We set off at 6:00hours the next day to cross the 25 k sand road from Mongu to Kalabo across the Barotse Plain. It was the dry season so the water levels were relatively low. The road is impassible during the rainy season as the plain floods. I am so glad it was dry as we bounced and swished our way for 2 hours across this road. We saw villages on the way that will have to pick up and move when the rains come. There was cattle on the roads and men with bikes loaded with 4 or 5 50lb bags of rice or huge bags of charcoal. I didn’t see anyone riding these bikes as the sand was too deep.
So after a fun filled ride across this sand & water, I asked if people ever get stuck. Max said that this 4×4 would never get stuck and so you can guess what happened with in the next 5 minutes. Luckily there was a man and a woman starting to put in his garden on the side of the road and three other people walking by who helped to push us out. I gave them each 1000zk for helping.
We arrived in Kalabo and drove straight to the World Vision Kalabo Office to meet the ADP (Area Development Project) manager. He took us into his office and welcomed us to Kalabo. He explained that we had to read & sign some forms basically stating that we would not be with Njamba without a WV staff member or say or do anything harmful, derogatory or sexually explicit to the child. Jami & I both signed. It was then explained that we would walk down to The Liuwa National Park office to make arrangements for our trip to the park the next day with Njamba & his Family. Again they take all of the peoples names that will be entering the park and we had to give our passport numbers as well.
We actually saw many schools and Health centres that WV had built and the old ones were still standing there like giant match sticks ready to fall any minute. It took us about 1.5hr drive in sand and bush to get to Njamba’s village. The thing is too that you have to drive fast in sand or you will get stuck. At one point I looked at the speedometer and we were doing 60 K through fine sand and low trees. The trees were scraping on the sides of the vehicle but not once did I feel that we were in danger. We were in good hands with David & Max. I told Max he should have been a race car driver and my husband Carl would have loved this. I tried not to talk when we were traversing the deep water areas. At one point the water came right over the hood of the vehicle. As anyone who knows me, I will talk to almost anyone and talk I did all the way to Mongu. David fell asleep twice as he was so exhausted from organizing my visit and Max was thankful that I was keeping him awake.