This post was written some weeks ago, but for several reasons, I didn’t post it at the time.
Due to a fortuitous combination of a much-delayed graduation gift (thanks, Dee!) and opportunity knocking, I have a new camera. And not just any new camera, but a really, REALLY nice camera, the sort of camera that I used to sigh over in the back room of the computer labs and promise myself, Someday, I will get a camera like that.
One of the very nice things about really good cameras is that they take much better pictures than reasonably nice cameras.
We’re starting to get into the season for grassfires. Not the big, uncontrolled, terrifying grassfires (mostly not. There was one a few weeks ago that was a bit scary when the wind was blowing our direction; luckily it shifted), not yet, not until things dry out more, and people start burning the land to encourage new growth to feed the cows. But things are dry enough to burn, and there are fires, either accidental, or intentional — just a few days ago I looked out of my window and saw a wall of fire in the direction of the Wooden House.
Of course, I rushed outside to make sure that the Wooden House was not actually on fire, and discovered that they were burning the grass around it, so that they would have a firebreak, “for when the big fire comes.”
One of the things that fascinates me about these fires is that they usually don’t burn the whole way up the grass stems, but just clear out the undergrowth, leaving the stems standing, slightly scorched at the bottom, but mostly untouched at the top. These fires burn HOT, though. It’s a good thing the camera has a good zoom lens, because I often did not want to get any closer.
There was another fire about a month ago, too.
If some of these pictures lead you to doubt my sense, I assure you that no Miriams were harmed in the making of this post. The only lasting effect was a sooty smear of burnt grass on my skirt, which is easily remedied in my next load of laundry.
I fly out of Lusaka International Airport this afternoon, and arrive in Philadelphia tomorrow via Johannesburg and Heathrow. We’ll have a few days of Re-entry Retreat with all of the SALTers from various countries, and then disperse to our homes.
The physical travel is almost finished, but I intend to continue posting on things that catch my eye as I reintegrate into American culture. I’ve also promised several posts over the course of this year that I never got around to writing, and there are a number of other things that I could write about, like food and living in an officially Christian country and the Peace Clubs Fair I went to last weekend, not to mention posting more of the zillions of pictures I’ve taken. So my question to you is: are there things you would like to read? Either about Zambia or about returning to the US?