Today was a travel day so this is a short update…
We had breakfast at Chanters Lodge at 8:00am, checked out and left around 8:30 am with Pearson at the wheel of our trusty bus.
First stop was at a small town called Kalomo – we reached around 10am after 7km along a rough dirt road. The reason for this stop was for us to visit the Harding in Zambia Speech Pathology (HIZPATH) program. We met Dr. Beckie Weaver from Harding University who started their program (this is their 6th year, so we learned a lot from them when we met them in 2012). Dr. Weaver also took us to the orphanages called the Haven where we were able to see the children and interact with them a little (sorry no photos). Harding students spend 5 weeks in rural Kalomo providing language enrichment to the ~75 children at the orphanage. It was a treat to see the facilities and the children.
Next stop was to buy fruit and peanuts (called groundnuts here) at a roadside stall for lunch.
Our final stop was at “Tooters” in a town called Monze. This was a restroom stop at a very special restroom!! We had stopped there last year and I had this vivid memory of a restroom that was set up like a disco where we paid 2 kwacha each to use it. We were fortunate that Pearson (our driver) found the place! J The students had a good few minutes in there!
Pearson was driving at 120kmph at some sections on the highway with our big bus which we thought was a bit too fast, but he got us back “home” to Zebra Guest House by about 5pm.
The students decided to stay in while Christi and I had to run to the mall to buy groceries for lunches and we also brought back some pizza for dinner which we had on the patio of the guest house.
We had a short pow-wow today talking about the weekend and the students reflected on:
- The juxtaposition of fancy tourist areas, lovely buildings and facilities with much humbler and poorer buildings where local residents lived
o Seeing the poorer parts of Zambia that they had not seen in Lusaka
o Seeing people get water from a water pump that they then had to carry to their home which had no running water
o Seeing a donkey pulling a wagon
o Children playing with a plastic bag filled with air
- Noticing that most of the customers at the fancy restaurant we went to (Olga’s Kitchen) were white (while the servers were Zambian)
They also discussed the visit to the HIZPATH program:
- They were surprised to see how nice the orphanage was – different from the idea they had of what an orphanage would be like
- The toddlers were so friendly and wanted to hug us, be carried by us…
- The aunties at the orphanage were so warm and friendly and really seemed to care about the babies a lot
- Dr. Weaver saying that they give the aunties “suggestions” for changes – so that they are very aware and respectful of their culture and not coming in and telling them what they should be doing or how they should be doing things
- Enjoyed seeing babies carried on the mother’s back held on by a chitenge (wrap). Realize that the US has finally discovered what has been going on for a long time in other places: that holding the baby close improves the bond between mother and baby
They talked about the bus ride and safari jeep ride:
- The bus ride was sometimes fast, sometimes slow and sometimes bumpy (not consistent like in the US)
- The safari guide called their bumpy jeep ride an “African massage” J
And finally they talked about incidents of people peering into the bus at us which made Christi and me think that we need to be keeping a closer eye on what’s going on towards the back of the bus!
Tomorrow we start week 2 of our program in Zambia and it promises to be a busy week with 5 work days (instead of the three we had last week!).