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“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Sunday, 30 July 2017

You're so FAT!

Me and Zita at the Sports Club
Up at 630am and went on a “Zambian amble” into town to get SIM cards for laptop dongle and Zambian phone – we also wanted to get gift bags, and a few more supplies for our room. True to African tradition, SIM cards cannot be registered inside an hour, so of course this required a trip to the Kubu cafĂ© next door to the phone shop for a beer to sit and wait (and use their wifi).
Today was the day we were meeting friends we met last year, Zita and Edith, and we were excited, but also a little apprehensive… would they expect us to bring oodles of gifts? would they have brought half their family with them too, expecting the same thing? We took a taxi back to the Sunbird for lunch and to get prepared for the big rendezvous. Lunch was a little late and the phone was going constantly with messages from the girls letting us know they were already at the sports club waiting for us… we couldn’t eat fast enough.
Sports Club!
We nervously picked our way through the bush and past the church to appear at the side of the sports club and before we were anywhere near the patio Edith came running at us like a charging bull and nearly bowled me over… closely followed by Zita and before long we were both squashed in a group hug. As the arms disentangled and we all stood back to look at each other, Zita with her new long braided hair and Edith in the same familiar denim skirt and football shirt, it was declared in unison with huge grins “You’re so fat!, Look at you! What have you been eating?”
We had to laugh, we understood that in Africa to be called fat is a compliment on account of being rich enough to eat lots of food – but it’s still hard to not be slightly offended! We laughed along and hugged again, after which came the second round with Edith holding my face and repeating… “look at your face and neck, it’s so huge!” – yeah thanks Edith. Enough now.
Falls Garden Toilets
The Blue Arrows (Air force football club) were playing another Livingstone team… a local Derby, so the place was packed with people which was a great atmosphere and after the clouds and wind of the last two days, it was even nicer to have the sun shining on the sandy pitch.
We talked, we laughed, we drank and we met plenty of people. Then Mulenga (Zita’s boss also working for the Air Force) turned up with a crate of duty free beers for us and we were able to give him the two pairs of shoes he ordered from us. To our utter amazement, the beers were stashed in the sports club’s fridge and we were able to drink them on site! Not in England.
Despite the sports club having had a refurb, with a new bar out front and brightly painted pillars, somehow they didn’t feel it necessary to revamp the toilets, in fact, they considered them unworthy of toilet doors and so we had to go two by two to have someone guard the corridor from intruders. Time to move on to the Falls Garden bar with our friend Anastacia behind the bar… the music was put on and a fire lit in a mobile crate – Zita’s Uncle turned up and we talked a lot about global travel, Africa and the differences in culture. A switched on guy – he told us Zita was back at school and trying for her exams again, hopefully this time her Uncle will help her to get out of the situation she is in and better herself… something so hard for Zambians.
Tracey and Edith

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