Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Zambia Mornings

I've been in Livingstone, Zambia, on a mission trip for the past week with a group of 45 students and adults connected with my school.  It's been an amazing experience to say the least.  Today is our last day of work before we conclude the trip with two excursion days--tomorrow to Botswana for a safari and Friday to Livingstone and Victoria Falls for various experiences (including bungee jumping for a few!).  My job on this trip has been to keep in touch with the parents.  I chose to do that via a blog--Into Africa (  Because the internet is slow at night when everyone is here using their phones and such, I spend the days at the lodge writing while everyone else is out working.  It has been peaceful and quiet, these African mornings.  Quiet enough to write a poem :) 

In the morning
there is the table at the edge
of the Kaazmein Lodge patio.
In the morning
there is my computer, a pen,
my much-traveled journal,
the bottled water with its
hard-to-open caps.
And always there is
the blue African sky.

There are sometimes companions
(Robbie, Jacob, Christi one day;
Ahilyn, Adrian, Narce,
Alejandra on another).
There are brightly colored squares
on the black table cloths.
Workers are sweeping--
calling good morning to me
while tending to business and
listening to canned music.
There are zebras grazing
And always there is
the cool-yet-warm African breeze.

My view looks across
the patio to a footbridge,
and an island.
Mornings, there are
African kingfishers,
African mockingbirds,
African herons.  Or bitterns.
Or some other kind of
long-legged African water bird.

My job on this trip is to write--
a thing I’ve often longed to do
in the quiet of the morning
at a table with a view,
a breeze,
and sometimes a companion
or two.

My job on this trip is to share—
to put into words an experience
that defies words.
My roommate asks how
we will be able to share
all we’ve experienced.
We can’t I say.
We can try, but words
—which I love—
do justice
Zambian Mornings.

~ Rondi Aastrup
   Kaazmein Lodge
   Livingstone, Zambia