The journey back and some thoughts

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.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathy Sible
    Jun 16, 2012 @ 01:26:38

    This last blog~what a generous and touching post when you surely were tired after such long flights and so much waiting. You write so beautifully and convey the heart you felt being welcomed so warmly in Zambia. We are all glad both of you are home! By the way, I think you had many readers but not everyone commented. Thanks for taking us along on your journey! all the best to you both

    Reply

  2. Bethany Sexton
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 19:29:48

    This looked like such an amazing trip! I definitely want to look into the student trip next summer.

    Reply

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