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Connecting with Culture

Posted on 10/18/2016 12:01:00 PM in Traveler Insights

These men attempted to sell Betty one of their huge bags of grain, but alas, she couldn’t fit one in the overhead luggage bin. Instead, she gave them their first-ever photo opportunity.

By Betty C., 10-time traveler & 3-time Vacation Ambassador from Lutz, FL

During my O.A.T. trip, Ultimate Africa: Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe Safari, I had a bit of free time in the city of Victoria Falls. I hired a short ride to the local market, the one where local people went for their own daily necessities—not the one where tourists go for souvenirs.

I do love meeting local people going about their daily lives. I did not want to pretend I was not a tourist, so I began walking up and down the aisles in the outdoor market. Mine was the only white face. I greeted and was greeted by women with children in hand and on back, most seemingly amused or puzzled by my interest in them and in their products. I bought a length of cloth from one woman who laughed with me as we attempted to understand each other. I'll never forget that infectious laugh!

Betty met this woman at her home in Zimbabwe.

I saw a trio of young men selling large bags of grain. They tried to sell one of the bags to me, and I explained that I could not take it on the plane. They spoke quietly among themselves. Then one of them came up to me and asked me to take their picture. He explained that he had never had his picture taken. I took a picture of the three of them and showed it to them. They liked it. When I returned home, I printed three copies of the picture and mailed them to my lovely guide Naome, whose home is with her husband and children in Victoria Falls, asking her to try to locate those three men and give them the pictures.

I hope this brief and tiny connection between our lives that day meant as much to the people in the market as it did to me.

Make lasting memories and connections with locals when you join O.A.T.’s Ultimate Africa: Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe Safari, and meet Othusitse, a hard-working man from Botswana, in this film:

Produced by Epiphany Morgan

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