Friday, November 5, 2010

A Warm Welcome

Thursday 4th November

It is always rather unreal when I find myself once again in Africa. The swifts and swallows have beaten me down here, crickets, grasshoppers or locusts jump or fly out of my way as I wander along the paths. Yesterday I watched as numerous Red Kites flew above the M40 – today other varieties of birds of prey fill the skies.

The welcome in Zambia is always warm. I am surprised after landing when airport staff greet me as they pass by – still I have hardly slept during the night and anyway breakfast was at 3.30 GMT so I am even more dopey than usual .

We land at 6.30 local time as scheduled. The sun has recently risen and the temperature is a pleasant 22ÂșC in the shade.

I had told Justine not to bother about getting to the airport for when I land, so I took out some money and sorted out my mobile phone. I am pleased to find out that I can use the SIM cards from last time – therefore not having to give my friends a new number. I wonder how long it will be before I am tracked down! From my experience, I am sure that it won't be long.

Justine arrived at about 7.45 not long after I settled down for a cup of tea in the airport 'lounge and cocktail bar'.

He brought me straight to Kaliyangile to say hallo and then I returned to Chisamba Guest House for a rest.

I felt a little more human after a couple of hours and a cold water bath. A quick wander through town to settle in a little and I walked to Kaliyangile to find out the state of play with the project and plan my involvement over the next few days and weeks.

On returning to the guest house this afternoon, I decided I shouldn't put off my first Mosi any longer. I settled down to read my John Grisham novel and was soon joined by one of the local guys. We talked about the project, Zambia, politics, bereavement and a range of other subjects in the course of an hour or two. It is always interesting to hear the views of the local people who usually have interesting insights in a variety of fields. Staying at the Guest House makes me aware how important it is that the Kaliyangile project is seen as a community project and not one that is seen as run by others. The people I meet are very supportive and I think people will become more involved as the Centre develops.

It is now dark! There is very little twilight here, day becomes night very quickly. This is accentuated by the relatively low level of lighting in the streets after dark.

Supper will be nshima chicken or nshima beef tonight ( and every other night!) - I have ordered one of each and will let Justine choose!

As you might have noticed my last blog didn't get posted at Heathrow because they didn't provide access for my flash drive. I hope to post this one tomorrow.


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