Livingstone and the Zambezi

On Wednesday we drove an hour and a half to Livingstone, which is on the Zambia/Zimbabwe border. Named after David Livingstone, the famous missionary and explorer who traversed much of Southern and Central Africa, the town of Livingstone is also the site of Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. More about Victoria Falls on another day.

Because of its proximity to Victoria Falls, Livingstone is very much a tourist town. So we spent our first few hours there supporting the local ‘curio’ artists.

the main curio market in Livingstone

the main curio market in Livingstone

one of the curio vendors. of course, I didn't write his name down, so I've already forgotten it.

one of the curio vendors. of course, I didn’t write his name down, so I’ve already forgotten it.

We then drove out to the Overland Mission base, where we stayed while in Livingstone. Our ride there took us about 30 minutes, most of which was on a bumpy dirt road through the ‘bush’, as we call it. What an incredible place!

on our drive out to Overland Mission, I snapped a photo of these cell towers disguised in various renditions of tree.

on our drive out to Overland Mission, I snapped a photo of these cell towers disguised in various renditions of tree.

The base sits at the top of the Zambezi River gorge, so the view is magnificent. In addition to the houses for the permanent missionaries, there are a number of large tents spread out on the base, which are used to host teams for mission training and short-term missions trips. We stayed in one of these, right on the edge of the gorge.

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the view from our tent

the view from our tent

The permanent houses and the community buildings are built with cement block and traditional grass-thatched roofs, many of which take advantage of the breathtaking views.

the view from the main community building

the main community building

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the classroom on the base.

the classroom on the base.

looking out from the classroom. (if I had class there, I wouldn't be able to pay attention for the view.)

looking out from the classroom. (if I had class there, I wouldn’t be able to pay attention.)

We spent some time exploring the base and its various lookout points as the sun was setting.

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The main community building includes the kitchen and dining area where everyone gathers to eat meals together. The groceries are trucked in once a week, and people take turns cooking and cleaning up. We joined them for dinner the first night we were there and enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about their work in the area.

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I’m so grateful for the opportunity we had to stay at this base. Our time was so much richer because we were able to spend our nights as part of a community instead of in a hotel. We were also able to take an impromptu hike down the gorge that never would have happened if we were on our own. But that story and its photos will also have to wait for another day.

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