Days 9-12

As a treat to signing the building contract we joined the sports students and went to Livingstone for a long weekend of sunshine, waterfalls and boat rides!
Livingstone is south of Lusaka, only a few kilometers from the Zambezi River. It borders Zimbabwe and Botswana and its famous for tourists to visit due to the Victoria Falls being only 10 minute drive away.

After a great day at the office on Friday, we joined the sports students for a curry and sleepover at their house on Friday night ready for our early start. Unhappy and sleepy faces emerged as our alarms went off at 05.00 to be ready to leave at 05.30. Unfortunately, our super early start wasn’t needed as we forgot about ZamTime and the bus didn’t arrive until gone 06.00. Finally, all 19 of us squeezed into a minibus that was clearly not built for anyone over the height of 5ft… People lay on the floor and sat in the aisle just to get some leg room, but later suffered being very uncomfortable when we hit the potholes! The 8 hour drive down was miles and miles of straight roads, occasionally broken up by food stops and questionable toilets.

We finally made it to Livingstone at 3pm and had a quick 30 minute turn around at the hostel to get ready for our Sunset boat cruise. The cruise was along the Zambezi River to turn back down just as the sun was beginning to set. We spent two hours chatting, eating and drinking watching the animals and incredible views as we sailed along. We went back to the hostel at 7pm to play games and to chat late into the night before having an early start for Sunday’s adventures.

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On Saturday all of the A2Z team and some of the sports students woke up at 06.30 to go on a day safari. We travelled from Livingstone for about an hour to the Botswana border where the Chobe National park is located. To get to Botswana we had to cross the river on a small boat, but along the way we were able to see the new bridge being built to join Zambia and Botswana. Trust Engineer Rob to point out that he saw no health and safety issues on the construction.

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After breakfast we went on the boat safari where we saw elephants, some hippos and lots of cape buffalo. The highlight was seeing hundreds of Elephants making their way to the river to have a drink following each other trunk to tail.
We had lunch then we headed out to land safari on trucks. We heard over the radios that there were some lions by the riverfront, so we chased them down along the sand to see them on time! We saw many animals such as giraffes, more elephants, lions and antelopes.

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In the evening the whole team went out for dinner, which after 2 hours of waiting to be served, we finally had some amazing food.

On Sunday we split up to do different activities. Some of the group went white water rafting, where the scary climb up and down the cliff edge was harder than the actual rafting! Then went to watch the sunset at Victoria Falls – it was beautiful! Others in the group went over the border for the day to see Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side and to watch the sunset.

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We all joined back together to have pizza at Olgas, which had delicious Italian food and also is a Charity supports students vocational training.

Sadly Monday was the last day… The group went on a (VERY hot) 30km cycle around Livingstone. The route went round 4 villages and the guide explained along the way how they lived, what they do and general Zambian culture.

I One of the other stops was a quarry – this was a really eye opening experience. We heard from the guide that the workers earn 5 kwatcha (or 38p) per barrel of stone they collect and usually fill 2 a day. Also, the youngest person who works there is 11 and the oldest is 81 doing physical activity all day.
All money paid for the cycle ride is donated to the local school which we was the last stop we visited where we met some of the pupils.

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When we got back to the hostel slightly worse for wear, there was no rest as we jumped straight onto the coach to travel back to Lusaka. There is a curfew for passenger carrying vehicles at 9pm, so the driver drove rather fast on the way back to try and make it in time. The driver was going so fast over the potholes, we were surprised we made it back in one piece!

We heard that work has started on site today, so the team will go to visit the levelled site tomorrow! Check this blog out tomorrow to see the progress.


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