Bush Dinner….

We are finally nearing the end of our Mozambique trip posts, but I couldn’t stop without talking about our bush dinner!!

On our last Thursday in camp, most of the visitors were getting ready to leave in the next two days, including us on Saturday.

As we headed out for the afternoon, we asked Dylan where were going and he said that it was a surprise!!

We traveled into an area that we hadn’t visited previously and enjoyed the views as we drove around.

As we drove, I kept seeing glimpses of other trucks carrying other guests. This seemed strange to me because in all of our days in camp, we seldom ever saw any other groups when were out. The staff actually worked hard to keep us all separated!!!

Then Dylan turned one corner and we were met with a sweet, sweet sight. The camp workers had built a huge fire pit surrounded by comfortable chairs…..

….. and tables and tables of food and drink!!!

As we sat around talking and reminiscing about the past 10 days, the sun slowly started to sink in the West….

…turning a deeper shade of red as it went…..

Finally providing the perfect backdrop for some safari photos…..

This one is of Mary Cabela posing with many of the amazing folks who made our trip so special……

As the night became darker, we enjoyed watching the fire….

…and reveling in the people around us.

We started talking about how to use our phones to take great night-sky photos so many traipsed out into the bush behind the fire to try our skills…..

I wish that I could remember now exactly how I did this!!!

And of course, there were the various nature calls that took us into the dark forest areas behind the firepit.

The funny thing about this is that we all joked about the fact that there were lions roaming around and we laughed that they were out there watching us.

Well, as several of the groups were leaving, they ran across three male lions in the area….VERY close to where we had been. And, the next morning, when they went back to clean the area, there were lion tracks EVERYWHERE!!!

Apparently, the lions thought that we were a little too silly and, fortunately, they prefered their prey to be a bit more serious.

It was a sweet remembrance of an amazing trip…..

Preparing the rice…

When I wrote about Lunch at Zak’s house, I forgot to show you how the rice is prepared for cooking, so here goes…..

This is how the rice looks when it comes in from the field……

It is allowed to dry and then is processed so that it can be cooked and eaten.

In my world, this is all done for me and I buy my bag of Mahatma rice and pour it into the pot. Things are not as easy in Mozambique!!!.

The unhulled rice is put into a large mortar and pestle and then the work begins…

If the rice needs to be ground into flour, it is done using two rocks…..

…which produces a fine powder…..

I was interested to look at the tools that they use for this process. Both the mortar and the pestle have carvings on them…..

I guess this is a way to bring a little bit of creativity to their lives, much the same as my female ancestors using quilts to bring some color to theirs!!!

It was yet another eye-opening look into the lives of the villagers of the Marromeu Complex!!!

Beautiful Flora in Marromeu Complex

Yesterday we talked about the trees of Marromeu…..today let’s move to other types of flora!

Dylan kept reminding me that it was mid-winter there and that flowers were few and far between, but we still managed to see some gorgeous specimens!!

The most interesting was this flower that is fairly rare and Dylan said we were lucky to see one in bloom.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the plant, but the up-close photos were something to remember…..

This delicate plant was found in one of the pans that we walked thru…..

Remember that the pans are depressions in the earth that are filled with grass and often contain water during the wet seasons…..

This flower reminds me of some that are growing in my yard right now….

And, no matter where I am, I will take photos of Water Lillies……

This pond was in the middle of one of the pans and I would have loved to get closer but that would have meant a lot of wading.

On our last day, Dylan wanted to show us one of the interesting vines in the area. This vine holds water and the larger animals (particularly the elephants) will scout it out for hydration.

Dylan kept his eyes in the forest beside the road as he drove and quickly found what he was looking for. He ued the machette to cut a 3-foot chunk out of the woody vine and then demonstrated how much water it would hold…..

After we stopped oohing and aahing, he handed us the branch and told us to drink it……

The water was sweet and cool and tasted great. For some reason, I couldn’t seem to remember to swallow as I drank so ended up wearing most of it…..

The Trees of Marromeu Complex

As I have mentioned before, our guide Dylan was a walking encyclopedia of all things Mozambique!!! He would happily stop for trees, flowers and everything in between!!

On our first day out, he pointed to the damage to one of the trees ……

He told us that this was done by Porcupines and that some substance in the tree gets into the porcupine’s bloodstream and protects it from ticks and fleas. Isn’t that amazing!!!

I don’t remember the name of this particular tree variety but the look of the tree is astounding….

When we were in the swamp areas, we were surrounded by white-barked Fever Trees……

These trees got their name from the explorers who came thru the area. They would sleep under the trees at night and when many of them caught a fever, they thought that it was the tree that was causing the disease. In reality, it was probably a form of Malaria and was being caused by the mosquitos that lived in the trees.

We passed many of these multi-trunked trees……

….and learned that they were a type of Torchwood. These trees got their name because the leaves have a cotton-type fiber at one end and it can be lit and will burn like a lamp or torch.

Dylan ground to a stop so that I could photograph a dead African Blackwood Tree.

From a distance, it doesn’t look like much. After a quick close-up look at the tree, I called for Michael to join me and we spent at least 10 minutes examining the bark and admiring this gorgeous tree.

The wood from these trees is often used to make the black keys on pianos.

We passed numerous Palm trees with soft leaves….

The leaves are used to make shower mats and other household objects. And, as a matter of fact, they were used to make “hats” for the outdoor lights in Mungari camp…..

As we were walking around the tree, Dylan warned us to avoid the HUGE thorns that are the base of each leaf…..


At this stage, he started talking about the termite mounds that we have seen everywhere……

He said that they are often associated with one of the palm trees and you can see the tree peeking out from behind this mound!! These termites are NOT wood eaters. They take plant material into the nest and grow a fungus on the plant matter. Then, they eat the fungus!! So they are harvesters and are not destructive to the areas and won’t even harm the trees that they grow around!!

The mounds are intricate structures and much like an iceberg, only 1/3 of the mound is visible with the other 2/3rds below ground.

The mounds are also temperature controlled!! The framework contains pores that can be opened or closed depending on where the sun is or where the prevailing wind is coming from. The temperature change can be as great as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, the mounds have a symbiotic relationship with the trees…..the trees feed off of the nitrogen that the mound produces!!

But, my favorite tree memory is from the Pod Mahogany tree. When we were stopped one afternoon, he reached down and picked up a black, kidney-shaped object. He then took a hatchet and started chopping it to get it open. Enjoy the video……

As you can tell from Michael’s and my exclamations, we were VERY surprised to see the seeds inside the pod, and even more surprised when we learned that they contain traces of Cyanide!!

Aren’t they the most AMAZING color?

Dylan told us that the Silvery Cheeked Hornbill eats these seeds but, since they don’t have a hatchet handy, I can’t imagine how they actually break into them.

Come back tomorrow for a look at some of the flowers and foliage!!

It’s Ted-X Day!!

Today is the day that Michael and I have been waiting for!! Michael’s virtual Ted-X talk goes live at 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time!!

We filmed this on our first trip to Mozambique……

….and had a fun time figuring out exactly how to film it, including using a teleprompter and 2 camera angles…..

This talk is called “Hungry Stomachs Have No Ears” and is about the rebuilding of the ecosystem in the Marromeu Complex of Mozambique and includes photos and videos from our first trip

If you would like to view the talk, please visit the website listed below (between 9 am and 6 pm today (Sunday, the 26th) and search for his talk……


I guarantee that it will be worth your time!!!