Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Africa Blues

Whenever I travel, I look for blue things to photograph. This was a challenge in the African bush, where the colors are mostly tawny golds, dusty greens, mudbank browns, and elephant grays. But that made the challenge to photograph blue things all the more fun.

Here's what I found:

Cell phones and blue-green nails on the Zambezi River:

Victoria Falls, or "Mosi-oa-Tunya," in the local language:

Visitors to the falls can get quite wet from all the mist, so these lightweight plastic raincoats abound:

GO BLUE! I saw this gentleman waiting in line to cross from the Zambia side of the falls into Zimbabwe side. He didn't speak a word of English, and I didn't speak his tongue, but I managed to use a lot of charades-style gestures to indicate my kid went to the University of Michigan. His face lit up, and he shook my hand--twice!

A maintenance worker near the falls using an old-school broom and rocking brilliant blue slacks:

Zambia has many of the same flowers I see around Los Angeles. Lobelia was everywhere:

The Luangwa River hippos basking in its blue waters:

One day we took a bamboo-bicycle tour through the tiny village of Siankaba, about an hour outside of Livingstone:

I saw this totemic-looking thing in the village. Don't know what it was, but it looks like those huge stone heads on Easter Island:

The village has no running water, so the villagers use whatever they can to lug water from the well to their homes:

This cutie-patootie was in the preschool class for four- and five-year-olds in the village. Preschool classes are a relatively new thing for Zambian villages, and they're already making a big difference:

The village agreed to allow a cell phone tower on their land, which provides them some income now and may help them some day get phone service. The turquoise box is part of the equipment that maintains the tower:

In the bush, I saw many birds I'd never seen before. Our guide's birding book helped me get a picture of the bird when the one in the wild wasn't cooperating:

I snapped this one, though. This gorgeous creature is the Lilac-Breasted Roller:

In flight, it flashes lots of turquoise and navy blue:

License plate detail:

Jugs of powdered milk and instant coffee for a mid-morning coffee break while out in the Land Rover:

The oddball Babobab tree (showing signs of elephant damage) against a blue Zambian sky:

 Luke, one of the bush camp staff, showing how to work the outdoors shower:

Early-morning game drives begin with a light breakfast served around the campfire. One of the offerings is hot cooked oatmeal, kept warm in this snug pumpkin-shaped thingie:

Lanterns flickering in the twilight:

A cotton cloth called a "Kikoy" is standard equipment in the bush camps. Dampened and placed on a sleeper, it helps keep folks cool on the hottest nights:

A beautifully set table and some hand-thrown pottery:

Glass dish with laundry powder for washing things out in the sink at a bush camp:

An outdoors breakfast on the riverbank begins with eggs cooked over a campfire:

A rope draped over the support posts of our treehouse-like tent on stilts:

Lamps waiting for use at nightfall:

A hugely important part of each camp: the place where all the guests' electronic devices are recharged via solar power:

We had a tour of a bush camp kitchen. The quality and quantity of food they produce is astounding--everything from hearty stews to delicate mousses:

Not used much any more, but charming nonetheless, a milk jug and matching bowl decorated with giraffes sat in a corner of the kitchen:

And finally, I couldn't resist one last image of those blue lanterns:



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