Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The weekend at Sausage Tree

Simply awesome 24 hours in camp.

Lionesses and cubs (just the one lioness here). But a few of them were being chased by elephants when we came on the scene. It was a bit chaotic. Seems the lions had killed a baby elephant a few nights before and, as you know, an elephant never forgets...especially after only two days.

Protecting the babies. We weren't such a threat but at least the bigger ellies were at the ready while the little guy ran away.

Leopard. We actually saw 2 leopards. Doin' it! It was pretty cool. This was the dude, post-coital.

Hippos, hippos everywhere.

Sarah Ford and her new husband, Spence, are arriving October 21 for their fancy-pants honeymoon. We're completely jazzed, as we were unable to get to Boulder for their wedding in August. So we'll hang with them in Zambia instead. Hoping to get back to STC with them for a weekend.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Katherine and I are back from Sausage Tree Camp. 24 hours is not enough. Fantastic time -- leopards, lions, elephant everywhere.

The rest of the gang remained, and will be there until Wednesday...yes, very jealous.

Jack and Sam were champs back home with Olipa, Tisi, and playdates at friends' houses (for Jack).

For now it's time for bed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

More guests

We've thrown Katherine's brother Christian, her aunt Joanie and family friend Nancy (or Chachi, as I like to call her) onto the pile of guests that already included Diana and Alan.

We put them all into a car tomorrow am for a trip down the escarpment to the Zambezi, where they will get into a boat and head 2.5 hours downriver to Sausage Tree. We, being much more civilized, will then head to the airport and take a 30 minute flight to Sausage Tree, thereby arriving about 3 hours ahead of them.

Sadly, Katherine and I will stay just a night before coming back. Happily, we'll be doing it without Jack and Sam, who will be staying home with Tisi, Olippa, and friends. 24 hours with no kids. I'll probably just nap most of the time.

But reports from Sausage Tree are that 8 lion cubs are in the pride and the resident leopard has a cub too, so we'll be on the lookout for them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tell Your friends

Let's make some money for animals people!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Insufferable Do-Goodery

So I'm going to go tearing around the bush in some random part of Zambia in a truck with a team of people and will probably get lost and will likely have to fight a black mamba with my bare hands and will definitely get bit and stung by lots of bugs to raise money for wildlife conservation in Zambia. It's called the Elephant Charge (yes, patterned after the Rhino Charge in Kenya).

So we go tearing around in the bush and you sponsor my team by giving me money to do so. Then, 100% of that money goes to ensure that elephants and giraffes and leopards and lions and whatnot are well-protected and conserved and not poached so that you can see them when you come to visit us. It's win-win.

Send me a message if you are a good person and want to sponsor me. Our team needs to represent -- they raised the most money last year. Info on the event is below.

I'll take anything, even fatcat corporate sponsorship like some of my friends get for the Rhino Charge. Animals in Zambia need love too.

Or, I think you can donate through paypal by clicking here:

Update: Cool, the donate button totally worked.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

B-day Boy!

So the boy turned 1 on September 3. We waited for the big celebration until Diana and Alan were in residence. I mean, Sam doesn't care, or know, so we figured better to have some grandparents here to help fete Sam and his success in making it a year.

Anyway, today was the day. Some friends came over to help us out. Swimming, snacks, playing in the yard...

....and, oh, what have we here?????

Ah, cake. Other people seemed to be eating it, so Sam dove right in. He's not much for baby food anymore, even fancy homemade baby food. He wants to eat what we're eating. So, once he saw us doing it...

...two-handed, with gusto

Yeah, Cake!!!

The grandparents were relatively well-behaved.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oh yeah

And I did go to Swaziland (or, the Kingdom of Eswatini to those in the know) for work.

Happened to be during the annual reed dance, or Umhlanga.

It was very interesting. Newspapers reported variously that 80,000 or 100,000 young ladies took part. While difficult to judge, I think it was probably 30-40,000.

Some of the thousands of young women out on the field.

King Mswatii III and some of his guys out paying homage to/thanking the girls for their dancing and singing.

Hello there

Yesterday Diana and Alan arrived, and they brought instructions that we must start posting things to our blog again. The 10s of our rabid fans demand it. Well, fine. Here you go, then.

So we've been back for a while but have not been moved to post anything on this here blog.

That is not to say that we have been idle and have had nothing to report. Quite the contrary. Over Labor Day weekend 8 adults and 11 kids all went camping in Kafue National Park. Pretty nutty.

By Sunday night we were down to just 6 adults and 8 kids. The others went back on Sunday - they weren't eaten by wild animals or anything. We did hear lions in the distance at night, but they were not close to the camp site. Our friends did see a leopard about 2 km from camp, but leopards are wussies.

The 8 kids.

Sam taking a bush bath.

The African pike. Smaller than his American cousin (at least the ones we caught were) but much better fighters.

Then last weekend we went down to Lake Kariba with some friends to stay at a private home on a private island. It was very nice. Very, Very Nice.

Jack and Keira got a grilling lesson. Perhaps a bit premature, but at least now Jack can cook his own dinner.

The Nervigs enjoyed some corn.

Jack and Keira had plenty of pool time. Come to think of it, we all did. Keira is a swimming champ. Jack, still uses the assistance of a flotation device, but he's getting there.

Keira keeps her eye on the ball as she jumps into the pool. Really great concentration. Jack was not interested in jumping and/or trying to catch anything near the pool.

And, well...when your 1-year old kid has a 104 temperature, is lethargic, and you are stuck on an island with no medical care...

Actually, it was filled with boiled water. An island, you see. No potable water to speak of, so empty bottles become water bottles, no matter what they started out as.

Sam did have a fever throughout the weekend. On Saturday night it spiked at about 103.9. But it was dark, we were on an island, and 2.5 hours away from Lusaka. Safer to just wait than to try to drive at night. And the next day he was better.

But I pulled/strained my hamstring trying to waterski. Getting up on 1 ski after 12 years of not trying was not a good idea. And, as Lake Kariba is generally considered to be chock-a-block full of very large crocodiles, it was probably not a good idea regardless.

But I got out of the water with all my limbs intact, if a little humbled...

We did get a new camera. And while I dislike it greatly because for some unknown reason the technology geeks at Sony decided that users don't need the option to turn off the auto-preview so we have to wait 3 seconds after every picture to let the camera show us what picture we just took, at least it takes pictures. Good thing, too, because the shutter button on our other camera popped off all on its own and it is now being repaired.

Would you send your fancy camera by mail to a camera repair shop called that you found by googling "Sony Cybershot shutter button"?

Yeah, me too.