Alfred dropped us off at the airport and our overnight flight to Amsterdam was uneventful and we had about 2 ½ hours at the airport. I purchased some cookies and candy for the kids at home. Then thought about all the little things we miss from Zambia such as:
1) The beautiful blue skies – everyday! (This at the University of Zambia)
2) The crisp cool nights – with temperatures dropping as soon as the sun sets around 6pm
3) The smiles of almost every Zambian we met!
4) The warm welcome that everyone gave us
5) The Zambian handshake we learned from Sammy
6) The Zambian handshake/curtsy we learned from Chisomo
7) The long, long time our toilet took to fill back up after a flush (at Palmwood)
8) The funny water pipe sounds we heard as the toilet kept filling up
9) The bougainvillea flowers carefully left for us by the hotel staff on the towels
10) The beautiful vegetation and flowers – various colors of bougainvillea, as well as other bright red flowering trees etc.
11) The juxtaposition of fancy malls and grocery stores with prices that are the same as the US and people who make $1 per day to survive
12) The government bureaucracy – handled with a charming smile as always
13) The babies at the orphanage who were so stoic and did not cry
14) The roads ranging from well paved ones to ones full of potholes, to the unpaved ones that we drove on for many kilometers making dust clouds
15) The big bus Dr. Weaver showed up driving (and all her help)!
16) The Kamwala shopping center alleys!
17) Bartering at the Kabwata cultural village and buying two for the price they asked for one item
18) John Mwakatala our wonderful safari guide and his story and his lovely family
19) The village people we visited with and their simple lives – happy with what little they have (a few hens here)
20) The graceful giraffes that we saw up close
21) The many people we saw waiting at the clinics and hospitals – full waiting rooms
22) The brightly colored chitenge we saw the ladies wearing
23) The people such as Dr. Somwe, Dr. Matafwali, Chisomo, Alfred, Dr. Froeschl (and many others) trying to make a difference to the lives of people in Zambia
24) The daily dose of eggs for breakfast we had at Palmwood Lodge
25) The incredible work that the Special Hope Network and Cheshire Homes are doing for children with disabilities in Zambia
26) The ability to buy talk time for cell phones just about anywhere, even from a vendor on the street!
27) The need for lots and lots of kwacha since credit cards are rarely accepted anywhere (the only store we found that accepted credit cards)
28) The school children in their school uniforms always around
29) The power cut and sitting in candlelight at the lodge
30) The nshima that is the staple food of Zambians
31) The impala that we saw so many of
32) The rich African art we saw at Chaminuka
33) The beautiful Zambian sunsets
34) The huge termite mounds we also saw at Chaminuka
35) The miles and miles of Zambian scrub land as we drove through the country
36) The “compounds” – tightly packed together and overcrowded with people, next to more upscale neighborhoods
37) Chisomo – all her help during our stay
38) Alfred and Beit Cure Hospital for getting this whole project started
The double decker plane at Amsterdam – (our Chicago – Amsterdam – Chicago flights were on these)
I could keep going, but, we have now reached home after the long journey – back in West Lafayette.
and will keep you posted as we go through the next steps of formalizing this into a student program next year! Thanks to all who have followed the blog and for all who posted comments.