“Reconnecting with Zambia” (from Betty)
It’s a funny thing about traveling to a place you’ve been before. You not only reconnect with friends you’ve made, but you reconnect with the place…the sights, the sounds, the smells, the cultural differences, and the people as a whole. Last night and today has been all about reconnecting with Zambia.
Familiar scenes greeted us as we took the taxi from the airport in Lusaka. People on the move…on foot, by bicycle, in cars (much more traffic now), and pushing/ pulling carts and carrying baskets and buckets on their heads. Roadside markets sell everything from vegetables to charcoal, furniture to bricks.
It was nearing twilight as we checked into the Kapingila Catholic Guest House and moved our massive amount of luggage upstairs to our neat and simply appointed rooms. A short walk along the bustling Kabulonga Road led us to Melissa’s which is a well-stocked local grocery store. Again, everywhere we looked there were people in motion.
Today was a joyous day…reconnecting with former students, (they’ll always be our students really) first Jonathan and his family…meeting in their home in Mtendere (pronounced Mutendere) Compound here in Lusaka. Rough going on bumpy, dusty dirt roads at first…but we eventually found our way. Welcomed with open arms by the Mwale family… smiles all around the room. Greetings were exchanged, amidst hugs and laughter. Watching Jonathan open up his new (refurbished) laptop was a scene of pure joy! His smile lit up the room. Later, while I was sitting on the couch talking with Mrs. Mwale, I was observing Mal and Dave teaching the kids how to play Uno. Such simple fun…love that!
A neighbor dusted out his car so all of us could go to the shopping plaza to meet Moses, Diana, and Jack Zulu. I have missed those kids so much! Reconnecting with everyone today was done with ease. Spending lunch with them and wandering the market was really awesome. Watching them order their lunches from a menu was a delight. They are all lovely children, trying hard in school, and they have a strong sense of family, which fits with Mal, Dave, and I and our own strong commitments to family.
It’s been a great first 24 hours of reconnecting with Zambia.
How beautiful and exciting to be part of your first days in Lusaka! Thanks for sharing; I feel as if I’m almost there with you. And I am – in spirit!
Your post brought me back to arriving in Zambia: the smell and sights are in my memory. Thank you for sharing! Enjoy your week at Shine and keep us posted on all the students you reconnect with, as well as, the new ones you meet. Can’t wait to hear about your amazing experiences! As Ann said, we are with you in spirit!