What a WONDERful day

Today we were very blessed to visit one of the seven wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls. 

We started off the day running, literally. Jackson, Ani, Brynn, Charlie, Sarah, and I accompanied Josh on a bright and early morning run at 7 am. We ran through the streets of Livingstone, passing by many, many children on their way to school. Many waved and had a big smile on their faces as we passed by them. Zambia has a large percentage of a young population, and we definitely saw this as the endless number of children filled the streets in the morning. It felt nice to finally stretch out and shake our legs after many days of travel in the past week. Although the dirt in the air combined with the thick smell of diesel made it hard to run, we finished at 3.5 miles. Jackson, a speedy guy, led the pack and even showed off by doing some parkour off rocks and walls. 

A wonderful breakfast followed, porridge or eggs/sausage with toast. Promptly after we piled into the Rosa Deluxe and headed off to the Victoria Falls. Once we arrived, we waited in the bus patiently as Dominic tried to rizz his way into getting us to cross the border into Zimbabwe without the whole customs ordeal. While we were waiting we saw our first wildlife animal, a monkey. We all were so in awe, and we took endless photos as the monkey hoped on a truck, stole a sugar cane, and started snacking on it. 

Unfortunately Dominic was not able to get us into Zimbabwe the shortcut way, but he rizzed us into priority parking for the Falls on the Zambia side. We walked through Royal Livingston Hotel, where we would later have High Tea. As we were walking through, we were amazed at a herd of Zebras grazing on the nearby grass. It was so bizarre to be close to such an elegant species. After many photos we continued our journey to the falls and ran into gazelles and monkeys along the way. Upon entering we were able to see how grand and powerful the falls truly are. The tons of water falling every second, accompanied by mist bouncing back and falling right on us. What we thought would be some light mist turned into a heavy pour of water. All of us were soaked head to toe and we felt so “free,” as beautifully described by Katie. We yelled and danced as we marveled at the sight below us. We ran into a group of South Africans along our sightseeing hike, and without hesitation, they welcomed us into their group as we yelled at the Falls below and took photos along them. This was beautiful moment where we were able to share happiness and joy with a group of strangers. 

After the falls, we headed back to the hostel to dry off and change into our fancy clothes as we prepared for High Tea at the Royal Livingston Hotel. We pulled up in our classy vehicle, the Rosa Deluxe, and were seated in an elegant room. We each ordered some tea, and the tiered stands of food came out one after another. After many delicious sandwiches, biscuits, and pastries, we moved outside to view the beautiful Zambian sunset along the falls. We engaged in hours of conversation with each other. It was nice to have time to catch up with each other, without the feeling of being rushed to head to next activity.

We headed back to the hostel and debriefed our day: What emotion did you feel today? Many of us said we felt so alive, liberated, and connected with eachother. 

Tomorrow, we will wake up early to head out to the Safari in Botswana. We will not have service, thus, we will not be able to post a blog tomorrow (Tuesday). So don’t worry, we are alive and well and will be sleeping next to many wonderful animals (safely) and underneath the stars.

Ana Gamboa ’24

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8 Responses to What a WONDERful day

  1. cam bechtel says:

    what a clever pun Ana, only someone very smart and with lots of writing experience could think of that

    you all look so cute in your pictures


  2. Kendall Adams says:

    Laughing so hard at the idea of Dominic trying to “rizz” his way into Zimbabwe!!

  3. Dee Leyba says:

    Ana! I’m so happy to hear about all of your new experiences in Livingstone. Running in Livingstone is such a magical activity. I’m sorry about the air though, but eventually your lungs will adapt. Keep running, running in Zambia was one of the best and most alive feelings. Keep taking it all in Zambia Zags, you’re all doing amazing. <3

  4. Colleen Schmidt (proud Zag mom) says:

    Sounds like an extraordinary day, on top of the incredible experiences you’ve had each day. Love reading each of your perspectives as you share on behalf of the entire group. Your common themes of—appreciating the graciousness of your hosts and the incredible local residents you are meeting; making the most of each experience big and small; acting with humility as you walk this new journey; and creating cherished connections with fellow Zags that will last far beyond this experience—truly capture what makes this such an amazing life experience!

    Enjoy the safari, look forward to hearing about it in a day or two!

  5. Klaire Powers says:

    It sounds like you all are having a great trip so far. I can’t wait to read all about the safari! ❤️

  6. Grace Underdahl says:

    You have no idea how lovely it is to hear the details of this experience again.
    With sincere gratitude,
    A 2017 Zambezi alumni

    With love,


  7. Lauren Sfeir says:

    Looking forward to reading more of these and keeping up with your journey. I’m sooooo jealous. Soak it all in!

    Lauren Sfeir 🙂
    SLS Web & Marketing Specialist

  8. Arturo Gamboa says:

    What a WODERful experience for all the Zags. The writing is so engaging and personal that makes me feel like I am accompanying the team. I wish you the best as you move into the “work” phase of your trip. Lots of lessons to learn and connections to make.
    Go Zags!!

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