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

Saturday, August 2, 2014

"Doctor Livingstone, I presume?"

That famous quote above by the newspaperman/explorer Stanley was supposed to have been uttered on the shores of Lake Tanganyika when Stanley did catch up with Dr. Livingstone.  Livingstone was trying along with several others to find the true source of the Nile River.  Historians doubt the utterance of that phrase but the meeting took place and made both men "rock stars" of the Victorian age.

Dr. Livingstone's mistake was to not search further north around Lake Victoria, but instead headed west where we were now traveling near the Bangweulu swamp looking for the source of the Nile.  
The roads are better now and improving daily.

Bananas are always available and help the growls in my stomach.

This was on the road to where he finally died.  I am not sure it would have helped him then, or me very much now, as I am not very proficient at providing serious "Self Help" medical care.

Maybe a bicycle and a fresh goat would have helped his travels and illness.

Charcoal and stoves and brooms made out of tree limbs with frayed ends were for sale for us.

Finally, 30 kilometers off the main road we found the national monument.

This plaque marks the spot where Dr. Livingstone died.  He was in his tent when the malaria and dysentery finally caught up with him.  A few weeks earlier he had some porters take off with his chest of quinine medicine and a lot of food.  As he was exploring the lake and swamp it got to be too much for him and his two loyal porters took him to this village on high ground.

After he died they gutted him and buried his heart under a Mvula tree.  Then the two loyal porters bundled him up and toted him 1000 miles to the east coast and shipped what was left of him back to London.  He is now buried in Westminster Abbey minus his heart which was left in this spot.

It is sort of a fascinating tale and there are many, many books about him and the other explorers of the time.  Not all of the books agree and some of the later ones try to sort out the fact from the fantasy.

We signed the register with Barbara the caretaker.  I noted that we were the first to sign her book and pay in over a month.  She showed me a book another traveler had given her.  I think the gift was probably given out of frustration to help her tell as accurate a tale as possible.

Barbara keeps the place tidy and it is a pleasant place to visit.

We turned around and headed back the 30 km to the tarmac to try and get to Lusaka before dark.
Everyone is always so friendly and I always feel badly about the dust I am leaving behind.

It has been a good week for me.  I have learned so much more about Zambia.
Perhaps, like Dr. Livingstone, I might leave a little bit of my heart here too.