Feeling at home

I’ve been on placement now for 2 weeks and starting to feel right at home here. Apart from the increasingly same-y diet of nshima and tomatoes and eggs, there’s not a lot to complain about.

I’ll have to give you all some more complete updates and regale you all with my favourite anecdotes when I get back home and don’t have to type on the silly little iPod. For now, allow me to describe my first experience of the Zambian public bus:

We waited by the roadside, six of us on our way to Lusaka, for about 30 minutes before a blue bus with a white roof screeched into the parking bay on two wheels. These buses resemble the old VW camper vans, and are probably just as out-of-date. Of the 20 available seats, at least 18 were occupied when the bus pulled up next to us. I thought, “Oh, shucks! We’re not all going to fit! Some of us will have to wait for the next bus.” But no. We fit. The conductor had to shut the door and then jump in through the open window in order to successfully stay onboard. I sat on the back row, flanked by two young Zambian men in suits and Anna, another of our volunteer party. One of the Zambian guys had his hand out the window, reaching round to hold the lights, which were hanging on by a wire, onto the vehicle; the other was making sure that Fiona’s bag was still attached to the rear by the single bungee cord that was apparently sufficient; I spent the 40 minute ride uncomfortably perched on the crossbar of the seat as the seat itself had fallen through. I didn’t think the experience could become any more ridiculous until the conductor had to pull the door clean from the car in order that we could get out. It’s impossible to do the comedic value of the average bus journey here justice, so I suggest you come down here at some point to experience it for yourself.

Until the next time I get Internet, farewell.

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