We landed in Lusaka at 6a.m.( Thurs. Aug. 16th) local time after a sleep deprived night. I was wide awake and not tired at all.
We retrieved our six suit cases, exchanged some USD into Kwatcha at the airport just minutes before the drivers from Kilimanjaro Country Lodge picked us up.
I had warned Ann, the owner via email that we had a lot of luggage so she sent two vehicles.
It was a glorious day and I was happy to be in Africa if not a little disappointed that I could not share Carl’s first impressions as he was in the other vehicle.
We arrived at the lodge and were shown to our beautiful room, the same one Jami and I stayed in last year, but it had a new addition. It had a canopy style mosquito net. It added the feel that you were actually in exotic Africa.
This is not the best picture but the beds were the most comfortable I have ever slept in away from home.
It is winter in August in Africa so the days are not too hot 25-35C but the nights are gloriously cool.
We dropped off the luggage and Carl was ready for a nap so I walked over to the large Patio/restaurant to see if anyone was still there from last year.
I was disappointed that Innocence was gone but happy to see Collins & Chomba.
They are true entrepreneurs and are starting a business together. Chomba has a small food/restaurant shop buy the bus station in Lusaka to pay for his schooling to become a mechanic and he is a server at Kilimanjero. Ann and her husband are really great with the staff. They send one of their drivers to pick them up for work and take them home after there shifts. They stay over night on the property while they are working.Usually for a few days.
Carl & I sat for at least an hour one night copying out the recipes I brought for Njamba’s mom. Chomba was keen to try some new recipes in his take out shop.
We copied out corn bread, using rice flour( I assumed that this was cheaper that wheat flour) and curried rice, flank steak marinated in soya sauce, garlic, lemon juice, sliced thin against the grain of the meat. Corn & avocado salsa and a tomatoe salsa.I assumed these were spices that they could fine over there as it is becoming more multicultural.
We gave Chomba one of our empty carry on suit cases before we left and he was very grateful. I am jumping a head here. So……….
I had so many things to do as we were leaving for Kalabo to see Njamba and his family at 6am on Sat. Aug. 18th as I was cooking for eight while I was with them.
I wanted to go buy a cell phone that we could use and then leave with Njamba as I was not comfortable with him being in Kalabo for school and his family one and one half hours away by 4×4 at his village. I wanted some way he could get a hold of them if he needed to.
We asked the driver from Kilimanjero to take us to the plaza to exchange more Kwatcha. There is a new policy now that you are only allowed to exchange 1000USD at a time so it was really a pain having to keep getting money changed.
There are no banks in Kalabo so I had to take the money for school with me.
The new government wants the currency in Kwatcha to simplify things and they don’t accept Canadian dollars so you have to take USD or travelers cheques.
Carl came with me as he was nervous about my carrying all of that money around. I was not nervous at all. There are security guards in the plaza with very large guns. ( Sorry I am not a gun expert so I can’t tell you what type it was. Carl probably could). I don’t want to make it sound like an unsafe place to visit because like any where you travel, you don’t put yourself in bad situations. I had the driver with me and my bag over my shoulder in broad day light, just like I would do at home. By the end of our trip Carl also realized how friendly and helpful Zambians are. When you live in a country with out a lot, you help each other when ever you can.
Anyway we managed to buy a cell phone with 10USD (which is a lot) worth of time on it for 60USD. It had two networks on it so if one network was down ( which happens quite often in Kalabo) you could switch to the other one and the phone was blue( the only option) which is Njamba’s favorite colour so that was great. The following day I bought 4 solar cell phone charger/lights at Sunny Monkey ( The sign on the road they are on says “Sunny Money “, Good marketing scheme!) so Njamba could charge his phone as they don’t have electricity in the village and he won’t be starting grade 10 until January 2013′. I also bought one for Mualuka, Frederick and one to keep in the village for Njamba’s siblings to study at night. see Kim’s blog for details Letters from Lusaka.kimmxjayne.wordpress.com, My First Solar Purchase.
I called Frederick once I had a phone and he informed us that he was getting the vehicle fixed and he would call later and come by Killimanjero. I was so excited to see him again. I wasn’t absolutely sure, but I remember a very kind man who held my hand through the 4 x 4 window when I was crying after leaving Njamba last year. He was the driver who drove Njamba, Ngebe and their Mom back to the village and called David to tell us that they were back safely.
I would have to wait to find out if it was him.