Zambie – the country where nothing ever happens?

Zambia is a beautiful country. I travelled here two years ago for few weeks and I truly enjoyed it. However, whenever I meet some traveller, they always just say that Zambia is … kind of boring or just, that there is nothing special. I would start, are Victoria Falls, one of the largest falls in the world nothing? Anyways, last time I visited the copper belt region and North with Livingstone, this time I decided for the Western and Eastern Zambia. At least I can say I walked through four different borders here and visited most of the regions.

Hitchhiking from Harare couldn’t have been better. From my couchsurfer I left after breakfast and walked to the near main road out of town, from where I wanted to hitchhike. Soon a car pulled over, and a puzzled lady asked what I am doing with all the things at this road. After I explained she drove me quite far out of town, where she literally gave me to the local police unit. The policemen were lovely people who couldn’t believe what am I trying to do. However, they excitingly stayed by the side of the road and hitched cars side by side. Very quickly a Zambian truck driver stopped. He was actual going all the way to Democratic Republic of Congo, but I, after all, cannot travel that fast, as I still want to meet people.

 

Phiri was a comedian when he was young and a truck driver now. He made me laugh the whole time. I also learnt that I drove with a famous Zambian, who was in a big commercial in TV. As my time was perfect, I decided to get dropped off still in Zimbabwe and to visit Chinhoyi caves. Phiri was funny, but I am sure I will still meet many interesting people. Caves had deep clear blue pool and were stunningly blue. After a short visit though, I had to go back on the road. Just few more minutes and with my typical thumb up I got another car. Then another, and another… until I got to the borders. There I had a bit of a problem as the officials refuse to put a stamp on my new passport. On one hand I understand them needing to track where I am going and where to, but my old passport is getting full and I really need to start using the new one. This is the second time I failed. Let’s hope next time I will be luckier.

Anyways, I managed to get some new friends, buy local sim and let know my couchsurfer that I crossed the border. From there I waited a bit but as it was getting late I agreed to contribute to petrol a bit and get lift directly to Lusaka. From there my new Zambian family picked me up and I spent next few days with them. My new Zambian family is just guys. This family of 5 brothers from 18-30 years old, all living in one house without a woman is exactly what you could imagine. And a little bit more. They have their own rota, everyday somebody cooks, cleans or does the laundry. Apart from that, there is PlayStation, racing cars, movies and evening bars with football matches. Nevertheless, they took care of me like I was their little sister. Breakfast almost to bed, delicious dinner and always checking that all is good.

In Lusaka I planned to stay longer, but due to national holidays for the rest of the week I decided to visit Kanyama School, where I started a library project 2 years ago. It was great to see, that the building is standing, and regular reading classes are in hold in the library. The shelves with academic books are relatively full, but novels and some red library books are missing. Some girls asked for more novels and romance, so we figured with Bookfeeding Project (the NGO I started few years ago) that we can try to get more books here. Pallet or two will hopefully arrive by the end of June thanks to amazing partner of ours Books Abroad. The school has also some classes for kids with special needs. In Kanyama, a township with one of the highest HIV rate in the world it is harder to find suitable location for deaf, blind kids or those with mental or physical learning disabilities. Luckily, I hope to get some more material on my way to Malawi, through Lusaka. If any of you have any material especially for blind or deaf children, here with it!

After few words with one of the two Italian volunteers in Kanyama, I learnt that they are driving to Mongu for the holidays. Since I planned to go there anyways, I decided to jump into the car with them and have some fun with a group of people for a change. Plan was ready. Although I hardly ever plan, my karma must be pretty good, since everything always works out just perfect.