Wednesday, 12 August 2009

7-12th August

The last five days have certainly been eventful. When I left you last, we were going to head out to Raphodies which is a fancy resteraunt in Lusaka and then hit one of the night clubs. The meal was a complete success and everyone had a really good time and we were enjoying the night club until one of the girls was a victim of theft and had her camera and purse stolen. The purse wasn't the annoying thing, but the memory card of photos which are almost priceless in terms of memories. Anyway, we had a big cofuffle in the local police station with the guy accussed of stealing the belongings and eventually made it back to our beds at 4.00 in the morning.

Considering the late night, it would perhaps be forgiven of us to have a bit of a breather, but never the less, we were all up early and many of us were preparing to sample the experience of living in a rural community in the real Zambia. We made the journey from Lusaka to Kafue in one hour and arrived just before it was getting dark. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Emily, a friend of Kelvin’s, who had kindly arranged our stay for us.

Although Kafue is far less developed than most of Lusaka, it wasn’t the rural community we were going to experience on Sunday, only our place of rest for the night.

We were shown to our accommodation, one house for the girls and one for the boys, for the night and dropped off our belongings before heading out to visit the slums of Kafue, which approximately has 4,000 residents.

Once dark, we made the trek back to the girl’s quarters where the Zambians, all training to become Doctors, treated us to shima, soy and fish before saying good night and parting ways for the evening (but not before some cultural exchange in the form of Zambritish dancing!)

We were all up early at 6.00 to make the short voyage to one of the Catholic Churches in Kafue, where many projects involving children are run. One this particularly Sunday, an organised activities day had been planned for the children of Kafue which involved drama, games, music, and a service in the afternoon. We were then told we would be the special guests for the day and songs and dances had been prepared for us!

From the church, we arranged a bus to the rural community where the project was being held. As we made the trek, the level of development decreasing was clear as we passed tiny communities and significantly less electricity and modern technologies.

When we arrived we quickly started off with some Zambian games before our time had been come to be sang and danced to by the children. During the song, we were told us muzungos must dance in the middle, which, having seen African’s dancing, was a complete embarrassment!

We then led some games for the children including ‘Whats the time Mr Wolf?’, ‘British Bulldog’, ‘The ship is sinking’ and ‘Stuck in the mud’ before, with permission, we were allowed an insight into how rural this community really was.

We were shown inside a mud hut which had been constructed with empty tins of paint and then coated in mud and water until it dried. The hut is well made as in the summer it’s cool and doesn’t get too warm and has a removable straw roof which is changed during the wet season.

In terms of food, Shima is part of every meal, as it is in any Zambian’s and other foods include sugar canes, fish and chicken.

We then made a short journey down to the harbour to have a short look around and test out some of the local food catching techniques in one of the boats before heading back to enjoy some food which had been kindly prepared for us by the ladies of the church.
After lunch, it was time for the church service and we were kindly allowed to see the first ten minutes which involved much singing from the children before having to jump on the bus back to Kafue and then back to Lusaka. Overall, the weekend was a really interesting insight into how the real Africa gets by and made us all appreciate how fortunate we really were.

We then made the trek back to Lusaka and endulged in some British football in the form of Chelsea v Man U, which turned out to be a suprisingly good game in the company of a couple of Castle largers. Happy days.

After we returned back to the house, there was a British roast awaiting us made by the rest of the group which had been made for the Zambians who had made a traditional Zambian meal for us a week before. There was certainly no caterpillars this time round.

On Monday I was shown round Muvi TV's, (Zambia's first independent TV Station) home base which was really interesting. It's actually more advanced than you would imagine and very insightful considering I've never seen inside a TV Station.

And that's about as far as I've got, in terms of my work here in Zambia, I'm currently working on the Sport In Action Website - - and creating a database of photos for the two NGOs. On Friday, I will interview 4 girls who are part of the Zambian ladies football team who have recently returned from Norway.

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