"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


that's a wrap

Today was a laid-back day in Livingstone. I was really worn out (and sore!) from rafting and all the other crazy things I've been doing this week, so I slept in a bit, then went over to the Royal Livingstone for a massage in their open-air white canvas tents which face the Zambezi. You get a massage while watching the mist rise from the Falls. Incredible and very relaxing.

I had lunch at the very cool guesthouse/coffee shop where I'm staying, then was picked up for what will definitely go down as one of the coolest things I've ever done: microlighting over Victoria Falls. Having seen the Falls from every other possible angle (at eye level in the park, from the banks of the river, from the middle on Livingstone Island, and from below while rafting), there was only one other option left: from above.

They call it the "Flight of Angels," after a comment David Livingstone made when he first saw the Falls. I wasn't going to do it, because it's not cheap, and I've already spent too much money on adventures here. But I changed my mind the other day, and I'm so glad I booked this, because it was incredible. You just can't imagine how lovely the Falls are in all their glory, what the gorges we rafted yesterday look like from above (one big zigzag, where the water has worked its way back through the millenia), what it's like to see a rainbow in the mist from above. Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures from Lusaka, because you've got to see it.

My pilot was super-nice, and he pointed out elephants on one of the islands - apparently, they can swim! - and got more and more shocked as I told him I'd bungi jumped and rafted the river. "You're very brave," he said. "I've been in Congo," I replied, "I'm just not scared anymore."

That really sums it up, and makes me glad that my vacation ended high in the sky with the wind in my hair. This summer has been a wild adventure, full of ups and downs and twists in the air. I began in June dreading the trip, not wanting to again be so far away from home for so long. Then I walked up to the border and saw a familiar face, and from there on out, everything went like clockwork, all the way to a flight over one of the world's wonders, and this evening under the Southern Cross and so many unfamiliar stars.

Tomorrow begins the long journey home. I'll get up early and walk along the Falls one last time, then hop a flight to Lusaka. Sunday it's back to Nairobi, where I'll regroup and pack for the long trip to London and New York and home. Thanks for coming with me on this journey. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement and friendship and love. I could not have made it here without you. For it may be true that I'm brave, but the reason I'm not scared anymore is that I know what it means to be loved, to be prayed for, and to be protected in the face of danger. I hope that this blog has given you some sense of what it's like to see misery and despair, hope and love, to fly over Africa, to know women and men and children who refuse to give up. I hope you'll continue to pray for them, and to let their stories change the way you live and change you.


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