Part 2...Artistry, talent and taboos...A cultural goldmine in Livingstone...WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery...

One wonders what would have precipitated this taboo.  It could go back thousands of years with the origination unknown.  This and the other taboo paintings were done by Agness, director of WayWayi Art Studio & Gallery,
"Sighting of the Day in Zambia"
Should I reconsider serving Tom three eggs and bacon, upping it to four or reducing it to two?
There were more Zambian taboos than we can possibly list here in one post.  Here's a link we found with a few more taboos, commonly observed by both local people and hopefully, respected by visitors to this astounding culture.
Every piece of art at WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery was representative of Zambian culture.
We'd hope to find a more comprehensive resource on Zambian taboos online with limited success.  These taboos are so ingrained in the culture their significance is carried on from generation to generation, more by word of mouth than posted online.

Agness had made many exquisites paintings of a wide variety of taboos in Zambian culture.
They are fascinating!
Visiting WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery as described in yesterday's Part 1 gave us an opportunity to peek inside the gentle and loving nature of these special people who honor family, spirituality, and work at the foundation of their beliefs.  For yesterday's post, in the event you missed it, please click here.

Shaking hands with in-laws in not appropriate.  More so, a humble bow would be more appropriate.
Today, we're sharing the balance of our photos including some of the exquisite pieces Agness Buya had personally crafted with her fascination and knowledge of traditional Zambian taboos and customs. 
Gorgeous wall hangings.
As Agness escorted us from room to room in her large studio/residence we were continually in awe of her work, her husband Lawrence's work and the works of students over the years.  
The meaning of this piece is that people often complain out loud, wanting the government to solve their problems rather than find solutions on their own.
Both trained as art teachers/instructors it's evident their vast knowledge and expertise become an integral part of the education of students, young and old and various artists in residence.

Some of their services include (from their brochure):

  • Free WiFi
  • All major credit cards
  • Self-catering facilities
  • Check-in/out 24 hours
  • Artists workspace available
  • Electrical kiln, potters wheel, printing press, a small collection of art books for research
A busy workspace and storage area.
To contact WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery, call 260 977 325 799 or 260 966 559 101 or email:  
Their Facebook page is:
Many arts and art history books are available for the students to use while attending classes.
Now, continuing on with our itinerary over the next few days.  Tomorrow morning we'll be picked up at 7:00 am at the Protea Hotel in Livingstone for a two day, one overnight, safari adventure, both in Chobe National Park and again on the Chobe River.
The power of the messages in each item is breathtaking.
Last time we were in Zambia we'd participated in these two types of safaris but for shorter periods. In this case, we'll have two full days to see more of this wildlife-rich area on land in a safari vehicle and in a boat on the Chobe River.

The biggest draw for tourists to travel to Livingstone is Victoria Falls, seen from one or both sides of the Zambezi River.  When we were here three months ago, we spent an entire day seeing the falls from both countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  
We'll always remember this special day with Agness at WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery.
It was an extraordinary experience which we posted at this link and also Part 2 at this link.  The reality is there are only so many tourist attractions in this area, most of which we've already experienced.  

This artistic piece, made by Agness was made with hundreds of scratch-off tickets.
Based on the fact we needed to return to Zambia for another 90-day visa extension, we decided to return to Chobe after the exceptional previous experience.  Most likely the route we travel will be the same or similar to the previous route we traveled in Chobe National Park.  

However, like visiting Kruger as we often do once a week, each time it is unique and exciting even if we travel on the same exact roads on each occasion.
Could this be represented as cultural changes over the years, the woman in front as more modern, the woman behind here in more traditional roles?

Subsequently, we'll be gone all day tomorrow and the following day which will result in two short posts for those two days with more photos from Zambia.  Once we're back at the hotel, on Wednesday we'll begin posting the Chobe National Park and Chobe River photos.

Children playing in the sand at the art school.

Again, thank you to the wonderful Agness Buya for making our trip to Zambia all the more important and exciting.

We'll be back tomorrow with more!

Have a fantastic day!


 Photo from one year ago today, August 19, 2017:

The mountains impeded our view of the sunset in Atenas, Costa Rice but got gorgeous colors in the process.  For more details, please click here.

Part 1...Artistry, talent and taboos...A cultural goldmine in Livingstone...WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery...

This is talented and dedicated Agness Buya, who has made art, apprenticeships, and education at the core of her very existence.  We were honored to have met her and for the time she took sharing this cultural center with the two of us.  Agness created this magnificent creation using tea bags!
"Sighting of the Day in Zambia"
Work and providing for one's family is a part of the marriage commitment ceremony.  This statue and other's similar to this, bear no arms and legs, indicating there's no place for "lazy" individuals who refuse to work.
Today and tomorrow we'll be sharing photos of a fabulous cultural experience from yesterday's tour of the city of Livingstone, Zambia.  The highlight of our day was our private tour of WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery.
The dirt road to the WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery.
When one is on holiday in a tourist town with the intent of visiting an art gallery what visions come to mind?  The glass storefront, a pristine and impeccable decor allowing for highlighting the art as opposed to the facility itself?
The sign upon entry onto the grounds.
One envisions expensive art offering including paintings with a wide array of techniques and styles, sculptures, glassworks and a plethora of handmade creative wall, floor, and table pieces, each stunning, pricey and unique.
This building serves as both an art center and residence for owner/manager Agness and her artist husband Lawrence.  Sharing art with their community is truly the essence of their lives.
Well, dear readers, one may find such places in many tourist locations throughout the world, but not here in Livingstone, Zambia. Throughout our almost six years of non-stop world travel, homeless and unencumbered with stuff art only provides us with a finite appreciation of the work and craft of highly dedicated and talented individuals.  
The grounds near the art school and art classrooms.
We don't own a wall, a floor or a table to hold or display such an artistic piece of the work of these creative talents.  Nor do we have a storage place to hold such works for future use should we ever stop traveling.
Display of children's work in one of the classrooms in the adjacent building.
Although Livingstone with it's World Heritage Victoria Falls is one of the world's most desired tourist attractions, the culture is very different here than one might find in many other popular tourist destinations. 
Artist in residence honing his skills.
Subsequently, we were literally "over the moon" traveling over yet another bumpy dirt road (quite a familiar experience for us in rough-roaded Marloth Park)  and we approached the most quaint and charming WayiWayi Art Studio and Gallery, located at Plot #2613/392 Kalukuluku Street (off Airport Road) in Livingstone, Zambia.  
Artist in residence working in one of the several workrooms with children learning from the experiences.
To reach Agness, contact her on their Facebook page here or she can be reached by email at this link.  No reservation to tour the center is required during normal business hours but since the property is also hers and her husband residence, it's best to contact Agness outside any regular hours.
Opportunities for both youth and adults to enhance their skills.
Should any of our readers travel to this exceptional country to visit Victoria Falls, a stop at this culturally fascinating facility is an absolute must, especially if cultural experiences fit well into your travel plans.
Art supplies and storage area.
As soon as we exited the taxi, Agness immediately approached us, hand outstretched to warmly greet us, two strangers.  Little did she know we'd be writing a story with many photos about her outstanding artistic endeavors.  
A separate room dedicated to marriage rites and customs.  This pattern on the floor is for the engaged couple to walk on tiptoes together symbolizing their ability to work as a couple.
As far as she knew we were typical tourists/shoppers interested in purchasing a few items to bring "home" for ourselves, family members and friends as a reminder of a tour of Livingstone, Zambia.
Agness' husband Lawrence painted this beautiful piece indicating the family's unity and involvement in the marriage.
In only a matter of moments, Agness understood how committed we are to sharing "her" story in words and photos and possibly attracting the attention of art enthusiasts and future shoppers whose purchases help to support the continuation of such a fine educational and creative center for children and adults.
A collage of photos of the many stages of preparation for the upcoming marriage.

From the simple one-page brochure we're sharing their words on services offered (as an important adjunct to our two-day story as follows):

1.  Produce, display and sell high-quality Zambian arts, crafts, and design.
2.  Organize workshops and art exhibition locally and nationwide.
3.  Provide apprenticeship opportunities for emerging artists.
4.  Empowering women's groups and youth with skills-training in the visual arts.
5.  Offer hands-on arts and crafts to children aged one and a half to six-month and above.
6.  Showcase the Mbusa cultural traditions (pottery, wall paintings, and artifacts used in the traditional Bemba marriage ceremony).  For detail on these traditions, please click here).
7.  Face/body paintings for various function for all age groups.
8.  Resource Centre for the visual art in Zambia's Southern province.
9.  Provide studio space and Residency opportunities for local and foreign artists, in all areas of art.
10. To stock and supply a variety of art and craft materials for use by local schools and community programs.
Music, wall hangings, artifacts, and pottery are an integral part of the traditional Bemba marriage ceremony and rituals.
We will say this today and then repeat it tomorrow:  "Thank you Agness Buya for adding such a rich texture to our ongoing experiences in your fine country and for all the care and support you provide for your artistic community."
This wall mural contains many sections representing different aspects of life for the Zambian couple as they prepare for marriage, a lifetime commitment in this culture.
Tomorrow we'll be back with Part 2 with a focus on many of the taboos commonly observed in Zambian culture.  Please stop back.
 Photo from one year ago today, August 18, 2017:
Our friend Louise, whom we met in Kauai Hawaii identified this bird as a Hoffmann's Woodpecker.  Thanks, Louise, we appreciated the information.  I took this photo while seated on the sofa on the veranda while working on the day's post while in Atenas, Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

"Dr. Livingstone, I presume"...Livingstone city tour......

Note:  Due to WiFi issues we're experiencing spacing errors.
Tom was busy reading the extensive menu at Café Zambezi trying to decide what to order.
"Sighting of the Day in Zambia"

The dirt floor and bare feet in the restaurant, Cafe Zambezi, so far our favorite spot in Livingstone.
Last night was quite a pleasure.  We had happy hour at the hotel bar and at 1800 hours, (6:00 pm), the same taxi driver we used three months ago picked us up to go to our favorite restaurant in Livingstone, Cafe Zambezi.

We were shocked to see how many hotel employees remembered us from our visit three months ago.  We were warmly greeted as we wandered through the lobby, hallways, restaurant and bar areas.  That was rather impressive considering the popularity of this hotel.

It was getting dark shortly after we arrived its easy to see the festive environment at Cafe Zambezi.
Once again, we enjoyed another excellent meal at the popular hot spot for locals and tourists although no reservations were required.  We were seated outdoors at an open-air table on the dirt floor (commonly seen in Livingstone restaurants) and promptly and graciously served.
Way more chicken than I could eat but every bite I managed was delicious, including the side of vegetables and salad.
We weren't in a hurry so we languished over the extensive menu, chatting all the while.  At one point, I was reminded of many books I've read and movies I've seen where the characters, often journalists, reminisced over memorable times spent in African cafes and restaurants in their myriad travels.  

I shared this with Tom and he also recalled reading about such circumstances.  And, here we are, doing exactly the same;  a dusty floor, the hum of conversation, the clinking of glasses and the pungent smells of local food wafting smoke from the smokey kitchen.
Tom ordered the t-bone steak which was cooked properly. Our total bill for dinner including meals, drinks, tax, and tip was kwacha 250 (Zambian currency), (US $24.40).
This morning we did a tour of Livingstone, with our taxi driver Matthew taking us to see some of the most popular venues in the small town.  From this site:
 was, until 2012, the capital of the Southern Province of Zambia. Lying 10 km (6.2 mi) to the north of the Zambezi River, it is a tourism center for the Victoria Falls and a border town with road and rail connections to Zimbabwe on the other side of the Victoria Falls. A historic British colonial city, its present population was estimated at 136,897 inhabitants at the 2010 census. It is named after David Livingstone, the British explorer, and missionary who was the first European to explore the area."
Today, we headed to the Livingstone Museum but when we were told no photos were allowed, we decided not to stay.  We were on a photo-taking mission and spending an hour of our three-hour tour without photos didn't appeal to us.
Now, the capital of Zambia is Lusaka as described here from this site: "Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. One of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa, Lusaka is in the southern part of the central plateau at an elevation of about 1,279 meters (4,196 ft). 
Vintage World War II military plane.
As of 2010, the city's population was about 1.7 million, while the urban population is 2.4 million. Lusaka is the center of both commerce and government in Zambia and connects to the country's four main highways heading north, south, east and west. English is the official language of the city, but Nyanja and Bemba are also common.
Statues outside the Livingstone Museum.
In 1935, due to its fairly central location, its situation on the railway and at the crossroads of the Great North Road and Great East Road, it was chosen to replace Livingstone as the capital of the British colony of Northern Rhodesia"

Bust of the first president of the Republic of Zambia.

As we continued on the tour, we stopped at a few spectacular cultural venues.  After returning to the hotel and desperately needing a nap after a fitful night's sleep, we're saving those stories and photos beginning in tomorrow's post.  
Traveler and explorer, Emil Holu
We'll be back tomorrow with more we're excited to share.

Colonial soldier statue.

Be well!

Photo from one year ago today, August 17, 2017:

In Atenas, Costa Rica one year ago, moment by moment, the clouds grew thicker and thicker as the weather changed.  Most days it was warm and sunny.  For more details, please click here.

We made it to Zambia...Settling in for another week...

The matriarch blasts a sound, "Come on kids, back up the hill.  Playtime is over."
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Mom and baby making their way back up the hill, as they follow the matriarch who'd signaled it was time to go.
Around 4:30 am I awoke with a start.  Something was off.  It took a few minutes for me to realize the power was out.  I checked my new phone to see we didn't have wi-fi which goes down when the power is out.
Driving down a dirt road, we spotted this male ostrich fluffing his feathers in this pile of bush debris.  At one point, he spread his wings and did some mating ritual-type dancing.
Oh, no, I thought, we're getting up at 6:00 am and there won't be hot water for showers or lights to put ourselves together for today's trip to Zambia for our second visa-stamp exit from South Africa in the past six months.
When he noticed us at a distance, he stood up to watch what we were going to do.
As many of our readers are well aware, South Africa only allows US citizens a visa for 90 days in their country. The laws dictate that we cannot exit and re-enter from any of the many countries bordering South Africa.  Plus, if we fly in and out of Johannesburg, the hub, we may not be able to get back in.
The cape buffalos don't seem to mind the presence of the elephants.
Subsequently, our safest bet has been to fly from the tiny airport in Nelspruit (an over one hour drive from Marloth Park), fly to the only country to which that particular airport flies non-stop without stopping in Johannesburg, where immigration laws are considerably more stringent.  

Our fingers are crossed this will work out again (and one more time in November) when we return from Zambia on August 23rd through the Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger airport.  
A massive matriarch elephant with a herd of cape buffalos.
Now that I've explained this necessity one more time (sorry to our readers who've heard this many times), our immediate concern this morning was getting ready to leave with no power.  The house was dark when we got out of bed.  
More cape buffalos and an elephant, two of the Big Five in one scene.
Determined to shower even if it was in cold water, I was shocked to discover some hot water remained in the pipes, long enough for me to take a quick shower and for Tom to do the same.
Tossing mud and water to stay cool on a very hot day.
Somehow, using a flashlight and a small hand mirror, I was able to get myself looking presentable enough to tackle the day.  About 30 minutes before we left to begin the drive, the power came back on, giving us time to recharge our digital equipment, pack it up and be on our way.

The drive to the airport during which we encounter road construction took 90 minutes this time but we arrived in plenty of time for our 11:35 am flight.  From there, everything went smoothly.
Lessons in rough play.
Our driver from Chris Tours, Steve was waiting for us at the curb with a sign with my name and he whisked us off to the Protea Hotel Livingstone with a stop at an ATM for cash, Zambian kwacha, and a quick trip to a pharmacy.  
A mom and a maturing offspring.
Tom felt like a cold or hayfever was coming on and he needed a nasal spray and antihistamine, just in case.  Once we checked into the hotel and got situated in our lovely hotel room, he seems to be doing better.  We have no time for colds and being sick!

Last time we stayed at this same hotel, we had a second-floor room with no elevator in the complex.  This time, upon our request, we're located on the main floor close to everything.  Perfect.
This one-tusk elephant was sitting down in the vegetation.
Tonight, we'll head to our favorite restaurant in Livingstone, Cafe Zambezi, as we're both contemplating the fabulous food we enjoyed last time we were here, a mere three months ago.

Tomorrow, we'll explore the town of Livingstone which we hadn't done much last time we were here.  We were too busy with the tours we'd arranged at the time.  
More elephants on the bank of the Crocodile River in Marloth Park.
Now with only two days and one overnight booked to go to Chobe National Park and stay at the Chobe Safari Lodge, we'll have more free time to check out the historic town, known for its gateway to Victoria Falls.  Last time we visited the falls from both the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides which resulted in a full day.

Thanks to Louise and Danie for stopping by for a "sundowner" last night and the treasured handmade gift of a jar of 90% dark chocolate covered coffee beans.  What a treat when the sweet tooth hits after dinner!  Such good friends!
Truly a large parade of elephants on the river.
Tomorrow, we'll be back with new photos of Zambia we'll be sharing along the way.  Today, we're finishing posting a few Marloth Park photos we'd taken earlier in the week.  Our posts over this next week will be uploading at varying times of the day based on tours we're planning.  But, there will be a new post daily.

May your day be filled with new adventures, big and small, regardless of where you may be.

Photo from one year ago today, August 16, 2017:
We'd been anxious to get photos of unusual frogs in Costa Rica, especially the colorful species.  That will have to wait until we get out soon. We'd yet to see a colorful frog at the villa.  But, this plain frog attached to Henry's left rear bumper satisfied me for now.  Check out those toes!  For more, please click here.