No Bank in Kalabo

I must explain that in Zambia most people, that can make any sort of income have a cell phone. The postal service is minimal at best and therefore cell phones are their means of communication apart from sending a messenger by foot.

The phones and air time are relatively inexpensive, by North American standards which doesn’t say much, so the pricing is similar to the UK. You can call almost anywhere in the UK for a reasonable price as in Zambia.


Frederick was unable to get the Honda CRV repaired and had to go back the next morning and hope the mechanic was able to find the part. This all added an element of stress for me as this was our only means of getting to Kalabo. Thank God I am able to turn off the part of my brain that worries and keep moving forward. I had a lot to do and I was going to get it done!

Frederick did how ever come to Killimanjero to meet us and we had dinner together on the patio while we discussed the plan. I really had to rely on Frederick while I was still in Canada as we could only discuss things via cell phone and at times it was hard to hear and understand due to his accent.

The plan was to get the vehicle repaired the next morning and then Frederick would take me to Sunny Monkey to buy the solar/light chargers, a cooler to carry all of the food to Kalabo and grocery shop. We were to leave at 6am Sat morning.

While still in Canada many people had suggested that we not give the money

Bus from Mongu to Kalabo

directly to Njamba and his family. It was suggested we set up a bank account and the bank could put the money, each term (there are 3 terms) into the schools account. The problem is that Kalabo does not have a bank. Mongu, the capital city of Western Province, is the closest bank and it is about 125K from where Njamba lives. Kalabo is where Njamba would go to school and even after going there twice I am still unable to determine how far Kalabo is from Mongu. The internet says 57K, the sign on the road said 25K to the Zambezi river when you leave Mongu. Then you have to drive on a partially sand and then thankfully tarred road to Kalabo. Either way it is a long way to travel to get to a bank and the bus is the back of a pick up truck with a minimum of 20 other people and piled high with stuff. Mattresses, chairs, tarps, luggage. Everything they cannot buy in Kalabo. This is a relatively empty truck as we saw others that were expertly packed way up over the roof of the cab.It resembled a soft multicoloured soccer ball on the back of a truck the size of the drum on a cement truck. Thank goodness for rope.

All of these people got out of the back of this truck so it could cross the water.


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