Unfortunately, I have to begin by saying that the best shots are in my video pictures,
which simply will not upload due to our bandwidth.
But, the still shots can give you an idea of what we saw
and how it felt to be "inside" the penned areas with lions & cheetahs, etc.
It seemed as if we were on a mini-safari.
Don't you love it! This ostrich struck a beauty queen pose.
But, later bit the hand that tried to feed her...
George can't afford to lose any more fingers!
Zebras grazing. I studied them diligently and am still not sure...
Are they black w/ white stripes or white w/ black stripes?
Maybe the children can let me know what they think.
Maybe the children can let me know what they think.
|I think it's a fox, but whatever it was, it was cute.|
A few of these took off across the crest of this hill just as we arrived.
They traveled so fast my camera couldn't get a clear shot.
It made me marvel to think that a cheetah is even faster!
|This is the oft-seen national bird of South Africa.|
It's called a "Hadedah" for the laughing sound it makes.
|Isn't there a saying, "Let sleeping lions lie"?|
Nevertheless, we tried to make noises (through closed windows) to rouse him.
Apparently having a full stomach, he did not deign to even acknowledge our presence.
|A pride of lions... three males and two females.|
As we watched, two more cubs joined the group,
one of which tried to snuggle with "dad"...
who quickly put him in his place.
|A rare white lion with two lionesses. He was huge.|
|Reminds me of the white marble lion statues |
at the foot of the beautiful "Bridge of Lions" in my hometown of St. Augustine, Florida.
One of my favorite baby pictures is of me at 3 yrs old sitting up on top of one of them.
This lion cub, with his chin resting on the warm stone, was obviously a sun-worshiper.
He seemed like a good choice for George to pat.
|But, when he suddenly turned and looked George straight in the eye,|
I'm pretty sure I saw George quiver just for a second.
|It goes against all of your lifelong self-preservation instincts to touch a lion.|
And, when you see how big these cubs are and the size of their large teeth and claws,
it's hard to pat and rub them roughly, as you are instructed to do.
|Claws safely tucked inside the paw. So far, so good.|
|The one on the left had just walked over and cuddled up to my friend.|
George wanted me to shake his hand (easy for HIM to suggest).
My hand was nearly swallowed up... figuratively speaking, of course.
|The meerkats were so much fun to watch. Took me right back to "Lion King".|
|Aren't they beautiful?|
On the left, an older bull. On the right, a young female.
I found out that the color gets darker as they age.
|The older giraffe would stick out an incredibly long tongue and pull the food off the palm.|
|The younger giraffe had a different style. She wrapped that long tongue around the hand|
and then put her whole mouth over the food, closing over it and pulling it in.
This resulted in a lot of residual giraffe saliva!
|A very young giraffe (one month) who had her own little pen & shelter.|
We couldn't feed this one because she was still nursing.
|The area around the park had many elegant "Bird of Paradise"|
|Called "Thorn of Christ" or "Crown of Thorns"|
It is poisonous and has absolutely wickedly sharp thorns
which would prick if even slightly touched.
|Just a small section of the wall of African masks.|
These were mostly Zulu. The ones I've purchased are mostly
Kasai Occidental and Kasai Oriental.
|Exquisitely elongated African figures... beaded and sparkling.|
|I wanted so badly to buy one, but weight & size of souvenirs |
have to be considered when planning for our return to the USA.
|We asked the Eppels to pick their favorite restaurant,|
and so we got to enjoy another "Mike's Kitchen" located near their home.
This happy & boisterous waiter acted and talked like "Satchmo".
We had fun talking to him. I gave him a Pass Along card.
You can't fool me with deceptive names... I can SMELL chocolate!
|Beading is a tradition in some parts of Africa.|
|We enjoyed many of the signs with wording that was different than we are used to.|
"No hooting!" is still my favorite.
|Without a doubt, the best presentation of a Pina Colada ever!|
(And it tasted even better than it looked)
|My shy little friend at the dentist's office. |
His mother wore a full burka and told me his name, which was bigger than he is.
|The load being pushed is trash. I love the name of the company... "PIKI - TUP"|
|George wanted a picture of this store's name.|
I suggested that perhaps it should be ME in the picture,
but he wisely refuted that.
|I took video so all the little ones in the family could see this Lego creation with moving parts.|
If our bandwidth is ever increased, maybe they'll see it.
|Security is very important in So. Africa. First you unlock the gate|
and step into the alcove, and then go to your front door.
Apartments not on a corner simply have a locked iron trellis a few inches in front of the door.
|The apartment was clean, neat, and comfortably furnished.|
On the far right was a wide flat-screen TV which, amazingly, we never even turned on.
|We were also told a really neat story about how she had joined the Church|
some years before, but her husband had remained uninterested.
One night she was fasting and praying about what she could to do
and the Spirit gave her very specific instructions for the next day.
She followed that guidance and long story, short...
Victor was soon baptized and they have just recently been sealed
for Time and Eternity in the Johannesburg temple.
|A familiar view of the entrance to our apartments taken from Killarney Mall across the street.|
|Part of the large complex of apartments which includes 20 plus which the Church has bought.|
It was so neat to be in such proximity to 20 wonderful Senior Couples.
Frankly, they all have a pretty strong respect for those of us serving in the DR Congo.
And, I have to admit that those of us from DRC do tease them about living in "Africa-Light"
|The local newspapers post headlines every day,|
but the Happy Birthday TATA (fond nickname for Mandela) were up every day for a week.
|One of the special legacies of Nelson Mandela.|
Children ARE the future of this and any nation.
|The lake adjoining the restauratn is tranquil and lovely. It features lots of large geese and the large fountain at right.|
|The unique entrance immediately makes you feel you have stepped into another world.|
|Flags from all the African countries decked the restaurant.|
We sat outside up on the first level to the right.
It was a lovely sunny day to enjoy this unique experience.
|It seems so strange to me that the same landscaping decorative cabbages|
used in Africa, are also seen in Fairbanks, Alaska. Magpies are also in both places.
|I asked this man what the symbols painted on his face meant.|
He answered, "Happiness".
I asked the woman the same question...
She answered, "Happiness".
They laughed when I teased them about this.
|The scene from the roof made me think of the phrase, "It's a jungle out there!"|
|The lobby was modern with an African "feel".|
Our friendly waitress greeted us to take upstairs.
|A closer look at the feathered tribal hat.|
She was singing an African "Welcome Song" in Xhosa,
(I tried to do it with the clicking sound and she laughed)
|Note the metal cover for the menu|
|I don't like pictures of me, but am bowing to pressure from family & friends.|
|On the other hand, I really like this picture of George.|
He doesn't like having pictures taken, either.
So, the best ones are when he's not aware.
|Even the information on the menu was interesting.|
|By now, this should need no introduction.|
But, I want my kids to know that the tradition goes on....
|First, our waitress sang an African song of welcome (captured on video).|
Then we were treated to the traditional "hand-washing ceremony".
|It took less time for George's 9 1/2 fingers.|
|If there are any bird-watchers out there, you can answer the question...|
What kind of bird builds the round ball hanging from the palm frond above the lamp?
We saw 8 or more of the birds go in and on the nest.
|Then we had our faces painted. Let me guess... it probably means "Happiness!!"|
|On the other hand, George's symbols look like bear tracks.|
He does act a little grumpy sometimes.
I've lost Sue's picture, but it was a pretty scroll.
This is the description of my order, below.
|Four kinds of meat dishes and a LOT to eat.|
All of it was tasty, but I took about 2/3 of it home & ate it for the next two days.
George's was a delicious chicken dish, which he loved.
(don't tell him it had curry in it).
|Sue's plate looked like someone put 1/2 a cow on it! It was some kind of "buck"...A beef-lover's delight.|
|I think the manager was concerned that I didn't like the food,|
because so much was left un-eaten.
I assured her I would take it with me and finish it off.
|So many small features gave an African ambiance to Moyo's.|
|When we were finished, the waitress handed this hinged box to George.|
|Kind of a fun way to soften the blow of the bill.|
Can you see his hand shaking just a bit?
|After lunch, we were invited to have a guided tour of the outside area.|
|A great outdoor area in an African setting. These old-fashioned water barrels fit right in.|
|But they served a very modern need. |
Lots of business people enjoy dining at Moyo's,
so a phone and internet are provided.
|I didn't find out if these whimsical tree barks were for fun or protection of the trees.|
|The restaurant was specifially designed to fit within & around the jungle growth.|
|Hearing our voices, these curious geese began to immerge from the water.|
|They seemed pretty intent on coming toward us|
and were obviously expecting to be fed.
|But they looked askance at the man|
trying to tease them with a plastic bangle.
I wish he wouldn't tempt fate with his remaining fingers.
|Inflation in Zimbabwe. It used to be a prosperous country.|
Do you think this is scary?
|How about THIS?|
|As I said, Zimbabwe was once a prosperous country.|
If you think runaway inflation could never happen in the USA,
please don't vote.
|What could be better? Relaxing in the park on a sunny day...|
surrounded by Hadedahs.
Who could resist being happy with all of them laughing.
|When we went to the Church Distribution Center,|
I was impressed to see materials in about 20 languages... even Xhosa.
|On our way to the airport, one last picture|
of a beautiful stone wall & some "winter" flowers of Johannesburg.
|And a fond farewell...|
to the new, immaculately clean & un-damaged taxis of Johannesburg.
|The banner leading into the airport is invites us to visit "Magical Kenya".|
That would be the likely location of my hoped-for Safari next year...
Could this be an omen?
|This scene is Ndjili Airport, where we were met by "Antoine"|
who takes care of "formalities" and gets our luggage.
Outside was our faithful Thierry. We waited for an hour & took pictures.
|Sometimes a picture just begs to be taken...|
because the man is dressed fancier than the women.
|Remember the beautiful taxis of Jo'burg? Back to the reality of Kinshasa.|
But even this beat up old wreck moved on it's own power,
as opposed to the one below that President Jameson took a picture of recently....
As much as anything, this shows the amazing character of the Congolese people.
There are patient, resilient, resourceful & improvisational...
If we had 100th of the challenges they face every day,
we'd be off whimpering in a dark corner somewhere.
They just figure out a way and get going!
|The Masina chapel is also on the Masina Highway (Lumumba Blvd).|
We all call this"The Nauvoo Temple" because it's so exceptionally large
and the three stories are not typical for an LDS chapel.
It's always fun to be stuck in traffic behind one of these precarious loads.
|I thought the pink shoes were particularly fetching.|
|Sugar cane is a popular vendor item.|
A piece is chewed off and the sweet juice sucked out.
My grade school playground was ringed with sugar cane in Florida
and I remember enjoying it a lot.
|No special message here...|
It just happens to be the sign that we were next to for a SOLID HOUR,
when the traffic DIDN'T MOVE ONE INCH!!
|Oh, for a panoramic view that could give you the full impact of this chaos.|
Notice brave pedestrians & vendors
and the cars coming toward us in between other cars going our way.
|The driver of this hearse was in a very big rush and was particularly rude.|
He very nearly hit us shortly after this picture was taken.
All I could think was,
"You've got a dead man for a passenger. What's your hurry?"
Double the volume of sunglasses in this picture...
and then include a man carrying it all on his head.
|I used to wonder why so many vendors were selling one particular item... tissues.|
Then one day, I realized that we'd been told to always have some with us.
You have three guesses.
|Green PJ Alert!|
|This outfit is green, too.|
But, look how beautiful it is... lovely colors & style with a graceful woman to wear it.
|Probably onions and certainly impressively heavy.|
|A two-fer... I like the floral pink in this contest.|
|Yellow PJ Alert!|
|Recently, I showed how close some of the homes are to the railroad.|
These are some of the vendors who have to move their wares AND themselves
when a train is coming... after which they return.
This was taken as we crossed the Ngaba Bridge.
|Orange PJ Alert! This black & orange combination will look very appropriate in October!|