13 Sep Eyes on Africa
Dr. Del Negro would like to personally thank all the members of the Women’s Club at Four Seasons, Wall, who came out to support his latest presentation, “Eyes On Africa”. The audience’s sincere interest and participation lead to a host of interesting discussions that opened a truly fascinating dialogue.
Dr. Del Negro began the presentation with a description of the experience he and his family shared as they walked barefoot through the world’s largest natural wonder, Victoria Falls. Coming from a first world country, the culture shock was intense. In the village of Mfuwe, there are no basic living essentials. Even something as simple as running water is considered a luxury. The trade system is still in full effect, as trading cotton for food is commonplace. Much to the surprise of some members of the Women’s Club, males in this community stay at home while their wives do much of the work. In the Village of Mfuwe, a woman’s daily schedule includes cooking, cleaning, digging for water, carrying heavy jugs atop their head through miles of scorching heat, and tending to children. They also learned that children walk for hours to get to school and make do without school supplies with the help of their teachers.
Despite the town’s complete lack of modern amenities, Dr. Del Negro described its people as vibrant, kind, and happy, even throwing together a show for their unannounced visit. Meeting the natives by their communal living accommodations and by the schoolhouse was very poignant for the family as a whole. His wife, Dr. Robyn Del Negro, explained, “The children at the schoolhouse were so taken with technology. They wanted to be in every picture so they could see themselves.”
Throughout the hour, Dr. Del Negro wove an intricate story, painting a picture that gave the audience an insider’s perspective of his family’s once-in-a-lifetime journey through Upper and Lower Zambia. He detailed their exploration of the Zambesi River on boat and canoe, sharing fantastic descriptions of the countless creatures of land and water with whom they came in contact. He shared unique vision facts specific to various animals and how those characteristics assist in their survival. He also recounted his family’s time spent on Livingstone Island – the island where explorer and missionary David Livingstone discovered Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi oa Tunya “The Smoke That Thunders.” All the while, he highlighted the breathtaking natural beauty of the land and the powerful, elegant, indigenous creatures he and his family saw along the way—all of which left an indelible imprint on their lives.
Animal Vision Facts:
- Giraffes have the largest eyes among land mammals. They have a very large field of vision making it ideal to identify predators. Their long eyelashes protect their eyes against insects and sharp branches.
- Zebras have night vision.
- Lion cubs are born blind.
- Lions’ eyes are well-adapted for use under low light conditions which is ideal for hunting at night.
- Crocodiles have a layer called tapetum behind their retina, containing crystals that reflect light and make night vision possible.
- Hippopotamuses have a set of built-in goggles. A clear membrane covers their eyes while under water to protect them from leaves and other debris while they are under water.
- African Vulturine Fish –Eagle has the sharpest vision of any animal. Their eyes are very large in proportion to their heads. They see two more colors than humans do and can spot an animal the size of a rabbit up to two miles away.