Selling roasted mealies (corn) by the side of the road

Our volunteers are now in Zambia to work on Malambo Grassroots’ various projects. Here is a message from one volunteer, about her arrival:

“This morning there is a spectacular thunder and lightening storm outside. It’s 5 am right now. I’ve been lying here since 3 am thinking it will stop any moment but it’s still louder than ever.  I wonder how the earth can absorb so much water?

“Flying into Zambia yesterday, I couldn’t stop smiling.  The moment I got on to the tarmac and smelt the air my grin got impossibly larger.  I laughed when I got to baggage and saw that the belt was broken so there were huge piles of luggage stacked on top of each other — the room was full.  Luckily for me, my luggage was added to the chaos just as I got out of the eternal customs line! 

“We spent the morning in Lusaka. A lot has already changed since last year.  There is a general feeling that Zambia is coming up–though life expectancy is lower than ever right now at 36 years. We looked at numerous crafts, wondering if the Malambo women could make them and whether or not they would sell back in Vancouver.  After dealing with many other practicalities we drove several hours to the Kafue junction and waited in the sweltering heat for Sipriano while women offered to sell us bananas.  The bus (that is used for Malambo Grassroots projects) is more rickety than ever. We now look like the official transport here–one window won’t open (which makes it unbearable in the heat), the windshield is broken, the side mirror is hanging on in a precarious fashion, and the muffler is a joy to listen to.  The bus won’t make it much longer so we are thinking about alternatives–a newer, safer vehicle.

“We met in the late afternoon to talk about school scholarships and had some good discussions about how exactly to micro-finance part of the school scholarship program since it is so expensive to go to school here. Miriam came by to visit–she is one of the oldest grandmothers on the farm.  There is a lot of malaria right now, with many people in hospital, so she wanted to share this concern.  

“The rain is slowly starting to dissipate–the thunder and lightening still really loud!  I have heard the others stir, so I’m going to go sit on the deck and watch the end of the storm…..the birds and insects are amazing–louder than the rains….there is a soft voice floating above the birds—it must be our mulonda (security guard for the night)–beautiful.”