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

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Zambia Cave Day

We finally had a Saturday without anything scheduled.  The sign for Leopards Hill Cave is not far from our house but we couldn't find anyone who had visited there.  We have searched for "heritage sites" before and never found them.  I was so excited to just be driving away from the city that I asked Kristi if she wanted to drive and with a little pressure I was now able to take photos - rather than one-handed on the fly.

That was the last sign for the Leopards Hill Cave.  However, I was happy to gather memories.

This was a Mom and two girls taking maize for processing.

On Leopards Hill Road is one of the large cemeteries around Lusaka.  After a day or two of mourning at the mourning house the group takes "transport" to the cemetery.

Every day you can see big or small groups finding a spot  for their loved ones.

Occasionally the nicer ones get special attention.  Most often there is no vault and sometimes a very thin coffin.  Big rocks are the first to go on top to discourage hyenas then it is filled with dirt.

Usually the deceased is transported by the family.

Further down the road it was evident that many maize fields were being harvested.

It was Saturday so many were headed to a village to socialise.

I often wonder what will the lives be like for the people I meet in 20 or 40 years.

Many seem to live in a world that is totally different from the "city" Zambians.

This young man was collecting a grain for a meal.  It wasn't rice.

A butterfly that camouflages as a leaf when its wings are closed.

We were headed south and there are villages or family complexes all along the way.

One cash crop is sunflower seeds.

Nothing can make you happy like looking at a sunflower, for some reason.

Here is my driver for the day.

When we stop for photos we always greet those who are near and try to satisfy their curiosity.

This lady seemed especially photogenic.

That maroon dress seemed especially appropriate.

Despite the look on their faces the gal below was not as suspicious as the one above and equally beautiful.

I was allowed to have my photo taken.

Then the ice melted and she was eager for more photos.

It was a very warm day and this lady was transporting a fleece blanket on her head, had a bundle of items, a broom, and of course an infant.  The umbrella always helps keep things cooler.

This woman was putting out items from her shop for display.

We came across another monitor lizard in the road.  This one was about 3 feet long.

The road will eventually take you after about 5 or 6 hours to the Zambezi River that runs across the southern border of Zambia. 

Just like everywhere some houses get more care than others.

This little girl was on her way for water.  She will return with it balanced on her head.

I am not sure this young man knew what his shirt said, but I suspect his mother might enjoy the sentiment.

Big sister was dragging her little sister away from the "azungus" but she was still plenty curious.

Holding hands in Zambia is a pretty benign activity.  Children, women and men all hold hands with the same sex.  This was unusual to see the opposite sex holding hands, but I suspect he was an older brother.

Small herds of cattle are common.  They represent the wealth of the owner in a very real sense.

Here is the young cowherder.  It is sad to see them just watching the cattle while their contemporaries that can afford school fees trot off to class.

These young girls are prepared for the rain should it come hard and fast.

I am not sure what these local greens are but it was a tough hill to pump up on the way to market.

Nshima or mealie-meal being taken home.

Life becomes so much easier if you can upgrade to an ox cart.

These ladies were enjoying not having to walk and carry a heavy load.

Part of the road is quite nice and new heading south but this is what most Zambian roads look like.

From the internet I had a faint idea where this cave was, but when we got close I started showing the photo of the sign and asking where it was.  This was the first of three hills and the cave was at the base of the third hill.  I decided to drive around.

This little Eden also provides protein by offering fish to catch.

They aren't big but it will make a relish for a family meal.

Once getting close again we asked about the cave and two young men led the way.
It was probably two or three kilometres and they ran like rabbits as I tried to keep up.

Finally - a world heritage site, Leopards Hill Cave.

Now we had quite a crowd and all hopeful of a little cash as a reward.

This is a stone-age site that has been documented in some University.  It is now full of bats.

We ventured in until it was absolutely black.  The bat sounds and drippings were a little unsettling.
I flashed a few "blind" photos and used my cell phone to check our footing as we had descended quite  a ways.

The local headman caught up with us and was anxious to get his share of any tribute.

It is getting towards the end of the rainy season and Zambia looks green and fertile.

This mound of dirt is "cooking" a pile of hardwood to create charcoal for sale.
The sad result is that many of the large beautiful hardwood trees are disappearing.

On our way back we found another goat on his way to market.
This one was more comfortable than most.

All in all a real pleasant day for me as we took the long way home and Kristi did most of the driving.
After almost two years I am still unsure of the best way to help the locals economically.  There are literally thousands of NGO's (non-government organisations) that try everyday.  We have been here trying to install HOPE and teach about the atonement of Jesus Christ.  I believe more good can happen if we catch the vision for the future and move toward that end. By living the best type of life we know how to, and becoming motivated to create the family life we can envision, individuals will make Zambia free economically and free to take advantage of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and all that it entails.