Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lusaka Trip

Whew—am I glad to be home! The trip to Lusaka and back had its moments, but was also very busy as there was so much school and personal business to attend to. Some of the highlights of the trip include:
• Being proposed to twice—once by a kid in Lusaka and once by a street vendor in Kitwe
• Getting to meet the Towse clan at the Flight House—what an amazing family!
• Getting to meet all the other missionaries who came through the Flight House—now the entries in the Missionary Prayer Handbook are more than just a face.
• Getting to shop at the two malls—Manda Hill and Arcades. The two main grocery stores are Shoprite (think a mostly food Wal-Mart) and Spar (think Kroger/Brookshires). I also got to browse two book stores, visit an internet cafe, and found an ironing board and toaster at Game (think Target).
• Visiting Munda Wanga, a small Zoo/Botanical Garden on the outskirts of Lusaka. Though it looks a little shaggy and run down, it was fun to see the animals and to reflect on how you could never get that close to a cheetah in an American zoo!
• Surviving Lusaka traffic and street vendors—it’s a jungle out there! All major intersections and round-a-bouts have 1-5 people dashing in and out of the lines of cars shoving their merchandise at your windows. Most of the vendors are selling talk time for cell phones, but depending on the part of the city you can buy lamps and shades, steering wheel covers, car cell phone chargers, belts, pants, nasty fake fur dashboard covers, pirated movies, umbrellas, sunglasses, produce, car mats and maps. I got a k50,000 talk time card (mostly you can only get k5,000’s up here as that is all most people can afford to buy at one time) and a car charger for my cell phone as those sorts of things don’t normally make it up to this neck of the bush!
• Attempting to get my Zambian drivers license, and after not having time to take the road test in Lusaka, attempting to pass the drivers test in Kitwe. There was a T shaped area marked off with cones, and you had to drive up and to the left and then back out, and then drive up and to the right. One of the driving instructors did it in my truck, but when I did it I managed to knock over a cone and run over another one before I was stopped. I tried to get the Road Traffic people to let me take it again that day, but when it became clear that I wasn’t going to be given than chance, I tried to back out of the test area, had to pull through again to go around the building, and ran over another cone (not on purpose!) on my way out. So, I have 6 months before my paperwork (which cost about $24) expires and I have to start all over again, so I guess there is the possibility of a trip to the Copper Belt in December. Ick. Oh well, at least I have a good story about how I failed!
• Getting to play with the 51 broiler day-old chicks that we bought in Kitwe and brought up with us on Wednesday. When they are really young like that they are so cute! The chicks were in a small box on Mrs. Ronald’s lap in my truck the whole way up from Chingola to Sakeji, and the whole way up they were protesting their treatment and life in general. When I finally got to bed Wednesday night after 10, I could STILL hear chicks in my head. Hard to believe that those cute balls of yellow fluff will be on the table in a little over a month...
• Running into some good friends unexpectedly in Lusaka and getting to catch up a little.
• Enjoying the heavenly curry that Auntie Anita made for me when I visited her one afternoon.
• The gas station food while we were traveling—no Twinkies and dried out hot dogs here in Zambia! You can get amazing somosas and meat pies to munch as you travel.

All in all it was an amazing trip, and while it’s a lot of fun to get to go shopping and find things like Vanilla, nuts and icing sugar, I am very glad to be back home in the bush. Give me sandy roads, cicadas singing, and my little houses any day!


  1. Sounds like an exciting trip. Hope you get to
    practice parking Zambian style a bit before you
    have to go back..That is so backwards from US
    that it has to be ruff. Have a good wk end &
    it will be back to school class room soon ???
    You have my Love &

  2. Ah . . . the Cones of Doom! You're not the first to come to grief on the cones . . . Now you're going to practice backing up, aren't you?

  3. i once had a very long 5 hrs drive with day-old chicks and ducklings in a box in my car so know the pain! i was driving alone, so kept yelling at the to shut up which must have looked rather rediculous to others i passed! one good thing tho', i didn't feel remotely tired on that trip! ;)