Batteries recharged
on Wendy Margolese (Zambia), 31/Dec/2010 11:01, 34 days ago
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We got back 2 days ago from a 10 day vacation, we started in Zambia’s capital Lusaka. Lusaka is a very built up city, if you saw pictures of the city centre you would never know you were in a developing country. There are Mercedes trucks and the road is full or cars and people selling airtime and anything else you can think of on the side of the road, tomatoes, puppies, clothes, sunglasses.. but mostly airtime for cell phones.We stayed in 3 different VSO volunteers houses while there, we had a great time enjoying city life that we miss while in Siavonga. On reflection though.. we crave city while here in Siavonga but a week into the trip I was thinking of“home” in Siavonga. There is something very nice about living in a small enough town to see familiar faces and know some of the local shop keepers where you shop regularly.After being in Lusaka for 3 days we headed to Livingstone– 7 hours away from the capital and 10 hours away from Siavonga. We took a “luxury” bus that leaves from the city centre twice daily and costs 110,000 Kwacha.. which is about 22.00 cdn. The huge benefit to taking this bus was that it leaves on time. It was actually the most luxury we’ve seensince arriving in Africa. They gave us the newspaper and drinks and snacks while on the journey.. we even made a toilet stop.. you have to pay for use of the toilet but you need to supply your own toilet paper, just 1 of those things in Zambia I’ll never understand. Livingstone is a small tourist town..we stayed at Jollyboys backpackers.. owned by a Canadian couple who moved out here from Vancouver 2 years ago. It’s a great place to stay if you find yourself in Livingstone.. it’s very laid back and very reasonably priced.. they cater to people who want a chill out vacation. With a pit of pillows in the centre of the resort.. they have a very nice pool a very small and laid back restaurant and bar. They make a decent cup of drip coffee which is very hard to find here. For that alone I would stay there again.While in Livingstone we went to walk the famous Victoria Falls.. it’s really beautiful, I had my doubts as a Canadian that they would be as impressive as Niagara falls but honestly I was more impressed because you can get closer to the falls and you can walk down 1km to the water on a stair trail. (great workout) and along the way you’ll see baboons and beautiful vegetation. It was a great day. Livingstone also has some really great lodges with art and jewellery for sale to benefit the local community. They also have a market area with a line up of about 30 vendors selling similar stuff, scarves, earrings, carvings, paintings etc.. if you can fight your way through the vendors there is some nice stuff that`s not very expensive.We did a lot of reading and laying at the pool, ate a lot of great food that we don`t get in Siavonga.. pizza and Mexican.For Christmas eve we went to a volunteer couples house who live in Livingstone from Australia, and they had a few friends over in addition to our group, Mary, Ety, Joi and I. It was a really great time, nice to be with people who are fun to hang out with, and are like extended volunteer family.We were due to have a crazy night out of dancing and drinking and it never happened but honestly it didn`t matter. We had a great time anyway.. Mary and Eti carried on to Chobe national park and Joi and I made the long journey back to Siavonga in 1 day.. 6 hours in the luxury bus and then 3 hours in what they call mini bus. This is really the only mode of public transportation that comes into Siavonga. It looks like a VW bus. They seat 8 people including the driver but we were 12 and the conductor felt he could get 3 more in.Ironically the police have set up check points along the route from Lusaka to Siavonga to check for more capacity vehicles... because all of us had some part of our ass on the seat so that`s no problem.But we made it home safe and sound.. yesterday and today we went to our usual market to greet our community and buy some food and drinks.. all of our usual vendors asked where we had been and what we did for Christmas.. and of course most of them said Christmas was boring because they stayed in Siavonga.. when you ask them why didn't you go anywhere? the answer is always the same because Siavonga is my home..