Breakfast at the Lodge:
And then we waited for Charity from Beit Cure Hospital (http://cure.org/hospitals/zambia/) who was supposed to pick us up to take us to the hospital. While we waited we met Donald who is from the UK and stays at our Lodge. He helped us set up our local cell phone while we waited and told us of interesting places to go. He has been living in Zambia for 4 years. While waiting we also saw an unusual sight at a hotel – a lady drying peanuts in the sun! Zambians use peanuts in their cooking a fair bit!
The grounds of the lodge – look like a beautiful park
When his driver arrived, he was kind enough to drop us off at the hospital. There we found Charity (Business Manager of the hospital) who told us that Chisomo (our other host) had her car battery die that morning – hence the delay in picking us up! Anyway, Charity gave us a tour of the hospital. They are a specialty hospital primarily providing neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and ENT/audiology services, mostly free to needy children. So, basically they are a non-profit, but they have a “private wing” for paying patients with 16 beds. And Chisomo had a wonderful welcome gift bag for each of us with candy and Zambian bracelets and earrings! We were really touched by the thoughtful gifts!!
Charity (standing) and Chisomo
As part of the tour we also saw the rooms they have where we could possibly stay when we come next year – functional rooms in almost a small house with an equipped kitchen and dining room. The hospital is on 43 acres with several red brick buildings with green roofs.
Lunch: in “The Deli” – a brand new restaurant with Panera style soups and sandwiches. Very nice!
Then we visited CFB Medical Center – this is a fee for service hospital (unlike Beit Cure) and provides mostly primary care and maternity services with some special services. We gathered information on their costs and services. In case we need services, this is where we might go to get medical care. It was a very different experience from hospitals in the US. The hospitals are much smaller hospitals here with only 30 beds or so. They were clean and functional, but not fancy.
Our final visit of the day was to the Special Hope Network (http://www.specialhopenetwork.com ). This is a non-profit which works with children with intellectual disabilities and their mothers providing basic physical, occupational and communication therapy services, and training local Zambians to do this as well as the mothers of the children. This was the most moving visit of the day – here were three westerners who have moved to Zambia permanently and work in the “compounds” (the overcrowded settlements where the poor live with some of the poorest people in Zambia.
With translator at Special Hope Network (mothers and kids in the background)
Our next stop: to get an internet “dongle” which is a USB stick that you plug into your computer and purchase internet access with (really needed that to continue the blog since the hotel did not have Wifi)! SO – we Chisomo took us to a rather modern mall where we got the dongle as well as some Zambian kwachas (FYI 1 USD = ~ k5300) and some bottled water and fruit. Then back to the lodge where the chef had prepared some special vegetable stir fry and stir fried rice for us! The people are extremely friendly and everyone has a warm and welcoming smile for us! It is a great place to be!
Grocery store – not much different from the US!
The first escalator in Zambia – at the Manda Vila Mall