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  • Kimberley Pittman-Schulz

Happy Earth Hour 2011

“On Saturday 27 March, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.”

– From, and intiative of the World Wildlife Fund

Flooded Zambezi River Upstream from Livingstone, Zambia (photo: kps)


e are strangers arranged in a circle, a central fire licking shadows into our faces. As we sit speaking, it is as if peering into caves to catch each other’s eyes, to seal the meaning of sentences. There are at least 13 different cultures here woven into this moment, thousands more beyond the edges of these flames. We talk in nods, animated faces, the dance of hands kicking in and out of darkness, all the subtle gestures that tell so much more than words.

It is Saturday, March 27, 2010, and I have only recently turned 50. We are at the edge of the rising Zambezi River, upstream from Livingstone, Zambia, above the gushing flow of Victoria Falls. Being here is my way of celebrating a half-century on the planet. Vervet monkeys are tucked, sleeping, into the lush canopies of ebony trees above us. Hippos grunt and splash off shore while an occasional copper flash below the riverbank reminds us that we’re watched by crocodiles. Golden silk orb-weaver spiders, some splayed long as my hand on the lashes of legs, are knitting their massive, communal, sticky webs all along the elevated wooden pathway back to our thatched treehouse.

We are entering Earth Hour, when all lights and all things electric will be turned off in recognition of global climate change for one hour. . . .

Vervet Monkey at Lodge Along the Zambezi River (photo: Terry Schulz)

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