Cowboy Cliff, Caterpillars, & the Z team!

Cowboy Cliff is a local celeb, a tour guide and philanthropist. He is also known as the ‘local cowboy’ because of the rather stylish cowboy hat he wears.

Three of us went for a three hour cycling tour with Cliff yesterday. He took us off the beaten track, through the local ‘bush’ countryside,  via  outlying villages  to a local market, where we enjoyed freshly cooked  fritters (doughnuts), and supported the community, in a small way,  by buying some local produce which included a bag of dried caterpillars. These can be eaten as a nourishing bar snack or cooked in boiling salted water along with tomatoes and onions. Nobody back at camp is very keen on my suggestion that we add them to the sauce for our proposed sunday evening pasta dish!  

Cowboy Cliff is a delightful man with a great knowledge  and understanding of his local environment. He  showed and talked us through a range of birdlife , including hornbills and woodland kingfishers, as well as  101 things you can do with elephant pooh! It apparently  has many  medicinal properties  and is also burnt to keep away the mosquitoes.

Cliff has used much of the money  raised from his cycling safaris to  build and resource a local community pre school. We visit the Local Cowboy Pre-school on Friday mornings. The children are aged 3-7 yrs and are very lively but very delightful. On our first visit they greeted us with a delightful rendition of the  school ‘Welcome Song’ and every child knew all the words! We took them on a ‘ Bear Hunt’ and taught them the ‘Animal Bop’ before making colourful butterflies which were attached to pieces of cotton and flown by the children  as they tore around the grounds! They also enjoyed being lifted, swung around, carried piggy back and wearing our sunglasses (all of which would not be allowed in the UK for child protection and health and safety reasons!)  

On Saturday one of our lady volunteers finished her two week stint and was replaced by a male – there are now three males on the book bus, apparently the highest number at any one time ever!  Our new member barely had  time to drop off his luggage before we whisked him away to the rickety but grandly named Muramba Stadium.

The Z team (the national Zambian  football team) have been in Livingstone all week and have been doing some  training sessions with local kids, including those from the Lubasi Orphanage,which the book bus visits . On Saturday they were playing Sothern Province in a friendly match, as part of an  Aids Awareness Day. It was  free  to watch and the ground was a heaving, colourful mass of happy Zambians. Kenneth Kaunda the former leader of Zambia was the guest of honour and kicked the game off.

Our view wasn’t great but we did have the benefit of some shade from a large tree. The game ended 0-0 and there were not too many goal mouth thrills so we left at half time and retreated to a local bar for a cool beer, where I was able to watch Chelsea scrape a 1-0  FA Cup Final win over Portsmouth. It was really quite surreal enjoing a beer,  sitting with a room full of  enthusiastic Zambians, some of them sporting Chelsea shirts, cheering Drogba’s  every touch (they love him out here).

2 Responses

  1. Hi Phil. Once again I have enjoyed reading your latest two chapters. Keep up the good work! Best wishes from V&G>

    • Thanks Gerry. In my latest post you can read about my microlight flight over Vic Falls – another incredible and unforgetable African experience.

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