This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lake Tanganyika, Zambia

We made it to the rim of part of the great Rift Valley and dropped in to Lake Tanganyika and the town of Mpulungu.  We found our host, Holly, who was filling in for a Swedish couple who help out the owner of the Isanga Bay Resort.  Holly is a missionary, as is the Swedish couple, and she serves in their office and works at keeping their mission going.  I related to her frustrations but she has been at it a lot longer than me.  She has been here for eight years!  We felt a little guilty of having her interrupt her work to host us for a couple of nights.  That is until we saw the place and decided we were doing her a favor too.

Parked the truck and threw the bags in the boat and we were off.  It was another 45 minutes of speeding across the lake and trying to beat the setting sun.  The fishermen were just beginning to come out to spend the night fishing.

We docked and I didn't see any beach, just lots of rocks and trees.  We took a path past the restaurant and dropped down the other side to our own little private world.

We made it just in time to see the sun disappear over the second largest freshwater lake in the world.
Unbelievably, it holds 18% of all the fresh water on the earth!  It is 420 miles long and 31 miles wide and it is very deep.  The river that leaves the lake eventually runs into the Congo River. 

I was so excited to have this little private beach all to ourselves.

This was our bungalow.

We could see some fishermen.

And this guy thought we should be quieter and and appreciate that people have been visiting here for thousands of years.

Immediately our crew started a fire so the boiler could give us a hot shower before bed.

With this view I knew it was going to be hard to leave.

Now we are in paradise again, right?
We paddle around and explore the clear water and into the tules.
We read, we nap, we eat.

I get a little bored and find some folks sawing lumber out of logs.

Then we realize there is a little path from our private beach over rocks and through the bushes to a much larger beach.

It is here that we found what we were missing from our paradise  -  GRANDKIDS !

Some were shy, some were curious -

All of a sudden the world was more than a paradise - it was fun.

Of course the moms were happy to have them entertained while they kept up with their chores.
This lake is the only source of water for the village.  No little streams running into the lake in this area.

One more sunset and a quiet morning and it is time to head out.

We had provided work for our "staff" and for Holly and it was time to lock up and go.

We passed one of the many "taxis" that get people to market and medical help and schools.

Before we left Mpulungu we had to find the Niamkolo Church.  It is the oldest Christian church in Zambia built in 1895. 

It looks nicely over the lake but they had problems with the tsetse fly so abandoned it to move away from the water after not too many years.

These ladies had bananas for sale and they are really tasty so I bought a few from each.

Our plans were to find Kalamabo Falls.  We could have hiked up to the falls from a beach 15 minutes further by boat,  but it was a difficult four hour hike and when an African says it is difficult, I believe them.  We did find the manager/caretaker of the falls in town.  We heard he was there and we were asked if we would take him with us as he was waiting for a boat and then was going to make the hike.

We found Joseph and were ready to head out but he needed to stop for his bag at this market and then at a store before we left town.  It turns out Joseph had just lost his wife and two children in a car accident down near Kabwe.  He was returning from burying them and headed back to his empty home.
Death is so common and we felt so bad but Joseph was pretty stoic and accepting.  He said it must have been their time, that "God gives and God takes away."

We headed out of the lake valley to the town of Mbala and then on about 35 km of dirt road to the falls.