A View From The Backseat

by Betty Trummel

On our way back to Lusaka last Thursday, I decided to take notes on the
colors, sights, and sounds of the journey.  Here’s what I observed
transitioning from rural to urban Zambian life.

•       A pink-orange glow greeting us as we left the Village of Hope at 6:00 am
•       The smell of charcoal burning (deforestation for the production of
charcoal is an issue here) as the momma’s started the cookers to prepare
the morning meal
•       Clouds of red dust as a Zambian woman used a hand-held whisk broom to
sweep trash away from the tarmac (road)
•       Bags of charcoal piled high (and precariously perched) on a large truck
being driven in front of us
•       Morning traffic on the “death road” (named that because of the many
accidents that occur on this major north-south road out of Lusaka) which
includes not only the traffic on the tarmac, but major foot and bicycle
traffic alongside the roadway; everyone is on the move to start their day
•       Children in colorful school uniforms and women in brightly colored chetenge
•       Police checkpoints along the way
•       A man on a bike with a rolled up mattress and bedding on his back
•       Mini-buses and vans packed with people…all overcrowded
•       “abnormal load” equals wide load
•       A man with a large wheelbarrow carrying 2 bales of hay; another man
using a wheelbarrow with a front extension, carrying bags of charcoal
•       As we approached the city of Lusaka there was increased traffic both on
the roadway and adjacent to it, more strip malls and roadside stands, and
much more trash everywhere.

I was already longing for the beautiful agricultural region we had left
less than two hours ago.  I’ll miss the stars in the clear night sky,
especially the Southern Cross.  I’ll miss the sounds of the farm, except
the ducks quacking outside my window at 6:00 am.

One thought on “A View From The Backseat

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