point where you've seen so many that it's “just another elephant.”

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