Mongu has a wonderful main street...at least I think it is the main street. Tarmac with sand on both sides.
Small adobe type stores, blue, pink, ochre and white; signage announcing their wares. Pep( a very small version of Woolworths), Dry Goods and Stationary...sells neither!, Mongue Shopping Center...sells green and red satin slips, African dresses, calculators, face cream, toothbrushes, batteries, random jewellery( I buy two pieces; we were looking for paper!), two things of eye makeup and assorted wonderful necessary items. The proprietor has a soft smile and asks us what we do, how long we are here and how we like Mongu. When we answer we love it his smile broadens and he says Praise God. I digress...
More random stores, some selling groceries, one selling shoes, live chickens and ice. Zambeef selling, what else, beef. People sit out front and stare at the white women. I sometimes feel like we are in a parade and I am the featured float. All interest is friendly, and I shall be quite disappointed when I get home and no one greets me or stares at me.
My favourite store front reads Real Last Judgement Barber.
The hardware might sell furniture and clothes and the clothing stores also carry ladies face cream, assorted tools and some dishes.
Many blue and white minibuses on the main street. Conductors calling out their destinations and the cost of the ride. “ Shop Rite, 2.5 “ and we load on. Always an adventure to ride...again everyone talks and visits and asks about our stay and blesses us.
Finally we come to the paper store, well really it is a grocery, but they sell paper, markers and they can get us flip charts. Off goes a person who returns in 5 minutes with the needed goods. By the time they return, we have shared stories, exchanged phone numbers and acquired a congenial but quite drunk guide who carries our wares to the taxi. Who needs the bright lights and big cities!
Ah Mongu. We love you.
Good shopping all, I’ll bring you some Mongu jewels and I send my love,