I had wanted to propose to Christy for over two years. I had even talked to my brother (my best man) about it, but I absolutely had to surprise her and I had to make it spectacular. Christy and I both love adventure and we were aching to embark on a new one. The trouble was money and time. While flipping through a National Geographic magazine, I spotted a photograph of Victoria Falls. It was beautiful and I could immediately picture myself proposing to Christy on one of its cliffs, overlooking the falls. Victoria Falls are over twice as tall and twice as wide as Niagara Falls and they are the African Continent’s contribution to the 7 natural wonders of the world. The problem was that they are in Zimbabwe and when you live in Virginia, it’s not easy to get there.
I steered Christy into pursuing a trip to Africa, but didn’t tell her what I had planned. It took us a long time to get the money. I also had to beg for the time off of work and in the meantime, Christy was getting impatient. She mentioned marriage and I acted like that upset me so as not to tip her off. Then her younger sister called, celebrating her engagement for her second marriage. That didn’t help either. Christy said she felt like life was passing her by, waiting for marriage. Again, I didn’t even give her a clue, although I was dying to tell her that I had already bought a ring and it was in that very room with us!
We made it to Africa where we first went on a safari where we saw lions, rhinos, elephant, giraffe and every wonderful creature you could imagine. It was magical. We stopped for a sunset in Kruger Park, South Africa, where the moment felt right, but I waited. I had my heart set on our next stop at Victoria Falls. Before leaving South Africa, I made a call to Christy’s dad and made sure I had his approval to propose to his daughter.
Once in Victoria Falls, we checked in. We couldn’t afford a big extravagant trip, so we saved money by staying in backpacker’s accommodation that ran us about 5 dollars a night. We actually had a room to ourselves, the "Rhino Room." It was block with open spaces to the outdoors and two, tiny single beds with mosquito nets. There were rhinos painted on the walls and we had a shared shower where we had to stand on a wooden pallet.
The next morning, we headed to the falls. At the risk of being robbed, I had left Christy’s engagement ring at home and instead, brought a ring that I had purchased at Target for "3 for 20 dollars." The falls were amazing, fulfilling every expectation I had. The sound was deafening, the mist soared from the ground and came back down as rain. We had raincoats, but we still got soaked. And as a final touch, the mist created gorgeous rainbows in every direction. They didn’t really have fences to keep people from the edges. Instead, they had a few strategically-placed thorn bushes. I convinced Christy to climb through the bushes and to the edge of the cliff for a "photo." I backed her as close to the 355-foot drop as I felt comfortable with and then put the camera on the tripod. I first took a picture to the left and to the right, before aiming the camera at Christy. I didn’t have a panoramic camera and with 3 pictures, I could go home and blend them on the computer to make a panoramic photo. I then aimed the camera at Christy, put it on "timer" and ran up next to her. She was worried I might fall off the edge. We posed and just before the picture snapped, I asked! I said, "Christina Ann Brokes, will you marry me?" She was shocked! She didn’t know whether to look at me or the camera! Her mouth hung open and it seemed like an eternity before she finally said, "Are you serious?!," and then moved on to the "yes" I had hoped for. We returned to the "Rhino Room," where we shared one single bed that night.
You can find the actual proposal picture at www.tyerone.netfirms.com, as well as a link to a pictures of our wedding and honeymoon.
Proposal Story By:
Fort Lauderdale, FL