Thursday, 26 February 2015

Lusaka, the capital city

Our mid-term break brought a most welcome rest and also the chance to explore a new city. I love Kaniki but it is quite intense living and working within a compound, particularly as it feels ‘out in the sticks’ compared to life back home. So Rosie and I decided to visit Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, for a few days.

We arranged to travel with our friend Anna (from church here) who had to go to Lusaka for a work meeting, but we persuaded to stay on with us. Unfortunately Anna’s car broke down the evening before we went! As the car that Rosie and I drive over here is only suitable for shorter journeys, it meant a five hour journey on the bus.

I was actually rather pleasantly surprised, as the bus turned out to be a coach with enough seats for all the passengers - the usual buses around town are more like vans which large numbers of people pile into! I even managed to sleep for half of the bus journey.

We met Anna in Lusaka as she had opted to leave at 5.30am! When Rosie and I arrived, we felt extremely popular! At the bus station there was a huge crowd of men shouting ‘Taxi!’ at us before we'd even got out of our seats. I literally had to push people out of the way to escape!

Another pleasant surprise was the place we stayed. At only 120K (approx. £12) per person a night, our expectations were not very high. However, we had a nice two-bedroom apartment for the three of us. We appreciated the clean tile floors which meant we could walk around in bare feet (I usually keep my flip flops on here!) as well as the power shower.

The Baptist Apartments

The apartment was a walk away from the centre. 

Anna on our walk into the city

Casually strolling along in front of us...

In most capital cities, you would expect there to be lots of historical and cultural things to do. There aren’t many in Lusaka! The only remotely cultural thing we did was go to a big market. It was great fun bartering and chatting to the people who were selling handmade crafts. If you've ever been to Africa or been given a present from here, you would probably recognise a lot of the gifts!

Another treat was actually drinking a cocktail. Yes, just the one…I thought I’d better not go overboard having had no alcohol since I left the UK! We had a tasty meal out on our first evening in the city but later found out that the dinner we'd all eaten didn’t agree with us! Suffice to say, we didn’t eat out much the next day.

Dinner and cocktails!

In Lusaka, there are three shopping centres which each have a cinema, so we were easily able to find entertainment. We enjoyed strolling round the shops, buying things that we can’t get in Ndola, having coffee at Mugg & Bean (an African coffee shop!) and seeing a few films at the cinema...five films, to be exact! We saw American Sniper, Kingsman, Jupiter Ascending, Annie and Taken 3. More movies than I think I saw at the cinema in the whole of last year! Yet it was great because it was cheap (yes, I am my mother’s daughter!) and so different from what we've been doing since we arrived in Zambia…it felt like a small taste of home.

Our bus journey back to Ndola was fairly straightforward, although rather amusingly there was a young boy travelling on the seat next to us with two live rabbits!

1 comment:

  1. Definitely more exciting than our half term which involved a fair amount of rain and therefore box-set watching!! Kirsty xx