"But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving." 2Corinthians 8:11

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tea time at the Royal Livingstone

I love love LOVE Livingstone! We arrived around noon and had an hour and a half to spare until we checked into our rooms at the Protea Hotel. Lace and I steered clear of Steers the burger place we ate last time because after eating there a few of our girls were sick. So we stuck to Rhapsody which we have eaten in Lusaka and knew was a safe choice. They definitely don’t “turn tables” like they do in the U.S. it took us over an hour to actually eat and pay our bill (we were one of the two tables in the entire restaurant), not complaining just getting used to the concept of “Zambian time”.
After we ate we walked across the parking lot to the vendors that had set up shop. They were selling handmade crafts such as bowls, spoons, masks, jewelry, even scarves! The game plan was just to look and not really purchase anything since we are planning to go to a market in a few days. I spotted a man playing the bongos who was wearing a Bob Marley hat and went to his place first. I was not prepared for the situation I was about to endure from all the vendors! Bob Marley would not let me leave until I purchased SOMETHING from him; he even pulled the sympathy card, “Help me, I am from a village this is how I support my family.” So naturally I did. I bought a super cute purple scarf and wore it on the spot. It just so happened Bob Marley had no change so he told me to just pick something else from his selection…there was nothing else I wanted/needed. I basically just wanted my change but I could tell that was NOT going to happen. So I ended up caving and just grabbing the first bracelet I saw; just stimulating the local economy. Next, I was being called by name from another vendor (thanks LACEY!), “Kaylee, Kaylee come come. Look at what I have here, you need these bracelets.” This guy was even willing to take my one and only pony tail holder (that I actually need) in order to lower his price on one of his bracelets (40,000 kwacha = $8) but I talked him down to three U.S. dollar bills. These vendors are ruthless. One lady pulled me over to her stand to show me her stuff saying “Come sister, look here. You are buying from the men but what about sister? We sisters need to help each other out.” I was like WHOA …okay! Ha so I randomly bought a wooden hippo and naturally she had no change either so I picked out some earrings. I finally managed to escape and get to the hotel without being convinced to purchase anymore (for today).

We went to the Royal Livingstone tonight to watch the sunset and have High Tea. This place was legit. As soon as we pulled into the hotel, we saw three zebras just wondering the grounds.

We sat on the porch of the hotel that looked out over the Zambezi River, it was absolutely gorgeous! Those who drink tea were offered tea in cute little tea cups, I however am not a tea drinker so I had my first espresso EVER.

It was actually AH-mazing minus the face I may have made after drinking it.

Espresso is a bit intense but it was a great “pick me up”. At High Tea they also had a dessert buffet, which offered a wide variety of different cakes, scones, tarts, and even quiche. We went down to the deck that looked directly over the Zambezi and provided a beautiful view of Victoria Falls. We stayed until the sun set which was so beautiful.

Zambezi River and mist from the falls
Group shot (minus Caroline whom we missed dearly!)

Monkeys were everywhere on the grounds/trees of the hotel so Lace and I wondered towards a group of them that were hopping from table to table to take some pictures. Well, little did we know, these guys can get a little feisty. While we were looking at one monkey chilling by a tree we turn to see another one from the table come running at us as we went running and screaming in the opposite direction. The little guy even managed to cling on to Lacey’s skirt. It was an intense moment! We did however capture this hysterical moment on video. We later heard from D.T. and mini D.T. that a monkey got a little aggressive with them and D.T. had to basically kick it away (he more shooed it away with his boot; no violence was inflected on the animal, no worries PETA). Note to self: steer clear of monkeys.

Rach was smart and was standing far from the monkeys while taking pictures and was able to capture us running!

Tomorrow we leave for our safari bright and early at 7:30 a.m. I am SUPER excited! I plan on taking tons of pictures or letting Rach (she’s a great photographer with an awesome camera). Have I mentioned how much I love Livingstone!?!!

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