Whew—it’s been a crazy week! I’m trying to get everything I bought put away, get my crazily multiplying dishes under control, and get the house back in some semblance of order. I’m going to need a few days to recover from my vacation!
Thrusday—Leave Sakeji early in the morning and head down to Solwezi. We weren’t able to stay where we had planned to, but we eventually found a place that wasn’t too shady and later enjoyed a nice dinner at the place we had planned to stay at. We visited Road Traffic in an attempt to get our licenses, but only managed to get our provisional.
Friday—We reached Kitwe before noon and ran a few errands including being told at the Kitwe Road traffic that we couldn’t do anything there since we started in Solwezi, reserving 50 chicks for the school, and visiting Shoprite for some lunch. When we came back out we couldn’t find the car at first because some kids had washed it. We went out to Mkushi to visit a friend of my mom’s who works at Chengelo School. We had a lovely visit and enjoyed getting to see a different part of Zambia.
Saturday—We arrive in Lusaka! We make a quick shopping run before heading to the CMML Flight House where we were staying. That evening we went out for KFC—newly opened in Lusaka! It was very nice, but definitely Zambianified. You can order Nshima with your chicken, and pretty much the only thing you can get is chicken, chips (French Fries), mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. I was a little sorry to find that the coleslaw wasn’t at ALL like it is back home, but it was nice to get a little piece of home. Plus, we don’t eat a lot of chicken during the term, so it was a nice change.
Sunday—We went to church at the Lusaka Gospel Hall and arrived half and hour late since we remembered the wrong starting time. Oops! After that we headed to Arcades mall to browse the craft market there. Every Sunday lots of local artisans set up a huge craft market in the parking lot of Arcades. You can find wood carvings, jewelry made of all sorts of things from bottle caps, wood, silver, malachite, and beads, chetengi, cloths, and much, much more. After a few hours of shopping and frying on top of the trucker’s tan from the two days before, we finally headed home. That evening we splurged with an evening at Rhapsody’s, a really nice restaurant at Arcades. It was fun to dress up and enjoy a fancy meal with adult conversation!
Monday—Shopping in earnest begins! When you live 6 hours from the nearest real grocery store, you have to stock up when you have the change! Both Beth and I had a list of staples we needed and a list of ‘wants’ that we were looking for. On this trip because we were buying for two cats and a dog, a lot of the room in the patrol was taken up with pet stuff. Another thing I stocked up on was toilet paper—you can’t get nice stuff (or often anything!) up here, so I figured I’d stock up while I had the chance.
Tuesday—On our way to the amazing fabric store Safiks, we accidentally got stuck in a turning lane and ended up one a detour which took us past the Lusaka Animal Welfare Society which I had wanted to visit but couldn’t remember where it was. So, we went in and found that they had one kitten old enough to be adopted, so I then spent 20 minutes being grilled by the lady in charge. After the fabric store we went back to the malls to do some more shopping, and then we headed back to load our car and sort all our purchases.
Wednesday—We packed up that morning and then headed to Arcades one last time to meet Mr. Solomon to pick something up for his father-in-law who lives up by Ikelenge and a few last minute things. Then we went to the show grounds to pick up some vaccinations for the kitten, and then back to LAWS to get Java. Shortly after leaving Lusaka, we got pulled over at a police checkpoint and fined for not having the new license plates. We were pulled over again at another checkpoint for the same thing, but this time we had the form to wave at them. After arriving in Kitwe just after dark, we tried to go around the block of the Edinburgh Hotel to find the parking lot, and ended up in the meat grinder by the bus depot. Now, when I mean meat grinder, I mean that there were people double and triple parked on both sides of the street, and at least three lanes of people trying to go both directions on the street. There were dozens of pedestrians weaving fearlessly through the traffic snarl, and every time one car moved an inch, another quickly jumped into the space. It was impossible to turn around, and I had 5 or 6 people shouting directions at me at once. The guys on the street finally cleared a little space and I started the nerve wracking process of back up the street in the dark, weaving around all the buses, cars, and people until I reached a part where I could turn around. Whew—I hope I never have to do that again! We finally found the parking lot and wearily checked into the hotel. We smuggled Java into our room in her basket, and spent a nice evening distressing and playing with the kitten. Unfortunately, Java lived up to her name and kept us up for a lot of the night with her piercing meowing.
To be continued...