8pm Thursday October 22 – 16th day – Always Standing Out
This morning Dorcas took me to the Kafuwe River, a river that stretches across a great deal of Zambia. There’s no bridge, and so ferrymen take people back and forth across. You only pay on the way back, which is nice.
So it’s a relatively small, lazy river and you’d never expect how far it really goes. There are hippos and I’m sure other animals in it, but I didn’t have the fortune (misfortune?) to see any.
On the other side of the river was a typical Zambian community. No walls, just simple buildings of cinder block and grass roofs, placed here and there seemingly at random. We made our way to a series of power lines that apparently stretch across the entire country, much like the Kafuwe. About 45 minutes walking past that is an area of land the Ubumi nutrition class is farming. We didn’t go that far. We had no water and it was already quite hot early in the day. But I climbed an anthill (about 15-20 feet high is what we’re talking about. And no ants, at least not more than usual).
As the ferryman landed us safely on the other side, he tried to charge me double, since he knew I was musungu and I just sort of stood there not understanding what he was asking me until Dorcas told me to move along and told him not to try and charge double just because I’m a foreign white dude, which is nice, having someone to watch your back like that.
Later that day I showed Dorcas and Masautso how to set up a youtube account (and hopefully upload videos in the future, but considering how long it took us just to set up the account, I wouldn’t hold my breath, at least not until there’s a more solid internet infrastructure here). After that we had our last lesson on the video camera and editing etc which I think I’ve at least partially communicated to them. It took me years of college to be able to so easily understand all that’s involved, so cramming it into them so quickly seems unfair. Fingers crossed.
Finally they took me to Wimpys, which was incredible. It’s a South African chain that reminded me mostly of a type of Hardee’s, but McDonald’s is a good enough comparison. We got shakes. I got coffee flavored. I was in freaking heaven, it tasted so good. And then I just had to try the food so I got a bacon cheeseburger with a hashbrown patty on it too, which sounds disgusting maybe and it wasn’t nearly as appetizing as the picture (duh) but was good enough to be tasting the familiar fast food.
And the place was full of musungu! I mean, a majority of the tables were white people, all South Africans, as far as I could tell from their accents. It was bizarre, actually. But Wimpys was a lot of fun, especially that shake, so I’m probably going to take the kids there on Saturday so they can all get some ice cream or a shake or whatever before I leave. Saturday is Zambian Independence Day as well, so it’s a big day all around.
I started my last book the other day. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Finally. I saved it firstly because I had two other books I needed to get through and then because I wanted to have something to last me the plane ride back. DFW is good for long reading time, so it’s the safe bet.
I can’t believe it’s almost over.