exploratorium eclipse dispatches
June 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
click for live webcast June 21 2001  
 
Lower Zambezi National Park
final views of Lower Zambezi National Park

Zambezi River Travel

Others of us linger in camp, watching the river slide by and talking over what happened during the eclipse-- the strange pale light, or our mad rush to get the script ready, or the questions from the local Zambians. One of the local villagers, a carpenter, spoke up at the end of our show to say how impressed he was by the science behind the eclipse. "I always thought that these teachers, these scientists, were lying to us, telling us stories that were not true-- but now I see that the eclipse is just as they have said, even at the exact time!"

Lioness

Our last day has arrived. We wake in our beds, realizing with amazement that we've done it-- the eclipse has come and gone, our broadcast went off without a hitch, and for the first time in months, we have no urgent tasks to drive us.


Instead, we get to savor the final hours of our time in Zambia. Some of us go on game drives, piling into the camp's open landrovers to wander through the bush, watching elephants pull leaves from the trees, or a sleek lioness as she glides through yellow grass towards the carcass of a hippo--- she drives off a loitering hyena with a snarl, then turns to us as if to say "There's plenty more where that came from, if you want to tangle with me!" Later, when night falls, a leopard saunters out of the darkness, on her way to drink from a nearby watering hole.

Game Drive




As the sun sets, we all realize that we're exhausted. We've been running a feverish pace, trying desperately to get everything in place for this event. So we sink into a contented lethargy, listening to the hippos grunting and spouting out on the river. Their calls sound almost like wise old men chortling with laughter--"Hoh, hoh, hoh!" When we first arrived, their noises kept us awake-- now we don't know how we'll get to sleep without them.

 

Eclipse 2001: DISPATCHES | GLIMPSE OF ZAMBIA | GEOGRAPHY | WILDLIFE | STEREO MISSION | INT'L SPACE STATION

Back to Solar Eclipse: Stories from the Path of Totality

©2001 - Exploratorium