Lovers of the Nile, Samual & Florence

Dis die storie van Florence. Laat in die 1800 was daar ‘n oorlog in die Baltiese/Russiese lande en is beide haar ouers in die oorlog dood. Sy beland as klein dogtertjie in Konstantinopel – Istanbul vandag – in ‘n harem van een van die sultans. Sy word akademies opgevoed en opgelei deur ‘n Arabiese enoch sodat sy eendag verkoop kan word as ‘n goed bewaarde en opgeleide bruid vir die hoogste bieder. Toe sy omtent 15 jaar oud was, vind die veiling plaas. Op die veiling is Samuel Baker, ‘n avonturier wat een van die jong prinse op ‘n jagtog neem. Hulle woon die veiling uit nuuskierigheid by. Samuel en Florence kyk vir mekaar en dis liefde met die eerste oogopslag. ‘n Vername Sultan bie die hoogste bod vir Florence. Terwyl sy gereedmaak om te vertrek, reel Samuel met die Enoch- wat haar nie aan die Sultan wou gee nie- om haar te ontvoer. Samuel en Florence vlug deur die nag, eers oor ‘n rivier met n klein bootjie en toe met ‘n perdekoets om te ontsnap van die Sultan wat hulle agtervolg.

Samuel besluit om na die oorsprong van die Nyl te gaan soek deur vanaf Cairo die Nyl te volg. Iets wat niemand kon regkry as gevolg van die klomp watervalle en die Sudd, ‘n marsland van palmiet net voor die Albert meer waarin al die vorige soekers na die Nyl verdwyn het. Florence is saam en vir jare vaar hulle teen die Nyl op. Sy is ‘n goeie jagter en skut, en op ‘n stadium as hulle aangeval word, en Samuel te siek om op te staan, beskerm sy hulle. Hulle maak vriende met die Chiefs langs die Nyl wat hulle gidse gee en so is hulle die eerste Europieers wat die Nyl se uitvloei uit Lake Albert sien en die teorie beaam dat die Nyl uit Lake Victoria na Albert vloei deur die Murchison falls. Hulle word wereld bekend, die Royal National Geographic Society hou praatjies, maar Florence word nie erken nie, sy word beskou as n slaaf en Queen Victoria wil haar nie as dieselfde stand beskou nie. Samuel reel met een van die Queen se seuns, een van die prinse wat van Florence gehou het, dat hulle kan trou in England. Hulle word later Sir en Lady Baker. Florence bly tot sy dood aan Samuel se sy.

This is the story of Florence. Both her parents died during the Balkan War in the Baltic/Russian countries in the late 1800s. She ended up in Constantinople ?today Istanbul ?in a harem of one of the sultans. Here she was raised and educated academically by an Arabian eunuch so that she could one day be auctioned off to the highest bidder as a well-preserved and trained bride.

This auction took place when she was about 15 years old. Attending the auction out of curiosity is Samuel Baker, an adventurer who was taking one of the young princes on a hunting trip. Samuel and Florence took one look at each other and it was love at first sight. An important sultan put in the highest bid for Florence and while she was preparing to leave, Samuel arranged with the eunuch ? who did not want to give her to the sultan ?to kidnap her.

Samuel and Florence fled through the night, at first over a river in a small boat and then with a horse-drawn carriage to escape from the sultan who was following them.

Samuel decided to look for the source of the Nile by following the Nile from Cairo to its source. This is something that no-one had managed to achieve, because of the numerous waterfalls and the Sudd, a marshland of bulrushes close to Lake Albert where many explorers disappeared while looking for the source of the Nile.

Florence accompanied him on the expedition and they undertook the voyage up the Nile. She was a good hunter and shot and when they were attacked at some stage and Samuel is too sick to defend them, she protected them. They befriended the chiefs along the Nile who provided them with guides and so they became the first Europeans to witness where the Nile flows from Lake Albert; therefore proving the theory that the Nile flows from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert through the Murchison Falls.

They became world famous, the Royal National Geographic Society held talks, but Florence received no recognition, she was regarded as a slave and Queen Victoria did not want to regard her as of the same status. Samuel arranged with one of Queen Victorias sons – who liked Florence ? that they may be wed in England.

Later they became Sir Samuel and en Lady Florence Baker. Florence remained at Samuels side until he died.

 


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