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Hillary, Chelsea Turn Tourists, See Victoria Falls

This must have been Chelsea Clinton’s philosophy Sunday: What’s a little water between mother and daughter? It’s just that Victoria Falls has a lot more water than a little.

Standing on an open perch looking out at the falls’ awesome expanse, Chelsea, 17, encouraged first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to abandon her umbrella to let photographers get better shots.

“Mom, no!” the teenager scolded as her mother and two aides arranged themselves under an umbrella, futilely trying to ward off the spray.

So Clinton let down the large, multicolored umbrella. Before any photographer could say “cheese,” all were soaked.

For one day, President Clinton’s wife and daughter took time out from a two-week tour of Africa designed to emphasize U.S. interests in the continent and became American tourists.

Rather than go through a battery of official meetings and discussion groups as she did all last week, Clinton traveled to Victoria Falls from Harare and was content to spend the day quietly taking in Zimbabwe’s natural and cultural beauty.

Today the Clintons head to Tanzania and will visit Uganda and Eritrea before returning home at week’s end.

“Isn’t this amazing?” Clinton asked reporters as she and her daughter gazed at the 5,636-foot-wide waterfall known locally as “Mosi-oa-tunya,” which translates into “the smoke that thunders.”

Glenn Tatham, chief warden for Zimbabwe’s national parks, instructed the Clintons to listen to the waterfall with their hands cupped over their ears. “You can hear the energy,” he said, and they agreed.