|July 1, 2010: O CANADA
We arrived in Lundazi on Canada Day. The two-day journey from Lusaka with Samson has been a lot of fun – even the horrific state of the road the past 3 hours. We arrived in Lundazi at supper time, rattled and covered in dust...but big smiles on our faces.
We settled in to a quirky guest house and the three of us had supper together and shared some laughs. The comradarie and friendship we have with Samson feels so good.
July 4, 2010: MENTAL SNAPSHOTS
We’ve been here in Lundazi four days now, and so far have not seen another white person. It would be an understatement to say we get a lot of attention when out and about here!
We went for a run on Saturday morning; Shaun runs faster than me, and so for a while I was running on my own. But I very quickly could hear the patter of little feet on the dirt road, and about a dozen little kids running with me, and a few people riding bicycles along side. Most people are eager to talk to us, and I had 3 men ask to marry them as I ran past! Each time I hallered back “I’m already married!”, and everyone in hearing distance would laugh and pat the guy on the back.
Considering we want people to feel comfortable with us here, we’ve not taken any photos yet...though their daily activities of living could be seen in a National Geographic magazine (if that makes sense).
There are so many snapshots in my mind that I hope to never forget. Here are a few:
1) A man riding his one-speed bicycle with a huge bag of charcoal on his handlebars, a sack of mais-meal and a live chicken (Squawking) tied on to the carrier at the back – all the makings for dinner – riding his bike home along the red dirt road.
2) Shaun’s facial expression every time he hears a rooster cackle (he’s grown to hate these birds, as they wake him up with their raspy cockle-doodle-doo’s at all ungodly hours of the night).
3) A woman walks down the road with her friends. On her head is a HUGE basked of potatoes. She has a baby tied to her front, who is breastfeeding, and a toddler tied on her back, asleep. She is also carrying a large suitcase (no wheels)...and all the while chatting and laughing with her friends as they walk. The other women also have buckets of water on their heads and babies on their backs, but they walk as comfortably as though they’re out on a Sunday stroll...
4) It’s early morning and the air is crisp. A bonfire is burning in the ditch, casting a smoke screen across the road that is lit up with sunlight. Silhouetted against this back-drop is a group of women, each of them with a jug of water balanced on their heads. A little farther behind them you can make out the figure of other women and children carrying baskets of produce on their heads, on their way to market.
5) The old-fashioned popcorn machine (this thing must have been salvaged from a Colonial Theatre back in the 50’s). Every day after work I pass through the market, and buy a small bag of fresh popcorn from Elijah (the popcorn man) for about 15cents, and it is SOOO good.
6) The little groups of children (under 4 years old) that holler “How are you” over and over as you walk or run by...and then giggle and shriek with delight when you wave or reply.
7) On Shaun’s first visit to the Operating Theater in the Lundazi Hospital, he found the surgeon and operating staff busy performing a surgery. When he asked about the chicken (live) in the corner of the room, the surgeon replied “oh that’s our lunch” as though it was perfectly normal to have a live chicken in the Operating Room...
8) The children who run out to greet Shaun on his run every morning. The small ones run out, excited to see him and greet him in English...and yet when he stops to say hello or shake their hand, they stop (wide-eyed) and start running away. The really small ones usually start crying at this point too, and the nearby moms just laugh and wave...
9) There are bicycles, old-fashioned things with primitive lever-brakes, made in India, propped up in the shade of roadside trees, their owners waiting to offer them as taxis around town. And you will see women, wrapped in their African prints, sitting genteel side-saddle position on the padded rack behind the rear wheel, while the taxi boys heave in the dusty heat. You can hear the expressionate song-like chiming of two passengers chatting in Tambuka, while the bicycles ride parallel along the rusty road...