Ready to jump into Zambezi

PROGRAM NOTE: We have safely arrived in Zambezi via the Flying Mission planes. We are catching up on blog postings so will hear from Sarah Simmons about Thursday.

Today (Thursday) we had a chance to sleep in, with nothing scheduled until 9 am. Everyone found their way downstairs to the courtyard of our hostel to eat breakfast on our own time. Conversations about our plans for the day filled the air. It was our first free afternoon in Livingstone, a choose-your-own-adventure of sorts. There were talks of shopping, zip-lining, seeing the Victoria Falls again, and bungee jumping. 

After a short reflection to take in the events of previous days. We headed off to the Livingstone Museum which was just a short walk from our hostel. There we learned about archaeology, ethnography, the slave trade, colonialism, natural history, and the wider history of Zambia’s tribes and governments. Some people took longer in the Museum (AKA me), while others were anxious to get to “the best curio shops” as proclaimed by Josh and Dominic. 

We wandered around a block lined with small shops. The shops were filled with souvenirs and keepsakes. It was time to develop a new skill… bartering. A foreign skill to a lot of us, including me.  Coming from a background of set prices, I felt nervous countering with a lower offer. Yet, our counter offers were typically met with a reduction of the initial cost. Equipped with that new skill of bartering we started making some deals. Zags bartered away their “hair ties”, a ring, and even a pair of sunglasses (*cough* *cough* Julia). All to cut a deal to get more gifts to bring home to our friends and family. 

We enjoyed delicious oven-fired pizzas at our hostel for lunch until our free afternoon arrived. Some people decided to stay at the hostel relax, get the best $25 massages, and pack for Zambezi. Others explored other local shops. Emily, Ana, Will and I decided to go bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

Emily jumped before three of us got there but she had Lucia and Charlie there to cheer her on. Ana, Will, and I got there in time to watch the recap video of her jumping. She looked like she was having the time of her life.

Next it was our turn. Ana, Will, and I looked at each other with quiet anticipation of what was to come. Exchanging phrases like “you’ve got this” and “It’s going to be fine”, more likely trying to convince ourselves of those things than each other. 

I jumped first. They don’t give you much time to be nervous when you’re up on the platform. Then they count ridiculously fast “five-four-three-two-one”. All you can do is look at the horizon and jump. Within a millisecond you’re flying through the air, arms spread wide, praying you’ll feel that tug that should pull you back up. 

Just as we are flying into Zambezi, we too are opening ourselves up to a new experience. We still don’t know what to expect, yet we took a decisive leap of faith to move into this new adventure with our arms spread wide. I’m sure it will take a while to get settled, as we wait to feel that tug of normalcy that will bring us comfort. There will be still be plenty of up and downs throughout our experience. They will feel both terrifying and freeing. When I was hanging from the bungee cord I realized the importance of  looking around and enjoying the beauty of a process while taking in new perspectives. Ultimately, I think we’ll leave Zambezi with the same sentiment I felt when my feet hit solid ground: amazed, humbled, and grateful for an incredible experience. 

We wrapped up the night with a reflection on our aspirations for our time in Zambezi, as our flights left the next day. We also took time to honor Dominic: our amazing friend, wisdom giver, tour guide, mentor, teacher and one man comedy show who will parting ways with us when we fly out. We went to sleep with great anticipation for the bush plane rides and our new environment the next day. Again we exchanged the phrases “you’ve got this” and “it’s going to be fine”. I truly couldn’t think of a better group of people to jump into this next adventure with.

Sarah Simmons, ’24

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Ready to jump into Zambezi

  1. Kendall Adams says:

    As a museum geek, I was FASCINATED by the Livingstone Museum and I hope you enjoyed learning about the rich history of Zambia. Glad you all got the chance to spend some time there.

    And what a beautiful metaphor. However cheesy it sometimes may seem, this experience you’re on is such a leap of faith. I remember asking former Zam Zags for pictures and descriptions of Zambezi before I arrived. None of them could have prepared me well enough. It is truly a special place that can not be summed up by descriptions or even photos. I can’t wait to hear about the rest of your adventure (freeing, terrifying, and all the in between)!

  2. (on solid ground) cam says:

    this sounds wonderful and terrifying – i’m glad they didn’t give you time to be scared and psych yourselves out of a great (and for some of you, spinny) experience. i would need to be shoved off but im sure there’s a simile/metaphor about life there probably

  3. Sophia Riva says:

    Woah,Bungee Jumping!!! Emily would go first…! SO RAD!!! & go zags!

  4. Emily's Mom says:

    Glory be to Saint Patrick, as Nana would say!

    Best Mother’s Day gift ever, your safe landing!

    You know, Emily Rose, they say the umbilical cord is never really cut, life is just a process of it being stretched! I was wondering why my stomach hurt so much on that fateful day. Thanks be to God and ALL the Angels and Saints that you completed this adventure safely!

  5. Ellie Treon (Emily’s cousin) says:

    GO EMILY!! First to jump and I’m not surprised at all. Cant wait to hear all the stories from this round of adventures! Love you!
    – Ellie <3

  6. John Even (Emily's Dad) says:

    Emily, I saw a glimpse of your “flight” on the picture that you sent to your family group text, but I did not get the whole perspective. Wow! First to go for it! That sounds just like you! Keep going for it, girl! Can’t wait to hear about it first hand and to hear about all of your other adventures in Zambia! Love you! Love, Dad

Comments are closed.