Monday, April 25, 2011

Infamy! They've all got it in for me!

I wonder sometimes what the hell I am doing. How is this going? I wake up, chucking-up on some days thinking it is rubbish, and other times read my rubbish and chuckle, it is so good!

Who ever think that writing a book is easy, is as seriously disillusioned as I am. It is not easy having the thing in your head and then put it on a word processor. I persevere, and I am now close to wrapping up the second edit.

Interestingly, yet again, a friend asked me ‘Is it not time to let the past go?’
How silly, I can’t write about the past by letting it go. I have to re-live it, in all its tiny detail. Not because I enjoy ‘living in the past’ but because I am writing a book…Eeish! I don’t have dreams or nightmares ABOUT the past, but dreams and nightmares of how I have written about it.

Next…There has been some interesting press about some best selling memoirs that turned out to be largely fabricated. That, for me, is rather silly, it is like cheating at cards. I never bothered for the simple reason I didn’t have the desire to be beaten to death when I am caught. But, I am integrating a load of characters’ own interpretations of events. It makes the whole thing very real. Actually, some of it is downright scary…


What you think of this bit to put on the back of the book. It is just an idea… all true by the way. You have to buy the book.

At the height of the Rhodesia Bush War, and as the titanic struggle enters it most dangerous phase, only one man can save the country from destruction. Returning from self-imposed exile, a man would emerge, that in all retrospect – should have been shot as soon as he landed at Salisbury airport.

Juvenile arsonist, hustler, drunkard, gambler and thief, this was the man.  Liar, womaniser and bone idle, he would enter the ranks of the world's finest police force, the British South Africa Police; with only one aim – fame, glory and material gain by doing as little as possible. Verging on the medically disturbed, riddled with angst, suffering from undiagnosed ADHD and dyslexia, and with a mouth shooting garbage faster than a speeding bullet, our hero staggers clueless through every unsolved crime.

Stumbling through ever increasing insane self-instigated disasters, our deranged Rhodesia has Talent contestant with the XXX Factor, manages to cling on to his worthless hide as bullets spin past him.

That will do for a start…hah-hah. More soon.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

LM Radio is back!

LM Radio is back!

Wow, as I write and write and go over everything, in the background is LM radio, via the internet…

I didn’t have the privilege of listening too much of this famous radio station at the time. My home was rather music free. But now it is back, and absolutely fantastic. I lifted this from the Bush Telegraph -

Proper mellows

At last, some really good news.

On Saturday night, I was at a small house party with my neighbour at the farm, John Edmond of Troopie-song fame.

His eldest son, Grant, was there and told me about a radio project he's involved with in Maputo. None other than the wholesale resurrection of LM Radio, the name now standing forLifetime Music. The station has been licensed by the Moz government as that country's only English-language service.

The studio is in the Cordoza Hotel and they reach across southern Mozambique and about 20km into SA (past Komatipoort) plus Swaziland and Chiredzi.

Content = 50s to 80s music on FM.

The old LM lasted almost 40 years, from 1936 until it was shut down by Machel in 1975 (gave them 10 days to get out).

LM was Africa's first private commercial radio station, though many people wrongly believed it was owned by the Portuguese government;. The company had been bought by SABC in 1972, and after the closure in Maputo they converted it to Radio 5, broadcast from Auckland Park.

Now, here's the fun bit: SABC still had all the LM Radio jingles. Grant and his colleagues have acquired these and use the very same recordings as station promos and IDs. Not sound-alike copies, but the actual tapes from the 60s and 70s.

And, two of the original LM DJs, Reg de Beer and Peter de Nobrega are back, along with Tinky Pringle from RBC.

Peter de Nobrega closed down the station with the final shift near midnight on 12 October 1975 when he played The Last Farewell by Roger Whittaker and said, "Maybe someday, somewhere, we'll meet again." Sure enough, they used Peter make the opening announcement of the new service.

In all its history, LM Radio never had a news broadcast (the generals in Lisbon would not allow that) and Frelimo has put the same constraint.

I remember lying awake with my radio on that Sunday in 1975 when LM closed down at midnight. Never thought I'd hear it back in play.

You can hear streaming live here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What is a Rhodesian?

Gooks and Gob in Gokwe and Gwelo: the latest.

I have good news, and I have bad news. First - the good news. I am having some happy chatting with a publisher. More about this as I progress. Secondly, my latest OU course starts in a few days time and it is all about design and the web – perfect for my plans. This makes my work load rather a lot as I edit away.

Now the bad news…

I have decided you will not get any teaser chapters. BUT, saying that, I have put one up. This one is at present tagged at about page 80, and Chapter 16. It is not the finished product. I am also not sure if it will stay in its present location. It has nothing to do with the actual progression of the story itself, hence I can put this up as a ‘stand alone’.

What I do know, is that this chapter should be quite controversial.  So, please, I would love loads of comments. OKAY…here we go…

What is a Rhodie and are they for real?  

This is a difficult question. Firstly, where did the name Rhodesia come from? Obviously from Cecil John Rhodes, but it was his controversial sidekick, Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, who publically announced the proposal to use the name in 1894. The official adoption was taken by Joseph Chamberlain, Secretary of State for the Colonies, in an 1897 proclamation. The term covered both areas what would be called North Rhodesia (later Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia. This ‘new’ land would be for the only time in history; named after an Englishman.
With UDI declared in 1965 (something the Americans invented, meaning Unilateral Declaration of Independence. In clear words – Britain can bugger-off, we are doing our own thing), the pure term Rhodesia, as a land, was when it declared itself as a Republic in 1970. So its occupants were called Rhodesians.
P.M. Ian Smith, in addresses to the nation, would often refer to Black and White Rhodesians, but that isn’t strictly true. In fact, the Rhodesians were divided into tribes. In the almost fourteen years that I spent in Rhodesia, I never heard a Black person refer to themselves as Rhodesians. They were mostly Shona or Ndebele. Coloureds (mixed race) were called Coloureds politely and Goffels impolitely. The Chinese (chinkies) and Indians (churras) were called by their ethnicity also; despite that many had been born or been around Rhodesia for generations.
Then there is the use of the words munt, kaffir and hout (pronounced Hote), in the vocabulary of White Rhodesians. Munt, according to a March 16th 1959, article in Time magazine, entitled: Southern Rhodesia: The Munt Lover. - is - a Bantu word for man, used by Rhodesians as a rough equivalent of the U.S.'s "nigger". Stupidly, the article, by using the word ‘Rhodesians’, it implied that only ‘Whites’ were Rhodesians – so what was a ‘Black’ person called?
            The next word, kaffir, is so often bullshitted around on the internet in some vain attempt to ease any niggling of niggerism, that it gets boring. Wikipedia explains
The original meaning of the word is 'heathen', 'unbeliever' or 'infidel', from the Arabic 'kafir' and is still being used with this meaning by Muslims. The Arabic term Kafir (arab كافر) is, however, also applied to simply anyone who is not a Muslim. Portuguese explorers used the term generally to describe tribes they encountered in southern Africa, probably having misunderstood its etymology from Muslim traders along the coast. European colonists subsequently continued its use. Although it was in wide use between the 16th and 19th centuries, and not generally seen as an offensive term, as racial tensions increased in 20th century South Africa and the surrounding countries, it became a term of abuse. 
 So there you have it, but the definition also states –
The word kaffir, sometimes spelled kaffer or kafir, is an offensive term for a black person, most common in South Africa and other African countries. Generally considered a racial or ethnic slur in modern usage, it was previously a neutral term for black southern African people.
Strangely, even in apartheid South Africa,
Use of the word has been actionable in South African courts since at least 1976 under the offense of crimen injuria: "the unlawful, intentional and serious violation of the dignity of another".
The word Hout is more difficult to pin down, but I did find this -
"Hout" was a derogatory term for black people. Because many Africans were uneducated they were ignorant of the Europeans (whites) ways and modern technology. Hout meant "wooden headed" in the South African Afrikaans coming from "hout" meaning log or piece of wood. (Exact source needed)

These words are intensely derogative, but it is extremely puzzling how they were used by White Rhodesians. I found that the least cerebrally talented (male and female) used them racially. You find this sort of behaviour in every Western country. A few middle-class mates would have picked up the usage from their parents. They would let slip this description for the simple reason it never occurred to them to use any other form of terminology; although ‘African’ would be about as close as they could get. I know that the racial terms would be strictly censored by teachers and it was certainly so in my family. My father referred to them affectionately as Schwarzers, from the Yiddish, meaning Blacks. The BSAP simply called us African or European.
In modern day Britain, they have there own system in the constabulary. For example – W1 (White-British), W2 (Irish), B1 (Black-African), B2 (Black-Caribbean), A1 (Indian), A2 (Pakistani), and so on to sub-identities ad-infinitum.

The Rhodesian Whites had their own sub-tribes and cultures. The largest clan were of British heritage. The next, in population terms, were the Afrikaners of South African descent - the ones that got lost on The Great Trek. Then we had Portuguese (their numbers were boosted in 1974 by many fleeing to Rhodesia from Mozambique after it went ‘Black’), Greeks, Irish and the Jews. These people could send their children to government schools - even the Jews! The others had either ‘Black and/or mixed bag’ government schools or went private; of which there were many.
But even these so called Rhodie Whites would be called Pommies, Slopes and Rock Spiders, Porks, Greasies, Paddys or Micks, and Jew-boys. Jehovah Witness and other religious ‘freaks’ were called ‘Happy Clappers’. The terminology was used between friends and foes alike then and even now.
For example – When I was at school in Widdecombe Primary in Park Meadowlands, I was referred to as a Pommie by the little nasty Rhodie children from white-trash piss-poor backgrounds that were frequent in the ‘poor’ suburbs of Salisbury. But, by the time I was ten, and attending ‘posh’ Blakistan Junior, my multi-dialectical ability had transformed me into a speakable Rhodie; however, the surname was a problem - Greenberg = Jew-Boy. Still, with my skimpy pocket money I was definitely the stereotype. The tag didn’t bother me much; just the lack of some decent coin.
When I attended Mount Pleasant High School, my problem wasn’t the ignorant gentiles calling me a goy - it was the fact that the smart arse Jew-boys called me a gentile! It turns out that being unable to speak any Hebrew, neither had I had a Bar mitzvah, or even worse – gasp - my mother was not Jewish and the ultimate sin – I loved Colcom pork sausages and bacon (crispy please), meant I was a piggy in the middle. I solved that problem by changing my religion to Anglican. The wasted hour once a week at this class was great fun. Far better than listening to some old man with a top hat and beard going on about shabat, shebam, sherbert and mazeltovs.
This new identity meant I no longer had to go outside with the other Jews during school assembly when Christian hymns were sung, but could stand by my mates and sing off-key corrupted versions of Onward Christian Soldiers. Any really dumb-ass Jewish observations were actually just jealousy. They all tended to have rather well-off parents who could, for example, make their son become Headboy by buying the school a new tuck-shop. But, in a classic observation of the strange way the Rhodesians thought, Israelis were considered as almost God-like; as they kicked the Gippos about in their little wars. The similarity of circumstances seemed obvious to Rhodesians; hence the fact that the Israelis, though Jewish; were hard-core like Rhodies.

But ‘Rhodesian identity’ is still not solved. My father, a Jew, was born in Manchester and had parents that came from Poland. He was British, but took out Rhodesian citizenship in 1970. I believe he had a hidden agenda behind that move, but officially he was a Rhodesian - but not a Rhodie, because, according to Wikipedia
The term was first used by British army and civil service personnel in Rhodesia (the pre-independence name for Zimbabwe) during the period immediately before the country's independence.
It was? Well, well, I never knew that. In fact, the harder I think, the more it could be true. It isn’t like I would be walking around Salisbury and hear an old friend call out,
            ‘Hey Rhodie china, howzit, lets go for a chibuli.’
No, it would be more like
            ‘Hey, you old Jew-boy, fancy buying me a beer or are your arms still so short they can’t reach the bottom of your long pockets?’
             Wikipedia then goes on and identifies us as having –
a belief in the superiority of whites over blacks
a tendency to indulge in alcohol
an inclination towards occasional violence

Really? That definitely makes me a suspect Rhodie, for as far as I can tell, I only fill the middle criteria. In fact, the above description covers just about any yob Caucasian society on the planet. It gets better –
The term Rhodie is used throughout the English speaking world. It tends to be used in Commonwealth countries as the equivalent of the American term "redneck". It is occasionally applied to a person with no Zimbabwean connections, carrying connotations of a conservative world view and boorish behaviour.
Amazing, I thought they were describing ex American President George Bush Jnr. I am sure that there are many Rhodies who might think if George had been in power instead of weak, wimp, peanut grower Carter, they could still be an ethnic minority military elite ruling an African land - just like they do in Rwanda. (Nah, no chance china, your skin is the wrong colour. You need to come from China and bribe your way to the top of the shark feeding frenzy.)
More confusion –

After independence, the term began to be applied increasingly to those Rhodesians who were nostalgic for the past.
‘Nostalgic for the past.’ (When-wees.) Yes; like I really miss people fighting and dying. I really miss being scared to death of my father and later of Gooks. Perhaps that entry refers to White Rhodesians who remember life before Macmillan’s Wind of Change speech (and there are not many left of them now). After that, it all went tits-up and held aloft by spin. What post 1960’s Rhodesians are nostalgic about is very diverse; but basically it was orderedness. There seemed to be no chaos; the counter culture-revolution simply didn’t seep into the Victorian time bubble that was Rhodesia. By the early 1970’s if you were caught in tie-dye flowing caftans with long hair and a flower in your hair; you had a good chance of being called a morph/moffie  trouble maker and kicked out the country - if the R.L.I. (Rhodesian Light Infantry), didn’t catch you first.
Whilst the war, would for the urban Whites, who made up 90% of this ethnic population, become a complication to life; they swiftly adapted. What they miss is fabulous weather, wide open spaces, and someone who ironed and made the beds etc. High Street shopping meant going to your suburban shopping centre and bumping into neighbours. Sanctions were a pain but if you had enough bucks, you could get almost anything.
Does that make Rhodesian nostalgia unique? Oh please…I lived in Germany for two decades and watched the wall come down. Check out how many sites are on the internet for those East Germans that are nostalgic for their own previous way of life and orderedness.
More confusion gathers –
Expatriate Rhodesians outside Zimbabwe often describe each other affectionately as Rhodies. These people do not generally exhibit the characteristics indicated above.
This is wonderful news. It sounds like some of us are redeemed from being classified as imbecilic followers of a lost cause. Actually, for every 93 ‘boorish’ Rhodie, there are a few bright sparks. Quite a lot actually - all 7 of them. In INTELLIGENCE: THE MENSA JOURNAL No. 97, MARCH 1967, guesses who comes top of the brains chart? I quote –

White Rhodesians are an elite element within the English-speaking world in terms of psychometric intelligence. This finding is reinforced by visual impressions. Salisbury whites appear larger, healthier, more vigorous, alert and bright than London whites. Beatniks, transvestites and obvious homosexuals are conspicuously absent.
Brilliant! But it gets better –
The Terman-Merrill tests revealed that about 7 per cent of the white children in the government schools of the Salisbury district had IQs of 130 or better. This compares with about 2.5 per cent in that range in the U.K. and the U.S. and about 3 per cent in New Zealand. Group testing of pupils in privately operated schools indicated that their inclusion would not have lowered the percentage of gifted children.
Nice. Unfortunately, whilst these amazing statistics prove that in some influential way, Rhodesia would produce per-capita of the White population more famous writers than any other land; it is hardly likely that the likes of Phillip Pullman, Doris Lessing, Peter Godwin, Wilbur Smith, Alexander McCall Smith, Alexander Fuller et-al; would call themselves in anyway a ‘Rhodie’, real or otherwise…

The internet opened a whole new can of worms. Because as far as I can work out – it was the dialect with its own slang that makes you this so called ‘Rhodie’, and a real Rhodie had these qualifications and was also born there, even if he was a suspected morph, such as the well known T.V. personality, Geoffrey Atkins. It also helped if you fought in the armed forces.

It is only when you leave the country, when you suddenly need a national identity, and of course here lies the crux of the problem today. How can you identify with a place that, in all respects, besides the weather, no longer exists? Politically it gets really crazy. My British passport, issued by the British Embassy in Pretoria, 1977 (as a pariah State, we only had a South African embassy in Rhodesia), has my residence ‘Rhodesia’, that was at the time technically impossible! The Republic wasn’t recognised.
Multiculturalism is relatively new to our vocabulary. The 1970 Canadian Report of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, designed to explore French/English biculturalism, turned up a fascinating fact. Other immigrants had been starting to call themselves ‘‘hyphenated’ Canadians: Icelandic-Canadians, Polish-Canadians, Lithuanian-Canadians – and so on.’ (Paul, 2009, p 86). When Jesse Jackson used ‘African-American’ as terminology for people previously referred to as ‘black’ or ‘Negro’, the hyphenated ‘buzzword’ of the late 1980s to mid 90s became ‘so much part of the ordinary cultural scenery that it is taken as just being there.’ (Fraustino, 2004, cited in Paul, 2009, p. 85). Strangely, the hyphen seems to apply only to foreign immigrants – the indigenous populations of Canada call themselves Native Canadians and in the United States the grossly inapt term, ‘Red Indians’, has been replaced by Native Americans.
But only the Yanks could get it wrong with Afro-American, it’s the other way around! Or is it? In theory, the only ‘real’ Afro-American of note these days is Barack Obama.  So, is this the answer to the riddle? Does that make me a English-Rhodesian-German, whilst my Rhodie friends born there, but have been living in England for decades, are Rhodesian-English and so on for all those in Diaspora. Hence - Rhodie-Aussies, Rhodie-Canucks, Rhodie-Kiwis and Rhodie-Yanks? You don’t forget your roots, but as they don’t exist anymore, do you adapt to the hyphenated compromise? But what about the Rhodesians who stayed? Are they now Rhodesian-Zimbabweans? According to Mugabe and ZANU (PF), they are not Zimbabweans because they are Whites!

‘I don't belong anywhere…’
Jean Rhys (1890-1979) Dominican-Welsh-French-English- Creole of Scottish ancestry, author of Wide Sargasso Sea

Jean Rhys was an example of the phenomenon of losing her identity. She died a drunken wreck (must remember to warn myself about this).
"I would never be part of anything. I would never really belong anywhere, and I knew it, and all my life would be the same, trying to belong, and failing. Always something would go wrong. I am a stranger and I always will be, and after all I didn’t really care."
— Jean Rhys (Smile Please: An Unfinished Autobiography)
And yet, I know many ‘Rhodies’ who are quite happy in their adopted new homes. They support football teams such as those wasters Chelsea, and call themselves English or British for example, but, till the day they die - the dialect will give them away…
‘Where are you from?’

Conclusion – Are White Rhodesians damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If we do not have Black friends, are we racialist, and if we have, are we  Kaffir-boeties?


Fraustino, L. R. (2004), cited in Paul, L. (2009) ‘Multicultural Agendas’ in Maybin, J. And Watson, N. J. (eds) Children’s Literature: Approaches and Territories. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, p. 85.

Paul, L. (2009) ‘Multicultural Agendas’ in Maybin, J. And Watson, N. J. (eds) Children’s Literature: Approaches and Territories. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, p. 86.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Last of the Rhodesians: Chronicles of an African Anarchist: Update

I was very ill with my ‘nerves’ the other day. I couldn’t fathom what was wrong with me outside of my usual mental instability. It took a friend from the Open University to spot my ailment. I was suffering a massive adrenalin withdrawal.

Now this is interesting because, as I point out in my book, I am allergic to the stuff. This sounds like a Dr Doolittle Push-me-Pull-you. Basically, she spotted that I had reached… ‘The End’

Yeah, it is done. All 61 chapters, as it stands. The End. But it is not the end. Because I know I have to go over it all again. And that was what I was frightened of. All of a sudden, I was petrified to have actually believed it was good.

Well, I have started going over it again. Not for the second time. Bits of it are several rewrites, but it is the second ‘real’ edit as much as my ability. After this, I need an outside expert to do the editing and proofreading. I no longer ‘see’ any mistakes.

Is it good? Yes it is.

Funny, but the other day, I was looking at different book sizes and counting the lines and letters on a page to get the idea of creating a book about 300 pages long. It was a John Grisham book. I studied the layout: size of fonts, space between lines etc. You will be amazed how you can trick a story size just by the way it is printed. I then quickly scanned two paragraphs of pose. It was simple prose. So I have no worries there. My prose could be read by a simpleton.

I have loads of plans. As soon as the final edit is done, whilst I wait for it to come back from the cleaners, I will start on a dedicated website. There will be loads of pictures, more anecdotes from me and (hopefully)others that were in the BSAP  Meanwhile, please click a ‘LIKE’ on a Facebook page called…

There isn’t much up there at the moment. Give me time, this is all very stressful!

 Many thanks, and I will keep you all posted on the progress.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Steve Pope – Chipembere Safaris

I received sad news recently. Steve Pope, a well known Safari guide based in Kariba, is very poorly in a hospital with cancer, and is not expected to live.
It is really strange that whilst I have had no contact for many years, I found him on Facebook three weeks ago and sent a message.

His daughter, Chessa, stumbled across my Mana Pools videos on YouTube. She is in some of them, along with her father. She was naturally gob-smacked. I was then contacted by her mother who told me the news and that Chessa is trying to get some pictures of her dad to put up on Facebook. 

Steve himself was a prolific photographer of wildlife but it can be presumed that he didn’t take many pictures of himself. I know there are many people out there who went with Steve on safari and have pictures. One such bunch were the Quantas aircrew during the late ‘80s early ‘90s. My ex and I met many of them whilst on safari with Steve. They told us that, it was at the time, the most coveted long haul job in Quantas. You worked the flight in and then had a week off. They would chip in together, rent a car and dash down to Steve and go on safari. Nights were spent around the campfire listening to his stories and getting well pissed.

So popular was the man, that they arranged a flight for him, and took him around parks in Australia. I recall seeing at his home (we spent many private nights there as we became good friends), of him in his Zimbabwe bush outfit, squatting next to a kangaroo.

I also took quite a few pictures but they were all slides. A couple of years ago I digitalised them, hence the quality is not that good.

Here is a story from one of those wonderful trips.


I am not sure what year, but the ex and I are camping with Steve at the main camp in Mana, right next to the Zambezi. So, one night, we listen to some right roaring, screeching and bellowing; enough to wake the dead stoned likes of even me. Whatever was going on outside in the bush surrounding the camp (unfenced), was serious shit man; so I pushed the ex to the front of the tent to make sure she gets eaten first.

Next day we ascertain that there is a wounded buffalo, up to its knees in the Zambezi, looking rather sorry for itself. It had been in a serious fight with a pride of lions and managed to get into the river. The fully grown male was in a bad way. (Sadly no photo found.) Steve explained that the lions are hanging around (run for your lives), and will be back in the night when they reckon the buff will be so weak they can take it.

Some smart alec guide, from another safari camp, asked if any of us would like a little stroll through the bush to find afore mentioned giant pussy cats. Steve was busy at that time. Quite a few lion bait volunteered to check out the scene. I didn’t like this idea, but fortified with half a dozen Castle beers and a couple of spliffs, I meekly tagged along 'up the rear'. 'Up the rear' is the Rhodesian terminology of the last member of a stick on counter-insurgency patrol. It is the opposite of ‘point’.

So, ‘point’, in this case, was also armed with an F.N. Thank fuck for that because the twat guided us on top of the bloody lions skulking in the grass. As one of the bastards stood up and gave us a right stare (all this from twenty paces away), super clever guide says, whilst cocking the rifle –
            ‘Everyone walk slowly backwards and do not look into the lions eyes.’

He might have gabbled some more survival bullshit, but as I was at the back and legged it asap, I was already in camp on my second beer when the other panty-shitters staggered shell-shocked in.

That night, after an excellent braai of steak, boerwors and piri-piri chicken with sadza and baked potatoes with onion and tomato relish, we all went on the piss again.
Around about, no idea - Fuck Me! - if the whole night doesn’t once again go nuts!
I was well oiled and stoned. Steve wanders off (ha-ha, how mad is that), and comes back all excited.
            ‘Come quickly. The lions have dragged the buff out and eating it –alive!’
All this was happening less than fifty paces away. I wasn’t that hot on the idea, but with my ex eyeing a life insurance payout, I was bullied to go up to where the soft, sandy banks of the Zambezi were quite steep. The lions had a flat area from where occasional flood water poured in.

I was totally wasted. Steve and the other rangers had driven up their 4x4s and plugged in spotlights. I could hardly focus, but got these shots.

The next morning Steve took us in his canoes and I got this shot from the river.