Well, after two glorious weeks, we are all back in Ireland. Apologies for missing a week before we left. I was just so busy that I couldn’t think straight!
Anyhoo, the thing I dreaded the most about travelling was the flights to and from with her royal highness. Turns out, that was the thing that worked out the best. The flight from Heathrow to Lusaka was a night flight, so I was a bit more confident that I wouldn’t have to apologise to all and sundry for a screaming Roz.
We usually have a little night time routine for her when we’re at home – bath, massage, pyjamas and gro bag, then onto mummy’s chest for a last feed and into the cot. Of course the bath and massage were out on the plane, but we did have her pyjamas and gro bag, so in she went. She slept for a record ten minutes, woke up for five, slept two hours and woke up again, and at that stage, I decided that if I wanted to watch a movie in peace, she’d have to sleep on my lap. Once we did THAT, the little minx slept peacefully the rest of the way.
We arrived in Lusaka at 6.25am and into 23 degree warmth….beautiful! Whizzed through immigration and customs, and my mum and brother were there to pick us and our seven pieces of hold and cabin luggage up.
I always experience very mixed emotions each time I’m in Zambia. There’s dismay at the lack of progress on one front, and delight at the speed of development too. For example, the men wheeling bags of charcoal for sale on their bicycles were still peddling their ways into the city, while the Manda hill shopping mall was lined with the latest cars and catwalk fashions. Hell, my sisters always have more up-to-date cell phones than I have! But that’s a story for another day I suppose.
I arrived (as usual) too late for maize/corn season. I was in near tears over this. Really, there’s nothing better than a freshly boiled cob of maize sprinkled with salt…or a freshly roasted cob of maize…yum, yum! But at least I got to eat boiled, fresh groundnuts, which are a close second to the maize. And boiled sweet potatoes for breakfast, roast sweet potatoes for breakfast, fried sweet potatoes chips for breakfast….oh I miss home already!
I hardly got to see Roz between her nap times she was so busy being the social butterfly. Her granny would take her, then her aunt would take her, then her great grandmother would take her… and she was so well behaved. And I never thought I’d ever hear her laugh as hard as when her cousin J.J. jumped on the bed. Three year old J.J. has the most infectious laugh on earth and when he started laughing, she-that-rarely-smiles broke out in a terrible case of the giggles, and laughed her head off. Krys and I were in shock, never having heard her laugh before, we thought she was choking or dying or something worse! It was so sweet though. The next day, we took it in turns jumping on the bed at the lodge and were greeted with indifference and a slightly bored expression…ah well! By the end of the holiday, J.J. merely had to smile at her and she’d begin to chuckle…I foresee many hearts being broken in future over that sweet boy.
Of course, no trip to Zambia is complete without a visit to the mighty Mosi-oa-tunya falls. We went, we walked on the island, we got wet, we enjoyed every last bit of it. I never get tired of the place. The falls always make me realise what an insignificant, pathetic little being I am on this planet. Nature churning away and going about its business, and if I fell in, it wouldn’t stop, it doesn’t care about me AT ALL and I have to be careful around it. It’s just breathtakingly beautiful. I love the fact that when the water is at its maximum, you risk ruining all electronic equipment so you have to leave it in the car and rely on memory and the spoken word to portray its beauty, which you never can. Everyone just has to go and see it even once in their lifetime, to properly understand how amazing it is. I can understand how local people in David Livingstone’s time were so respectful and in awe of the falls that many died never having seen the falls. Mosi-oa-Tunya…the smoke that thunders, you’re bloody marvellous!!
I’m jumping from topic to topic now but gee, there’s just so much that happened, that I couldn’t possibly write it all down at once. I’ll have to pick little bits and write them all down during the week and expand on what I loved so much.
We had Roz’s naming ceremony too, last Sunday morning. There were only four of us present because in the end, it just worked out that way, but it really did bring a tear to my eye. I’ll tell that one tomorrow because it deserves a post all of its own.
We left Zambia on Monday morning. Up at 6am (groan!) and at the airport just after 7am with a very sleepy Roz and very hungry Mary and Krys. She was so good on the flight back I was in shock! Slept most of the way back, took walks with her daddy and let mommy watch two whole movies in peace! Wow. The award for best behaved baby must go to her!
Anyhoo, I really must be getting to bed now, but stay tuned tomorrow and each day next week for all the exciting bits.