Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Cruising on the Zambezi River

I was going to tell you about the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Elephant. And I was going to tell you about the quality and nature of African hair.

And I will tell you -- and I will tell you about all the Aunties, and our trip to Malawi and so much more. You will love to hear these stories and look at these photos.

But today I am relaxing on the evening Booze Cruise. Notice I am wearing a cotton sweater -- because it is not always hot in Africa. And notice the smile on my face and the relaxed posture of my folded hands and the cold beer on the table, drifting down the Zambezi River, where the river is broad and deep approaching Victoria Falls. There is an awesome geography as the water boils over the falls into a cauldron of furious white water, but above the falls, it is blissful as you see it.

The only danger are the hippos. Hippos live in many rivers in Africa, along with crocodiles, and many Africans cannot swim and fear the water for this reason. Of the two, crocodile and hippo, the hippo is the most dangerous -- so big and strong and angry. They will kill you and sink your boat, so we kept close enough for a look, but not too close.

As for hippos and other wild game, the big fearsome animals -- the lions and leopards and rhinos and buffalo and elephants,  all the big game, I have never heard an African say a word of encouragement except to say kill them all and eat them for they are too dangerous. All conservation efforts come from white Europeans. But the people who live in Africa love cows, because they are gentle and can be herded -- they do  not love elephants which can crush any fence and trample any cornfield. And to live near a wild lion? And not have a powerful rifle to protect your home?

I am afraid to say that African people have no romantic notions about wild game, no ancient traditions. Except for the cows. They only love the cows and fear the rest. Lions and elephants are good for the tourist business, that is all.

You may disagree with this notion, but you do not live in Africa.

Excuse me. I was distracted from my reverie. Forget my cynical sermon. Leave your cares behind and picture me floating down the river, with my cold beer and the beautiful woman who took this photo. Look at my face and see her reflection in it, and see how beautiful she is. African bliss.

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