the Vopni family
the Vopni family

Africa. We never sent this email out. It was saved in our email drafts and never fully edited nor sent. Here it is in its raw form:
Update # 4 (Draft version)
Visiting the oldest rainforest and desert in the world
___Copy the part about flying from an e-mail to eddy , dad, or kev.
We camped in a campsite by the Zambezi River in Botswana. At the site there were signs warning us to be careful when near the rivers edge because a tourist from S Africa was eaten by a croc only a couple of weeks ago.
Staying in a fishing camp in the Okavango Swamp and catching 20 bass-like fish between the two us. We stayed in a permanent tent on stilts with an open-air en-suite bathroom.
Meeting a former ANC "Judge". "######" would hand out death sentences to people believed to be opposing the political parties movement.
Meeting a Namibian family that lives in straw huts. Communicating with sign language, showing them pictures of Vancouver, a different planet to them. Making new friends with out a word understood between us.
African children in rags waving energetically, wearing filth and friendly smiles.
Contrast N American Children in designer clothes conditioned to not wave nor smile to strangers.
The same African children playing with things found in the bushland and as happy as can be. Contrast the same N American children playing with Nintendo but wining for the newest PlayStation.
Staying in a small Namibian town with nothing to offer the "tourist". And simply enjoying getting to know a small African town and the people in it.
Waking up to elephants and Lions roaring in the distance
Having breakfast while watching the buffalo, baboons, Impala, elephants and numerous birds, then for a short walk in the afternoon to view one of the 7 wonders of the world, Victoria Falls.
Cage diving face to face with a massive Great White shark off the S African coast. Warning: you can't do this at home.
Staying in a five star resort tin Zimbabwe. Thatched roof, glass doors that
fully retract to open the entire wall that opens onto / out to the watering hole and savanna plains. It feels as though we are sleeping with the elephants and lions.
Everyone you pass on the street white and black say hello to you.
Sitting here writing this while listening to lions roar off in the distance.
Getting up at 5 or 6 every day with out an alarm clock because you are so excited about what you are going to see and do for the day.
Waking up bright eyed and bushytailed at 4 o'clock, 1 hour before the alarm clock because you dreamt about seeing the animals the entire night and can't wait to go on safari.
Standing on top of a mountain overlooking the rolling hills rising above the thick mist filling the valleys between. The sky slowly brightens then al of a sudden a massive red disk rises above the far horizon silhouette an acacia tree on the near hilltop.
Once again writing these notes on our balcony and being visited by a troop of Verver monkeys close enough to reach but too fast to touch.
Camping near the Zambezi River, cozy around a campfire under the southern stars, chatting with new S African friends, enjoying exquisite S African wine on a full stomach/sufonsified, while listening to the hippos frolicking in the river.
Sitting in a boma around a huge fire pit, tasting African delicacies such as warthog, Kudu, ostrich, buffalo, and grubs, while being entertained by traditional tribal dancers.
Swimming in two oceans at once. At the _________Cape, the southern most tip of Africa where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet....brrr.
Victoria falls one of the 7 wonders of the world is truly awe-inspiring. As we stood on the parallel precipice looking a the face of the 1.7km long, 340' deep falls, we watched marble sized drops of water dance weightless at eye level a few feet in front of us as the powerful updraft created by the falling water drove spray into the air all around us, creating a constant down poor and a resulting tropical jungle sharply contrasted against the dry savanna plains that stretch endlessly in all directions from the edge of the tropical rain forest. (All the while creating constant rainbows.)
$3600 for two plain tickets
$600 for vaccinations
$300 for Visas
Spending 7 1Ž2 months with the person you love....priceless.
The day started with an Elephant Safari...need we say more? While 10' up riding on the back of this magnificent animal we saw various antelope species and warthog. After the Safari we interacted with "Danny" our Elephant, touching him, hugging him, feeding him and even touching the inside of his mouth. Then it was off for a helicopter ride over Victoria Falls....spectacular! And topped off with being invited for dinner to a 5 star private game reserve. The best part was that it was all free.
We have grown very attached to the Elephants. They are amazing beings that tend to touch peoples hearts in a way difficult to explain. They are so intelligent and family oriented that one can not help but grow attached to them and respect must come here and see them in the wild for your self.
That brings us to one final point. We started writing these "updates as a way to let our friends and loved ones at home know what we are up to and also try to convey what we are experiencing on the other side of this very vast yet very small world. Now that our travels are over, in our hearts  this update has a new purpose in our minds, and that is to inspire. We will never be able to fully express how fantastic this trip, this time together has been. But hopefully we can convey it enough. Enough to make everyone we know think about doing something similar! This sort of thing is all too often considered a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. An adventure that all too many  people never embark on or plan to do so later. But will there be a later? Once-in-a-lifetime things should be done, not dreamt about so please do it.
Mikes mom came and joined us for 16 days. It was a last minute decision but we were all so glad she was able to make it as we had the time of our live together. The only bad part about having mom come join us was that we all missed each other so much after having such a bonding experience, that all three of us were in tears for about three days after mom went home.

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