Monday, August 30, 2010

Lusaka, Zambia 26 August 2010

Lusaka, Zambia 26 August 2010

After 55 hours we finally made it to our hotel in Lusaka from Dar Es Salaam. The Tazara train made it to Kapiri Imposhi at 1pm, but then we had to get to Lusaka before we could rest. It was starting to feel like an episode of the Amazing Race.

Luckily we met a local lady who adopted us and helped us make our connections to Lusaka. She caught a cab with us from the train station to the bus station about 5km away, then she waited with us and caught a bus to Lusaka together, and then we shared another cab from the Lusaka bus station to our hotel before she went on to her home. She was very helpful when at the Kapiri bus station local african started harassing us. She yelled at him to go away and called the attention of the security personnel in the orange vests when it was obvious that he was high and just wanted to cause a scene. Eventually the trouble maker was taken away by the security guys and he started a fight. The last i saw of him was a circle of orange vests surrounding the guy on the ground. Besides that minor incident we had no problems at all on our trip.

Until we got to Lusaka we didn't see any other muzungos. The people on the small 24 passenger bus weren't really sure what to think about us. They were very nice and Brad shared his pretzels with the kids and although we were tightly packed together it was a nice ride. Once we got to the city and people started getting off the bus bedlam ensued as one lady who had many large bags wasn't keeping track of them. When we got to her stop at the end of the trip she discovered she was missing a large bag and started yelling at the driver and doorman in Nyanja or some other local language. I couldn't make exactly what she was saying but it was clear she wasn't happy and held the bus people responsible. We quickly got into a cab and drove away before she made too big a of a scene.

We experienced a mini-culture shock when we walked into the lobby of the four-star hotel. We had gotten used to being among the locals and all of a sudden we walked into a room with marble floors where Africans were a distinct minority, everyone spoke English, and drinks were $5.00 USD. After three days on the train we were black with soot and pretty ripe but I appreciated the hot shower, electricity, and wifi. There was even a large outdoor pool, but it was too cold to swim. We indulged in a nice dinner at the hotel that cost 136,000 kwachas each and i was asleep by 9pm local time (somewhere on the train we crossed into a different time zone and didn't realize it until dinner- we had to wait an extra hour for the restraunt to open for dinner at 7pm).

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