No, these aren't the wild beasts of Africa but they do think they are young and wild.
These folks are our instant best friends. They are the Lyles (humanitarian) on the left then Kristi and the Padovichs (mission president) on the right followed by the Pretes from Malawai, (member leadership but really a mini mission president) (they stayed with us), and the Louthans (public affairs). We were still missing the Harveys from the Copperbelt (member leadership and mini mission president). It is a 5 or 6 hour drive down from the north.
This began our "P" day or preparation day event. The senior couples of the mission had gathered for a "conference" and to say goodbye to the Padovich's for the last time.
On Monday morning we headed out of town to a crocodile farm for a group activity.
We got there just before a bus of school kids arrived for a field trip. They were so orderly and fun to watch in their uniforms. Kristi gets nostalgic when she sees a grey uniform and yellow and grey ties, as that was her school uniform colors in Australia.
These are weaver bird nests. You can see they enter the nest from the bottom through sort of a tunnel.
Here we finally got our first view of "open" country.
The park had several residents to check out. This fellow felt like I do sometimes. My kids say I sometimes just disappear and they can find me upstairs by myself. Some of us turtles just know when it is time to take a break. I sort of like his style.
This is what I look like when I am found relaxing.
These guys are really not crocodiles but are alligators in the crocodilian family.
Now this is what my Dad referred to as a "snake in the grass". Tough to see at first but eventually you see them for what they really are, predators, looking out only for themselves.
There are two snakes in the bottom photo. I think you should look before picking up that stick.
This leaf/seed was from a tree that was new to me.
These big boys were happily living in a pretty deep pit.
These pythons are all native to Zambia.
Here is what we came to see.
Crocodiles of Zambia.
I am sure you remember Elder Boyd K. Packer's talk about "spiritual crocodiles" back in 1976. If interested there are excerpts with video on YouTube. I can't help but think about that.
I was not sure if he was smiling or just waiting for the right time to act. They get fed only once a week.
This is where some of them end up and many more are shipped to zoos around the world.
Crocodile steaks are available in all the stores but it is priced much higher than beef. The missionaries have bought and cooked it for themselves and thought it was pretty good.
Of course the other use is leather products.
Here we are outdoors in AFRICA!
These are the couples who came with us.
Louthans, Roses (area real estate), Harveys, Pretes, Padovichs, Lyles and Skidmores.
Funny, how women shopping have to touch things.
Rural Zambia is all about walking for miles and miles.
Here we are heading home after a great morning.
That evening we went to a great Chinese dinner. The following day was a work day for us but the couples from the outlying areas took care of city business. That Tuesday we all ate together at the mission home one last time and had a testimony meeting. What a feast in every respect.
I cannot express the joy of being here with people that are like minded.
I used to think that the Church must somehow put out a memo for couples to recruit other couples to serve missions. I haven't seen one, but like any "12 step" or "partaking of the fruit" event you cannot help but look around and want to share what you have. Every day is an adventure and blessing.