There is really no way in this world that I can relay to anyone (but Sophie) the events of our past five days in Kitwe. There were wonderful moments and difficult moments…but these are the best:
Watching home video quality African soap operas starring “Beyonce” and “Rihanna” that last four hours. Profuse sweating. Jam-packed bodies. “bathroom” stops when you pay to use the toilet.
Five days of consuming LITERALLY nothing more than chips, eet-sum-mor biscuits, chock-its, fanta, and chicken halves. Fanta in Zambia is the most delicious thing I could ever ask for in a soda. There was one day when I drank about six because people just kept giving them to me.
A 62 year old woman who defends muzungus against drunk men. She fought a few off and I asked her what she said to them. “I said I used to fight!”
Holding babies and knowing that there just wasn’t enough time to love them all.
And one note of humor:
The bus stops are just indescribable. It seems like mass chaos, but somehow to the Zambians, everything is working out just fine. When we were being dropped off to leave for Kitwe, the drivers/recruiters for the buses saw us in the EOH suv before we even turned into the station. One of them shouted AMERICANS!! And the stampede was under way. We couldn’t even get out of the car as our Zambian friend, Humphrey, coolly got out of the car and strode through the crowd of yelling men. He went to find our bus, while all the men just crowded around the car shouting at us to ride with them. The best was when I looked to my left to see a man pressing his lips into the crack of the closed car door in order to get an audible word in to our leader Paul. He was saying “Sir SSirrrrrrrr, excuse me sir, this way, ride with us” but of course you couldn’t understand him because his mouth was squeezing through the crack. I mean yelling was not enough for him, he took it to the next level. He made my day.