Wednesday 10th October
I am back at the Chisamba Guest House. I am familiar with this place, I am used to the facilities and I know the staff. I miss ready access to cups of tea, so I indulge with a full pot at breakfast. Cornflakes is not on the menu but eggs, sausages, chips, bread ,onions and tomatoes are present (or not!). This morning everything was available, sometimes some of the items are missing – I think on one occasion everything was present except for the onions, tomatoes, bread and yes, the eggs and sausages! So I had a plate of chips!! One thing is consistent however – breakfast costs 25,000 kwacha (irrespective of the contents!) Supper is beef, chicken or fish - with nshima of course. (often the fish and beef are off, but the chicken is usually present) Yesterday,however, I had a beautiful whole fish (talapia, I think). The food is usually cooked well and is tasty, though the oil is never spared!
Water is not such a problem here – I shouldn't test fate, but I can't remember it being absent. I had a cold shower at 7.30 this morning with pleasantly cold water, without getting at all chilled!
I was surprised to find mangoes on sale today. They are not due in Monze until late November, if not December. I was told that these are from Mongu, which I believe is up in the north of the country. I was given a mango back in England a month or two back and was told it was like a fresh mango - I was disappointed! As I peeled back the skin of today's mango, the memories flooded back. The smell that pours out of a proper mango is intoxicating, the juice starts dripping and the stringy flesh entices that first bite. It didn't disappoint! As you might gather I love my mangoes!!
On Monday I spent some time with my student. Obert had a few algebra questions to answer and, although I can't remember how many years it is since I looked at the subject, I had no difficulty in understanding the questions and knowing how to tackle them. Obert had managed a couple of questions and with some guidance managed to work his way through the remainder. I hope that I helped him to understand how to tackle the questions – I told him to come back if he wants any more tuition.
While Obert was with me, Jennipher brought Selina and left her for me to entertain for a while. I showed her some photos and videos on the computer and ended up showing her how to play pinball! I wanted to set up a Skype session so she could talk to Dilys but the connection failed.
Before Obert arrived I adpicked up some desktop memory from Teddy and installed a card in Fr. Jackson's computer. It seemed to be OK when I went for my lesson, though I didn't check whether the new card was recognised. When I returned the computer no longer had Windows running! So far the computer cannot load Windows! - I did say I wasn't a computer expert!!
After Fr. Jackson left I tried one more time to get the machine working – and the power failed!!
We have had some interesting discussions over meals. One theme has been about thinking that we are indispensable and rushing around too much without resting or praying enough. I think that I was being reminded that I needed a rest – I was also being put in my place when I was about to show how clever I was. (The Lord regularly uses this tactic to counter my pride!)
So I found a place at the side of the Dam, where I was not surrounded by the local children, and relaxed for an hour or more taking in the atmosphere and watching the birds.
I made an early start yesterday. Around 6 am there are a few Rosa buses that head off to Lusaka. Unusually they even leave without being full!! I jumped into the bus heading towards Livingstone! Although they don't necessarily fill up, they still go around the town – in all directions – before setting off. We eventually headed in the right direction at great speed. I was grateful that I have found a lap belt in the front seat to which I was directed. A little way out of Monze we were overtaken by another Rosa who pulled in front of us and waved us down. It seemed that we should take up the rear so that the other bus could get the first chance at passengers along the road. We now continued at a much more sedate pace, only occasionally speeding up when we had a chance to take over the lead and put some distant between us and our rival!
It was 10 hrs before we arrived in Lusaka.
I don't enjoy Lusaka! I am aware that there are pickpockets everywhere and I am a prime target. I warily stepped out of the bus and thought I was very aware of anyone near me. If I had any sense I would have ensured that nothing tempting was kept in the side pockets of my backpack – unfortunately I have no sense. I had left my camera in it's usual position where it is accessible to take photos and for thieves. After a little while I thought I should check that the pocket was zipped . It was undone and the camera was no longer there. Had I thought at all I would have buried it at the bottom of the bag. You will be lucky to get any new photos this year!! Sorry!
I have decided to spend some time getting to know the staff here. I have made a good start finding out a bit more about Precis' background and I also talked for some time to Remmy – the tailor.
I have decided to donate my laptop to Kaliyangile, so I also spent a while showing Precis the accounts system.