“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

Monday, 1 August 2016

Day 4 - Orientation

Woke with a blocked nose and not happy about it, nor was Tracey as my snoring had kept her awake all night. She also has a nosebleed but since we are 986m above sea level, we assume this is nothing to worry about.
Breakfast was a strange type of runny porridge stuff made from mealie maize. Our orientation didn't start until 1030am, so we wandered the lodge with our cameras which didn't take too long as the place isn't actually that big - a main house with multi-bed rooms and some outbuildings with additional rooms and a washing area. We have taken to washing our undies in the shower and turning our two-person private room into an African laundry. I'm fearful of hanging wet clothes outside to dry as Caryn once told me that there are insects that like to lay their eggs in damp fabric, so everything must be ironed. Ironing is really quite frightening.
Orientation was held in the main house dining room and we were two of about fifteen new starters. Rabeccah and Kennedy took us through the rules and regulations of the house and project, as well as giving us advice and knowledge on Zambian culture; how to greet people, the Zambian handshake and various customs. After a lunch of sandwiches and roast potatoes we were taken in groups to Livingstone town, (which feels about the size of Haywards Heath) for town orientation which involved showing us where to change money, get phone SIM cards and shop for supplies in the right places. The project company, "Dream Livingstone" really do think of everything and try to ensure all volunteers are well prepared for the shock which is to come.
Unfortunately for us, our orientation day fell on Farmer's day which is a public holiday in Zambia, so no phone SIM and with only the supermarket bank kiosk open, there was a queue of about an hour to change money... we of course gave up after 15 minutes and decided to get a small amount from the ATM to see us through the day, and wait for the others at a local cafe/bar called Kubu, with a couple of Zambian "Mosi" beers. We could come back tomorrow afternoon to get our dollars changed when the banks were open.
We also discovered that the supermarket, "Shoprite" had no Kit Yamoyo's on the shelves - so all in all not a particularly successful start... a bad cold, nosebleeds, no internet card, no local currency (Kwacha) and no life-saving rehydration kits!
When we finally returned to the Sunbird lodge we were shattered, filthy and stupidly hot. So I slept for 90mins; feeling seriously rough and struggling to breathe and Tracey sat writing her journal notes. Dinner was chicken with beans and rice, so we ate, sat, chatted and went to bed at 10:20pm with a massive flat spider in the bathroom!

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