From Lusaka to Lundazi
Saturday we drove from Lusaka to Lundazi in Zambia’s Eastern Province. Kaunda, a Bemba named after the first elected president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, drove Kondwani and me. We began at 0730 and arrived in Lundazi at 1800. We made several stops along the way but obviously we drove for a long distance. Along the way we saw beautiful scenery. The clouds and blue sky, the Luangwa River, small villages spotting the countryside, and the occasional baobab tree impressed me. The contrast in colors between the terracotta earth, green vegetation, and the expansive deep blue skies dotted with brilliant white clouds captivated me.
We stopped at Luangwa prior to crossing the Luangwa River and the border into Eastern Province. Last summer I ate some delicious tiger fish from one of the venders along the roadside. Sadly, no tiger fish this time around. The dried fish lacked the same appeal.
Perhaps the most harrowing aspects of the drive include passing slow moving trucks on narrow roads as well as slowing for goats and people who lack an appreciation for the dangers of walking in the middle of the road with traffic zipping by at 100+ Km/hour. We almost hit a kid (goat of course). I was told more than once kids are young goats and young humans are children.
Along the way we stopped by to deliver letters to several CCAP pastors. At one home the son showed off his self-made wire car (something commonly build by children in southern Africa). At another home the family just finished dinner and had left over maize which they offered and we gladly accepted having been on the road roughly 8 hours by then.
We first travelled to Lundazi in July of 2011. The road the final ~75 Km had potholes the size of cars and made the journey slow going. The government has gradually improved the road. This time the road is paved nearly the entire distance to Lundazi. The part without “tarmac” has no potholes. What a relief.
I am staying at the Gomatemwa Guesthouse, where we have stayed before. The rooms are now upgraded so that they have hot water, a small refrigerator, a telephone connecting the rooms to Reception, and an assortment of friendly insects. A huge wasp just flew in and out of my room. Toilet seats are optional. The bed is soft and the mosquito net is intact. What more could I want? It has the feel of the Four Seasons rather than rural Zambia.
This morning we went to church at the CCAP headquarters in Lundazi, called the BOMA. The derivation of the term BOMA is disputed. Some say it began as the British Overseas Management Administration while others say its origins are similar to the Afrikan’s Kraal or protective enclosure. The BOMA sponsored a women’s guild retreat this weekend and so women led the singing and a female leader delivered the sermon. The singing was wonderful as always. The parish pastor made sure I understood the language difference between English and Tumbuka as the speaker’s Tumbuka limited her theological precision with respect to the Holy Spirit. I reassured him my pneumatology could accommodate this. The Zambians impress me every visit with their clean and freshly pressed clothes despite the ubiquitous dust. I’ve included pictures of the BOMA education department building, the dorm, and the view across the street. Machelle took these pictures several years ago. I’ve also include pictures of Kondwani and Kaunda.
Kondwani received word her mother across the border in Malawi wants to see her to meet perhaps one final time. Her mother is 81 or 82 and wants to share with Kondwani what songs she wants for her funeral. I was to go with her but I only paid for a single entry visa and would have to purchase another visit if I took the 2 hour excursion into Malawi. Too bad. Kondwani took a bike taxi from the border to see her mother. Bikes are a preferred mode of transportation by many locals.
I took advantage of a cool breeze and some cloud cover to walk around Lundazi, a 30-minute adventure. I walked by the Lundazi Castle built by an eccentric Brit decades ago. It is now a restaurant and hotel. As I walked the friendly folks of Lundazi would greet me with their warm smiles. Thankfully only one called me Bwana. I am the only Mazungu in town I think.
Tomorrow I believe we’ll visit a village and maybe see another Strengthening Children group.
The Internet connection is poor and therefore I believe I will send the pictures later.