Monday, March 16, 2015

Lusaka to Mongu

Welcome to shalom bus station, where everyone is grabbing at your stuff and trying to sell you anything, from a bag of chips to headphones and perfume. Each of us had 2 pieces of luggage plus a carry on or two. All eyes were on us. Our lovely teachers bargained for a fair price to ensure all our luggage made it on the bus. We had to arrive an hour and a half early. This was the first time we were able to see the culture of Lusaka. To us it was chaos, to them ordinary life. 
Before this we hadn't seen much of Lusaka. We were questioning where the 15 million people resided, where the downtown core was, and where the poverty we had heard of existed. Our hostel had been in a "quiet" and "developed" area of town. As we left Lusaka our perspective of Zambia began to change. 
From the time the engine turned on to the time we actually departed the station it took about 45 minutes due to all the congestion and chaos of people, taxis, and buses. Much to our surprise an in house sermon had also begun at the front of the bus. Us girls were wondering what was going on while no one else batted an eye (and Sue may have been converted). This was the beginning of an interesting 10 hour bus ride to Mongu.  
Driving through Lusaka was an eye opener as we got a glimpse at the true Zambian life. Garbage filled the streets. People were walking everywhere. To where? We didn't know. Vendor after vendor lined the side walks and the combination of pedestrians and crazy driving made us wonder how car accidents weren't happening in front of our eyes. 
Before we knew it we emerged from the city craze and found ourselves in the beautiful African country side. On our journey to Mongu we had only two stops, which really put our bladders to the test! At these stops we experienced squat toilets, local unpronounceable food, and a taste of the country culture. Men and women ran up to the buses open windows (the bus had no ac) to sell passengers their goods and children waved happily from the road. We drove through Kafue National Park which is 22,500 sq km. We saw monkeys, antelopes, mud huts and people fishing in the Kafue river. Villages would pop up in the middle of no where making us question how life was sustainable. 
Rolling up to Mongu we gained a glimpse of our new home for the next 6 weeks the excitement really began! We are all looking forward to starting this nursing journey. 
Nicole, Marissa, Karen and Rebekah 

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like quite the experience. I know so little about Zambia and the culture so this was really neat to read. Well written girls. Keep the posts and pictures coming, I am just loving this African News!

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