“Meet my family”
Zambia’s capital city Lusaka is a typical African capital. A few tall buildings in the center and a busy and lively city on the other side. After we leave David to his hotel, we go to the bazaar for my sake. Lusaka City Market, Soweto Market, New Soweto Market. It is definitely must seen. Tailor, repressor, overlocker, fruit vegetables, dried fish, clothes, electronics, repairers… I try to stay as short time as possible in big cities. I have to take a small city tour and run to the markets immediately if I have to pause or stay. The complexity and diversity around here is very attractive.
I come across the dried black tree worm, which I have seen before as dried. I tried to eat from goat meat, which was grilled and sold at an edge of the market. Jonathan says that this meat is “unhealthy, do not take it” a little while ago and now it says “very delicious, eat it” for the worm!! When the “eat, eat” cheers are raised around, I close my eyes and crunch one of my teeth between my teeth, no taste, you do not say worm without knowing. Everyone is looking into my eyes. I am disgusted at the first crouch, actually, it is not tasted just subconscious, but then I get used to it, I’m not bad for the memories.
Jonathan enters the sorang shop. Sorang (sarang) A multi-purpose 2-meter fabric used by African women for dresses, skirts, backpacks, covers etc. The colors and designs are very nice. Jonathan says, “Which one is the best one?” I point to an orange from traditional patterns. He buys it and gives it to me: “You remember Zambia.”
Jonathan told me that he wanted to I meet his family. “It’s my pleasure to introduce you as a lonely brave woman traveler to my kids. I’d like to they know you as an inspiring woman for their future.” After the market tour, we go to dinner with Jonathan’s wife, Christine, son, daughter and little cousin. They are taking me to a shopping mall named Levy. Levy was the former Prime Minister and gave a name to this shopping center after his death in a hospital in France. “We have five more shopping centers,” they say, boasting. Oh, what a big trick! The presence of the consumer and shopping centers is also popular here as a show of development. I get maheu (light sweet, juicy beverage made from corn) as chikanda, impwa, spinach, rape and drink from the local food stand. They are ordering pizza. Since Christine did not have the opportunity to read while raising 5 children, she started secondary school again this year. The 14 years old boy is very ambitious on football. The 13-year-old Grace is in the school’s athletic team. The 9-year-old little girl is her cousin. Her parents work in Cape Town. Jonathan is proud to say, “We are looking at the well-being, our family and kinship are very strong.” I am giving the children a Turkish flag and I would like them to drop me off at Lusaka Backpacker’s or Kalulu Backpacker’s hostel. “Stay at our house, we’ll leave you to the bus terminal tomorrow. But there is no electricity in the house.” “It does not matter,” I say. We go home so there is not only electricity but also plaster. A new settlement 20 km from the city center. The dirt road is filled with potholes. They just got the arcs. They move here for saving money and build it while sitting in the house. Cement bricks are combined with mortar, walls are built, and the roof, that’s all. Water is taken from the well in the garden. They are eagerly touring the house, the lights of their hands. They made a small garden, the 14-year-old boy introduces all the plants and tells what disease they are doing well. There is a tree, too, for high blood pressure, which they drink by cutting their shells and boiling. They show me the pantry, I sleep with the girls in the same bed. The girls are not leaving me for a second, they are so lovely. The boy is carrying my purse, the girls are shining, the mother is spreading clean sheets on the bed, South Africa is producing quality and very thick blanket for me. They only have time for their homes to work on weekends, and they do not have the means to work. I say that volunteer sites on the Internet will find volunteers to help them complete their homes. They record their names immediately.
At first sight, things that can be perceived as nothingness for us are a great asset to them. In the middle of the hall there is only one bed as cabling, cement, brick, as furniture in the rooms, the clothes are piled up on the hill. The windowless, bare-lined building is their new home for the future. Like ants, they build houses like bees while living in it and even host guests. Here is an angel family.
I lay down to the bed immediately, the girls are next to me. They sleep, I can not sleep. We need to catch the Mfuwe bus at 5:00 in the morning. We arrived station early, but the bus left early even though the bus was empty. I feel angry. Because the next bus is at 7 and goes up to Chipata. From there I will have to find another vehicle from Mfuwe, another vehicle from Mfuwe to South Luwangwa Park. There is nothing to do. I get the bill, this time the seats are sold. Duration 12 hours and the price is 180 Kwanca. These buses do not make long stops. He only gave a five minute break at a small settlement. Everyone went into a restaurant where they pondered, picked up the need for a toilet, took a meal, and put it on the bus. The driver did not even move. Chicken, fish, fried potatoes were accompanied by smell. In many places passengers were taken down and passengers were taken but never a break. As there was no driver change, our grand driver ate roasted meat and gnawing bones at the steering wheel while driving. Fortunately, most of the Great East Road has been renovated. When we reached Mfuwe, the weather was about to fade. I have at least another 2 hour drive to camp. Taxi drivers immediately stacked at the door of the bus “taxi mem, mem taxi, sister taxi” began to say. Somebody holds my bag, others take it from his hand, then someone else puts it on his head. In the meantime, I’m asked for 700 kwancha for a 200 kwancha road. They are having a customer battle between themselves. I watch quietly waiting on an edge and sharing their trumps. There’s nothing else to do. When they reckon and remember me again, I agree with one of them. I need to be special to me, and I’m sitting at the front, and when I go a few meters, I’m getting customers in the back seat. The driver is very young or 30 years old, showing us at 18, and we have a 3 year old girl. Retrieved as the customer receives it. There are 5 people in the back seat, the child is in the lap. The driver gets a woman passenger in his seat, between me and the gear. The car automatically shifts gears as needed, or I change the passenger lady. We have a lot of time losing passengers, I am getting tired of getting tired, I have not made a sound because he tried to make money, but I will still pay for it. I started to feel pain. I finally say, “Leave me where I am going now, you do not have any customers anymore” with a very serious and angular tone of voice. He calls “Yes mam” and brings it to Flatdogs Camp and does not neglect the extra 50 kwans. He does not insist on saying no. It’s 9 o’clock tonight, I’m not sure. Migraine pain and nausea on the road ruined me. I vomit and then sleep right now.
In the morning, an elephant family in the garden was eating weeds and branches. There must be very few animals that are so heavy and massive and so silent. They are very timid, but they are very dangerous, they are not sure if they are going to flee.
I agree with the evening safari, which starts at 4 pm and ends at 8 pm. The animals are more likely to see lions, tigers and jackals in the evening safaris because they rest during the day and hunt at night. The safari vehicles are all open, there’s not even a canopy on it. Both of our guides are Zambian. Especially those who are supervisors are absolutely and absolutely African. Thanks to their racial abilities, they can distinguish the voices of animals, they hear very well, their eyes are very sharp, they can trace. After an hour or two of sightseeing, we come across the lion who is our curious. The two men, 8 of them are resting in the darkness of the night. We have 2-3 meters between us. They get up and walk around the car. I am very scared that the videos of the lion attacks that I have watched are coming to mind. Every side of the car is open. If they want they can easily chose one of us to eat dinner and keep the other for breakfast. At 50 meters, the impala grazes. People, deer, lions live in peace now. I think everybody’s got toast tonight. It is impressive to see the lions we have used to seeing in the documentaries in such a large crowd and in such close proximity.
Because I made my program wrong, I really can not go anywhere I want. I’ve forgotten that it was filling in 5 day of Angola visa expry. I do not have time for Lake Tanganyika, unfortunately. I wanted to see this region without much touristic yet. It was a waste of time and money to come to South Luwangwa. I have gone to several safari parks until now and I will go to the countries in the front. After a while they start to look alike. For this reason, I should have preferred Tanganyika. Lion tigers exist in other countries, but Tanganyika is only here. I m so sad.
Flatdogs Camp is on the edge of the Luwangwa river, outside the park but nearest campground. The food is very nice. There are people coming to eat here from other camps. The tents and shackles are arranged side by side on the river, so a bit too common. Trichilia in Mana Pool does not have warmth. I should have preferred Marula Camp for an economical safari camp.
I’m flying back from Mfuwe to Lusaka. I’m at Lusaka Backpackers. It’s not as beautiful as Jollyboys, but it does. I will plan how to get to Angola from here.