Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Trip into Town

Where I live in Kaniki is approximately 15km from the city of Ndola, and most of the journey to get there takes you straight along a really long road called Mufilira Road. Although there are a few vegetable stalls nearby and our local farm sells a small selection of foods, most of our shopping has to be done in Ndola. This means a trip into ‘town’ at least once a week, as well as other trips there for church, restaurants, sports etc. As this has become a regular part of my routine, I thought I’d give you a flavour of what Zambia’s third largest city is like.

If you've read my previous blog posts, you may have noticed that the roads here are bumpy and full of potholes! Some areas are particularly bad and the potholes also gets worse after rain. On our journey to town there are two roadblocks where the police stop people to check insurance or the condition of their vehicle and so on. However, you will not find any police there if it's raining!

A roadblock along Mufilira Road

Ndola itself has a population of over 450,000 and is reasonably built up. The main road in the city is called President's Avenue. There are lots of local shops, selling everything from food, clothes and chemists to hardware, car parts and wigs. There are also two big shopping centres which are more similar to the shops we would visit at home. They are called Kafubu Mall or Jackaranda Mall and are where we go if we want to feel at home.



Ndola city centre

There is quite a variety of places to eat out within Ndola, some of which you would recognise. These include Nandos, Subway and Hungry Lion, which is pretty similar to KFC. One of my favourite places is a restaurant called Bojangles which only opened at the beginning of the year. In fact, most of the development within Ndola has happened in the last five years.

A recent visit to Bojangles

Another favourite place in town is Gigibonita ice cream parlour. This is run by an Italian charity called 'Rainbow' who support orphans. One of the girls in my class is sponsored by them and had a heart condition, so the charity paid for her to travel to Italy for surgery when she was younger. As many of you know, I am very happy to eat ice cream, and even more so if it supports a good cause! There's lots of choice...



Working my way through all the flavours...

When I first arrived in Zambia, I heard that at the beginning of the month you often can't get cash out of the ATM machines here. Apparently this is because this is the time when most people get paid their wages, so many of them take their money out and the banks run out of cash. I didn't quite believe this until I tried to get cash out, can now confirm that it’s true!

A trip into town usually takes us a whole afternoon since the journey itself is a good half an hour drive either way. We also find that regardless of what we go into town for in the first place, everything takes longer here so shopping is not as straightforward or efficient as we are used to. This is quite different from my usual two minute walk into town back in the UK, as my flat is in the city centre! However, as living in Kaniki can sometimes feel quite out of the way, it is great to still be able to ‘pop’ into town and access so many of the facilities that Ndola has to offer. 


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