Samstag, 31. März 2012

Livingstone No.2

Again I am standing at the Intercity Bus Terminal waiting for the bus to leave Lusaka towards Livingstone. But this time I am not alone. Marten and Dominique are accompanying me on this trip that turned out to be full of surprises!

Arriving around 12.00 in Livingstone, I learned from my lesson during my last visit and walked to the hostel instead of letting the cab driver trick me again. It felt good to be back and I think Marten and Domi were as impressed as I was when I arrived the first time at Jollyboys!

We left our stuff in the room, enjoyed the sun lying in the pool, went for some grocery shopping and had a lovely dinner at Cafe Zambezi, a local restaurant that I discovered together with Natasha and Philip. Since it has been a long day and we were going to Botswana the next morning, we went to bed "early"; but not without welcoming the group of British students that are staying at our house in Lusaka and also planned the trip to Livingstone the exact same weekend.

The trip to Botswana started early in the morning. A driver took us to the border which turned out to be a little safari on its own since we had to cross the local national park in Zambia for more than 50 minutes. At the border we experienced a totally new way of crossing it.....a speed boat took us and a few other passsengers within a few minutes from the Zambian side of the river to the other side, which was Botswana....within a few minutes we were facing a new culture, another language and fortunately the same timezone. Our Safari guide picked us (2 other ladies joined us for that day) up and together we drove to the lodge from which the first part of our day trip (3-hours boars trip on the Chobe River) started. Serving great breakfast and getting ready for Part 1, the sun started to shine stronger and stronger. Enjoying the shade on the upper deck of the Safarin cruise the upcoming 3 hours were just amazing. Starting with the scenery one has to say that the Chobe river does not only served as the border for 4 countries but also provides tourists with 100s of species and an incredible fauna. Without getting to much in details, we saw crocodiles, Iguanas, several bird species such as fish eagles and coulourful divers, Impalas, Hippos, and elephants. The latter was somehwat unexpected since most elephants come to the shore around afternoon since they get thirsty after spending the whole day eating. But since we picked a really warm day we witnessed around 50 elephants coming to the river getting refreshments, taking a bath and marching along the river. It was just an incredible feeling to see these giants in wildlife. The boat trip ended with a delicious lunch at the lodge and us chatting about what we just have witnessed.

The second part of the day trip was a Game drive in the Chobe National Park. One can also say Elephant park because what we were about to see was just amaazing.....100s of elephants so close  that you could touch them, so calm, peaceful and beautiful, that you can only wonder why people hunt these majestic animals.
The Game Drive was more or less dominated by the scenery and various kinds of animals such as buffaloes, hippos, elephants, giraffs and impalas....All in all it was a really beautiful and adventurous day...and a memorable one for sure!

We got home to the hostel in the early evening and I couldnt wait to throw myself into the cold water of the pool and enjoy a Mosi paddling around.

On Saturday we decided to go to the Victoria Falls. This time I was better prepared and wrapped all valuables and documents into bags and T-Shirts so that they wouldnt get wet. Before entering the Park, we made a little excursion to the bridge that serves as the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Reason for that was Dominique who wanted to do the Bungee-Jump (?). 111 meters of pure adrenaline, witnessed and recorded by Marten and me. I still do not understand why poeople desire to jump from a bridge....well maybe it is just not my thing! :)

The weather was brilliant and by that I mean hot(!!!). Since it was not that windy, one could see much more of the falls than last time I was there. Even though it was the second time at the falls I was again overwhelemd by the power, beauty and seize of the falls. Marten and Dominqiue definitley agreed with me on that. We met up with some of the British and enjoyed a small refreshing bath at the upstream of the falls, though standing 10 meters from the edge of the falls! Adrenaline kick...compensating for missing out the bungee jump!
Other highlights of the day include agressivve bamboons stealing passports and cookies from another group of tourists, did I mention the sun, and of course the peaceful atmosphere at Cafe Zambezi together with Marten and Domi.

Another incredible day in Livingstone came to an end but should be followed by another one! Rafting on the Zambezi river!
Sunday...= Sunny day! We were picked up early in the mornuing and went to a lodge where we would get some breakfast, instructions on how to do Rafting and what to do when we end up floating on the Zambezi River (quiet encouraging) etc. AFter splitting in two groups (Marten, Domi and me joined two germans...a wise decision as it would turn out), we drove 40 minutes to the spot where we started our tour. I thought that rafting would be the most challenging task coming up during that day, but climbing down the rocky path (600 m) to the shore was causing a lot of sored muscles the next day.
Our guide in the boat was very much experienced and told us that he wants us to have a memorablew experience asking wheter we want "to hit the big ones" or leave them out. we all agreed on hitting the big ones (he referred to the waves) but we might have changed our mind when we would have know how big the waves were. The Zambezi river is argued to be one of the wildes in the world, and even though we passed only 20 rapids some of them just catapulted the boat several meters in the air before taking it down into the throat of the river....what an experience....I found myself in the river once, uner the boat trying not to panic and eventually succeeding of getting back in the boat.
We also had some parts where the river was calmer which allowed us to jump into the river and float along the beautiful scenery, listeing to the guide telling us about the history of the river. We could also do some cliff jumping....I was surprised about myself when I climbed the 12 meters rock and jumped into the dark Zambezi river.....Pictures will prove my courage!

Arriving at the final destination of our tour we had to take the calbe car in order to avoid climbing up again....Sitting in the calbe car one had a beautiful view over the whole gorge and the rapids which me mastered!

We were so tired after the trip that staying awake until midnight in order to celebrate Dominique's birthday did not really happen. We celebrated her the next day in the bus on our way back to Lusaka!

A couple of days left now until I pack my stuff and get back to Sweden! Final post reflecting upon my stay in Zambia follows up later this week!

So long....!


Mittwoch, 14. März 2012

I am alive

It has been a while since I last updated you on my adventures in Zambia. That is due to two reasons. First, after my stay in Livingstone there has been very much a routine in my every day activities as well as in my work at the sites. Due to heavy rainfalls are we most of the time without internet at the office which prevents me from uploading pictures, and write reports frequently.

However, the last 2 weeks were not without some highlights to be mentioned

1)    One of the biggest changes that occurred in our house has probably been the installation of a DSTV box which now provides us with 196 TV channels and covers most sport events. Instead of spending many hours and much money at the bars around the corner, Marten and me are very much enjoying watching the games from our couch. Getting the dish on the roof, setting the cables as well as struggling with the impact of the weather was a fight to remember. Marten and I agreed: It was worth it.

2)    I booked another long weekend at the hostel in Livingstone in order to experience African wildlife once again this time with Marten and Dominique. We are going to do a one-day Safari trip to Chobe National Park in Botswana, see the Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side as well as enjoy the All-you-can-drink/eat feature at the sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. It is also some sort of finishing up my stay in Zambia since I will have only 4 days left in Lusaka before heading home to Sweden.

3)    In the middle of the night (22.00 – yes I was already asleep since I am working sooooooooo hard) I heard the familiar voice of Andy outside of the gate. It has been only a few weeks since he left, but it was good to see him again. And I think it was very much satisfying to come back to the place he used to live.

4)    Talking about Sasha….this dog/puppy drives me crazy. She is all over the laundry, eats my socks, attempts to eat my Flip-Flops and is hungry all the time. Well I can sympathize with the last point since I do not like to be hungry neither. Anyway, I was just getting some supplies at the corner shop when she decided to jump into one of the garbage wholes of our neighbor’s house. Apparently the food she found there was more important than figuring out how to get out of the whole again. It took me 1 hour and help of 4 other people when I finally gave up and went home. Surprisingly, Marten needed only 2 minutes to say the magic words and to bring her home. I have to learn Dutch since it appears to me very similar to whatever language dogs are speaking.

5)    My work is just going great. I spend hours in the sun with amazing kids, have a great time with peer leaders, and coach handball and basketball teams in the afternoon. The last weeks have been some successful weeks as well. Both boys and girls played at a very high level during school games and finished 2nd and first place respectively. It was a bless to see the long hours of practice eventually work out.

6)    Last Monday Marten invited me to assist in one of his lessons at at school/facility that works with and takes care of children with physical and mental disabilities. This experience showed me once again the power of sports to bring joy into the lives of children as well as how to improve the
skills acquired through sports.

7)    Constant highlight is actually my stomach who decides to be upsetting me all the time. I don’t know what to eat or drink anymore and I started to get used to it instead. Marten has some sort of wonder pills that make my stomach shut up for a minute but I am looking forward to the time when I am back in familiar surroundings. I could give you further insights into the situation in my stomach but I assume that this is of least interest to you.

8)    We went to a couple of markets in town and close to our place. Markets here in Zambia are colorful, entail many different smells, offer the weirdest things to purchase and most often end with me and Marten leaving the market with empty hands. It is however an experience that gives insight into the traditional routines regarding food consumption and production though appears to me, and my stomach, to be an adventure to pass on.

9)     One thing, however, that I would not like to miss out on is the fruits in Zambia. It is such a difference in the quality of taste compared to what I get back home in Sweden. The most recent revelation was the eating of a pineapple which blew my mind. I am still thinking about how to get as many pineapples as possible to Sweden without causing a stir

Next updates coming soon! Have a great week!

Mulenga – Njonka (means “snake” my other nickname since my skin peels off at least once a month due to sunburns   )

Dienstag, 28. Februar 2012

Livingstone - Victoria Falls

Lusaka - Livingstone

If I was on my way to fall in love with this country, I now consider to marry Zambia. I am back after 5 days of vacation in Livingstone with Natasha and Philip. But let me start at the beginning….
I took the bus to Livingstone at 6.00 on Wednesday morning. I called James, my driver, the day before to make sure that he would pick me up around 4:30. Well, he did not show up… I was lucky that Marten could provide me with another phone number and so I eventually made it to the bus station in time and took my seat number 39 at the window waiting for the driver to take me to Livingstone. One thing about bus journeys is that you never know when they start, when you get to your destination, and whether the air condition works or not. The bus company I was going with was however surprisingly leaving on time, had air condition all over my face and arrived in Livingstone exactly 6 hours after we left Lusaka. Highlights of the trip:

11)      The nature: It felt like I got to see the real African countryside. So many beautiful passages, small villages of wooden sheds and people at bonfires, beautiful blue sky and an Afircan sun burning through the window, causing head ache and creating a certain smell in the bus.
22)      The only animals that I saw on my journey to Livingstone were a lot of buffalos and cows and a fried chicken, which my neighbor was eating. I was lucky that my stomach was not as upset as it used to be, otherwise the combination of smells and the lack of sleep could have easily caused a worse scenario
33)      Speed: The bus was in time…I said that already. It had to be because we were going around 140 km/h. It felt like 3459743 km/h though.  I had a panicking moment which also made me feel more than awake when one of the drivers suddenly stood up. Given the fact that due to the differences in heights within the bus, one could only see the bumping heads of the two drivers sitting in the front. Usually, back home the driver sits on the left side. I was still sleepy and was therefore surprised when the one to the left suddenly stood up….who was driving the bus? Why is he walking around?....ah I get it….the one on the right is holding the wheel!

I arrived at Livingstone around 12.00 and was welcomed by one million taxi drivers who offered me their services. Since I did not know how far away the hostel (“Jollyboys”) would be, I took a taxi that dropped me in front of the hostel after 500 meters. If I would have known that, I could have saved the 20,000 kwacha! At the reception I waited for Philip and Natasha who arrived one day earlier in Zambia and now jumped out of the pool (yes we had a pool at the hostel) and ran into my arms. We haven’t seen for a while, and it was so great to see them in Zambia. After our journey to Taiwan it was the next adventure that we would share for the next 5 days.

The cold water of the pool, the sun on the back, and the Mosi (local beer) in the hand made the start of our stay. We decided to take it easy today since we were having quiet a schedule for the days to come.  We went for Chinese food, made a short trip to the supermarket, and waited until midnight in order to celebrate Philip who turned 25 on February 23rd. We shared a room and slept under one big Moskito Net. I was fighting my cold that the AC in the bus had caused and was lucky to catch up on some sleep. I would need the energy for our trip to the Victoria Falls next day.

Victoria Falls

Three words…. Beautiful, Powerful, Wet!
We took the shuttle to the falls at 10.00. After a Birthday Breakfast and a lot of sun blocker, we finally entered the Victoria Falls. I only had to pay 5000 Kwacha (1$) since my working permit makes me alike a Zambia citizen. The Victoria Falls were discovered by David Livingstone when he travelled through Africa. Given the size and the noise of the falls, one could wonder how somebody would have possibly missed the Victoria Falls. There were different paths one could take, so we started with the panorama/photography path. One had an amazing view on the falls from distance and the nature surrounding the falls. The picture was completed by the bridge that displays the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. We met a guy who was selling the bills of the Zimbabwean currency to us, so Philip and I are now lucky owners of the bills having the highest value in the world ( dollars).  The sun was burning on our heads, but even though the falls were still further down the park one got wet by the “smoke of the water”. In local language the Falls are called the “smoke that thunders” which turned out to be more than true.
But before getting really close to the actual Falls we went down a path to get to the “Boiling Spot”. It was a path through a jungle-like part of the park with beautiful butterflies, many baboons starring on our backpacks expecting us to feed them, and big spiders hanging from the trees. When we got to the boiling spot we understood the meaning of the name. It was the part of the Zambezi river there the water that came down the falls makes a sharp turn to the right and this creates a whirlpool that is so powerful that it becomes a paradise for all wild water rafting specialists. One had a perfect view on the bridge/border from which people do the legendary bungee jumps (we even witnessed one of them). Imagining the Australian girl falling into this whirlpool a couple of weeks ago makes it even harder to belief how she got out of there. It became even more surprising when we discovered two crocodiles taking a sunbath just 25 meters from where we enjoyed the beautiful view on the river. Really….crocodiles and no fences? I want to get out of here….! Those were my first thoughts. But crocodiles are as lazy as I am on a Sunday afternoon. They did not move a centimeter so Philip started to throw stones in their direction….well he luckily missed. I think if they would have been closer to us or there wouldn’t have been so many rocks between us, this birthday could have turned out to be Christmas for the crocodiles.  On our way back (which meant we had to climb (!) about 1 kilomter up again) we met ca. 15 baboon who awaited us at the end of the path. These monkeys are huge….and they have sharp teeth….and they are always hungry. We didn’t dare to move since we did not know how they would react. Especially because they had little babies with them. Finally, I thought that these baboons have to deal with us humans every day and in the end we are not so different from each other at all. So I started walking through the herd of baboons, with a backpack full of confidence AND full of crackers! Both me and the crackers made it to the main path and Philip and Natasha eventually took  many amazing pictures of the baboons.

The next path we took led to the falls. A wall of water that comes down with such a power and such a speed that one could barely hear what the person next to you tried to tell you. If I would have to name this path I would call it “The walking shower”.  In the beginning we were still able to take pictures but the closer we got, the more water we would face. We started to pack all valuables and electorinc devices into my backpack which was supposed to be water proof. In the end it turned out to be only half true. My cell phone and my camera became really wet so that the batteries stopped working. An expansive visit! At least the sim card worked and I could save all the pictures. And: I could actually enjoy the view and the moment without being busy taking pictures all the time.  It was amazing….you could almost touch the falls. And they are gigantic….much bigger than the ones in Iguaçu or in Niagara.  A small (!) bridge led to a small island really close to the falls, and for one moment you were standing right within the Falls. (At least that’s how it felt like). Completely soaked but completely happy, we spent quiet a time starring at the water coming down, proud to share such an amazing experience all together. Pictures will help to explain what we saw…even though one has to be there in order to understand the power which I described.

Dry again! After 30 minutes….this sun really burns the brain out of your head. But you barely feel it since the air is dry and not humid. It does not exhaust you, it just toasts you and you cannot escape. The shade that people are using is occupied by baboons, parking cars, shops, food stands, etc. Whenever you get a spot in the shade you enjoy the few seconds of cooling down your body. We used the souvenir shops in order to do so….not the best decision we made that day. Even though we found some interesting souvenirs to take home with, the way the many salesmen and saleswomen wanted us to be their customers was both annoying and uncomfortable. An interesting lesson we learned and a tiring one as well.
Back home in the hostel we were enjoying the cold pool, starting to invite our best friend Mosi to the party. What a day….and what a birthday! A group of African women performed African dances at the hostel, beer tastes as good in Livingstone as it does in Lusaka, my two best friends from back home in Zambia, The Victoria Falls, and a clear starry night above us….! But there was still more to come!
Natasha and med gave Philip a present that we all would going to enjoy. The day started early in the morning around 6:30 with a game drive. A driver picked us up at the hostel and brought us to a beautiful Lodge close to the Zambezi River. We got into one of these Safari cars and started our 2.5 hour drive through the National Park Mosi-o-Tunya (“the smoke that thunders”). Even though we are in a wet season the big animals (Elephants and Rhinos) barely move to the park since the ground is too wet, we got to see many species and beautiful settings. Starting with Impalas we got to see many Zebras, Giraffes, “Pumbas” (the one from Lion King…I do not know what the English name is), many birds, Water buffaloes, baboons, Gnus, etc. It was a great experience to see so many of these animals in wilderness; no fences – just the beauty of nature. Since there are no predators in the park (lions, and wild cats etc), this area is a safe surrounding for most animals and a great opportunity to protect them. Baobab trees and sausage trees were another highlight in the trip which led us along the Zambezi River all the time. The game drive was part of a combination package that would include a sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River. Back at hostel we spent time on the market, went for lunch, and visited the Livingstone Museum until we eventually got picked up by our driver again. When we got on the cruise one could already sense the atmosphere of this stunning setting. The calm river, the sunset, and the calming nature around made this trip a memorable one. An including features was an open bar (free drinks (!)) and traditional African barbeque and snacks during the trip. Enjoying my company, enjoying myself, and enjoying the Hippos at the side of the river (they are huge, especially when they are yawning), I felt like the happiest Muzungu on earth.  Too bad that this trip and this vacation had to end. I will come back at the end of March, doing a Safari to Botswana to see elephants and Lions as well, and have to wait one month only until I will see Natasha and Philip again back home in Lund.
I had a great time, memorable experiences, I took great pictures, and feel extremely motivated to start my last month in Zambia. I will provide you with some pictures later this week, since our office is without internet this week.

So long….

Running late....

Time flies. Especially this week went really fast. I am enjoying the sun and African beers and spend my days either with doing sports or researching my thesis topic. I am getting use to the fact that everything takes a bit longer and time is something that you do not own; it rather owns you. This week was more or less marked by some refreshing rains and some movement in our house. 

Marten was supposed to move to his host family on Tuesday. He did so but decided to move back to where I stay after spending only one night with the family. The conditions did not meet his expectations and so we are “roommates” again. In order to celebrate that we went out for some burgers and beers on Wednesday at the new pub/restaurant that opened up down the street just a couple of days ago. It turned out to become one of our favorite spots to watch football and have a bite.  

Work treats me well. I learn a lot about pedagogical methods that one can apply in order to spread the message of the organization and teach life skills. I have a lot of fun seeing the kids run on the fields and watching them pass the ball to me. Especially the smaller ones are really excited about getting out of the classrooms or the homes and join for sportive activities. It is hard to imagine what these 45 minutes mean to them…. but when you see them laughing and joining the activities until exhaustion, I start to appreciate a right that I always took for granted. Every person’s right to be active in sport activities in order to improve health as well as social competencies and life skills.  

At the same time I find more and more organizations and scholars dealing with the subject. It provided me with crucial information and encourages me to continue with my topic of interest.
On Thursday we were told by Vivian that they (Andy and her) would leave town for good by tomorrow. Funny enough that we met them at the pub across the street while watching Europe League. We joined them for a couple of beers and the evening turned out to be a sentimental one. Many tears by Andy and Vivian made us belief that the new beginning in a new town was not the first choice solution. It is due to job and family that they leave Lusaka and move to the Eastern Province. I hope I will see them again one day and I was glad that I got the chance to thank them for all the support and interesting insights they provided me with during my first weeks in Zambia.
Further highlights of the week:
Dinner on Friday at an Italian restaurant that made me want to marry it. Pizza was so good that I was close to ordering 15 of them to take with me. No electricity shut down this time, but a similar terrifying ride back in the cab through the “real” suburbs of Lusaka. It was supposed to be a shortcut….well it wasn’t! and if it was a shortcut then I could have passed on that one.
Esther Phiri won her fight. She is boxing and argued to be one of the best female boxers in the world. It seems to be Zambian’s year of sports. Let’s see what they can do in the Olympics….even though I don’t know if we are sending any athletes.
Clouds. A real highlight this week. Haven’t seen so many of them so far. But when they show up they allow me to cool down a bit.

School competition in athletics on Saturday. Great pictures, great athletes and great atmosphere. I learned some traditional dance moves (which made the majority laugh). People run fast here in Zambia….and they do so until they faint. I was wondering what this big dark “plane” was serving for until I saw two teachers carrying the first 2 girls to it in order to provide them with water and first aid. After seeing that I did not feel like running ….not at all!
I conducted my first interviews with some girls and a peer leader at my organization. It was more a testing of my questions and to learn from the (many) mistakes one can do in conducting interviews. It was fun though. I figured that people are still very shy when talking to me about their thoughts and I consider taking local help into account.
Sasha (our 3 month old dog) ate another one of my socks…I have to buy new pairs very soon if she continues to eat them up. 

Three Swedish guys joined the house for a few days until they get to their own apartment. It was great to talk Swedish again. Marten and I took them to Woodland’s (a mall) in order to introduce them to the neighborhood, and help them with everything they needed. It was funny since I saw myself arriving a month ago asking the same questions and buying the same sort of food. Now it was us who were asked to introduce them to Zambia.
Thanks to everybody who found time to Skype with me this week. I enjoy sharing my stories and listen to yours and hope that we see each other soon.  I am heading for Livingstone on Wednesday and will report from my vacation with Natasha and Philip when I get back on Sunday! Have a great week everybody!


Dienstag, 14. Februar 2012

We made it....!

What a weekend...I am still shaking when I think back to the penalty-shootout!
But let me start with a short review of my weekend.
Friday is my busiest day of the week with 9 hours of sport lessons, practice, and afternoon activities at the high school. So the weekly dinner with Marten and Domi was somehow a reward for the work we did during the week. We went to "Arabian Nights" at Arcades in order to try some different kind of food. The restaurant was furnished in an Arabian style and was recommended to us by some friends. While going through the menu the electricity died and suddenly we sat in the dark trying to pick our dishes with help of some candles. The waiter ensured us that they will still be able to cook for us....After 15 minutes the lights finally went on and we enjoyed the really delicate food. Another highlight was the tandoori chicken pizza I ordered ....not only due to the amazing taste but also because they passed our table with the pizza leaving the restaurant in order to bake it in another restaurant next door. I liked the picture of a waiter walking with a unfinished pizza through the mall....
When Marten and me took the taxi home later that night, the driver suddenly pulled over in the middle of was already late and completely dark outside. My first thought was that we are going to be robbed, but the car turned out to have a puncture. We sat 25 minutes in the car and watched the driver changing the tire in a light-handed way.

Satruday turend out to become a very lond and sunny day. Marten and me decided to check out the Adventure City Water Part that I discovered on the internet. Since we only got the name of a street and a bus driver who dropped us close to that street we had to ask several times for the way. Everybody ensured us that we are walking in the same direction and it would take about 30 minutes to walk there. Eventually we took a bus for 5 minutes and walked 1 hour in incredible heat until we finally got to the signs that indicated the entrance to the park. When we got to there we had to realize that the park is closed for rennovation and would not reopen before June/July. We were really exhausted and decided to call "our" driver to pick us up and take us to a public swimming pool called "Millenium" closer to town. Well it took us 2 hours and 50.000 Kwacha to finally jump into the water and relax in the sun. We met two friends from office and spent some time watching soccer, playing billiard and taking a nap. later that day I started to feel the impact of the sun and felt asleep early.

Sunday would become the most successful day in the history of Zambian history of sports. The whole day I spent waiting for the match, preparing everything for the 90 minutes that would change everything in that night. We decided to watch the game at home since our experiences from last time made us worry about the safety....8 people died on the streets after the semi-final due to car accidents and drunken drivers. When the game finally started (the reports and analyzes started already 5 hours before the match) the weather outside became worse. And only 10 minutes later all lights at home died and electircity was gone.....we were screaming and praying, swearing and hoping and I dont know which was the decisive word to make the electricity come back but for the next 90 minutes we would have no problem watching the match. We could hear the puib across the street, the neighbours watching next door and the kids with the vuvuzelas on the street. When it came to the penalty shootouzt after an amazing 120 minutes, I was down on my knees in front of the screen and closing my eyes and wished nothing more than the Chipolopolo to take home the trophy against the background of the tragedy that happened 19 years ago. When Sunzu scored the final penalty everything went crazy....I never felt so happy and glad after a soccer match like I did that night....we went outside to witness the many people running, screaming dancing and cheering for their team. it was catching and a lot of people were crying since there were so many emotions going on at the same time. It was late when we finally went to bed but I slept well....very well!

Monday became a holliday....when I took the bus in the morning, there was no traffic, people were sleeping outside of the bars, or they were still drunk. The office was closed, and people showed up late after having slept only 2 hours and everybody was so happy and proud to be Zambian. Wearing my Zambian jersey that I bought a couple of days before the final made me feel like being part of it and sharing the joy with others. This week will be a week of celebration and nobody knows hpw long it is going to take for the people top return to every day live..... I will have to....meetings, lessons and studying will mark this week before I head to Livingstone next week to meet up with Natasha and Philip to see the Falls and do a Safari!

Hej sa länge!


Freitag, 10. Februar 2012

It is hot in here....!

We made it! Zambia won against Ghana and is in the final of the African Cup of Nations. The moment the referee blew his whistle, the whole country became a great party. We joined the dancing masses on the street and moved our bodies to the sounds of the Vuvuzela. We took a taxi home and it turned out to be a risky and exciting ride I wont forget for the next months to come. When we reached our neighbourhood people started to jump on our car, danced on the top of it, shaking the car and sitting on the cowling. We actually had to lock the windows and doors and the driver was forced to accelerate within the masses to make it home safely. We finished the day with some Heineken and went to bed exhausted by the excitement of the day.

Further highlights of the week:

Saw a Chameleon on the tree outside office....well actually I did not see it until Chenge showed it to me!

Gave lessons on my own and felt like people actually did what I told them to do.

Played basketball @ Libala High with the "big guys". These guys are beasts....I was more like a toothpick bunring in the sun trying to join the game. At the same time I bedraggled the glory of German basketball when I claimed to be "Dirk Nowitzki".

I got interviewed by a 14-old girl who wants to learn more about Germany and my stay here in Zambia. We made an appointment for next week so she could come with her collegues. Wasn't I supposed to do the interviews with THEM?! Everything is a bit different here...I guess!

Got a phone number....again!..."from a girl that waits inside. she wanted me to give it to you", a young boy from the basketball team told me. No name, no age, no face, just a number that I am supposed to call! Maybe I should try that next time when getting back home....The chance that I get a phone call is as possible as the fact that I will call this number.

Today (Friday) I spent 5 hours under the African sun shooing pupils from cone to cone. Steak "Joe" switched from "medium" to well-done. After the afternoon activities, handball and basektball practice, I will probably look like one of those people who fell asleep at the beach and wake up after 5 hours....

Going out for dinner tonight and maybe some bowling....waterpark and sun-bath tomorrow and the Final on Sunday at the Pub! I will let you know how it went! Have a good one!

Mittwoch, 8. Februar 2012

Bring it on!

Today everybody talks about the match against the "Black Stars" from Ghana. It is a tight match since both teams are favourites for the title. Until 18.00 when the game starts I will join the many specualtions and discussions about line-ups, potential results and questions where to watch the final on Sunday.
Before I get to my class I just wanted to update you with recent highlights.

Tuesday was marked by heavy rainfalls. A normal consequence in this country is a power breakdown. Since I was still in the office and it was lunchtime I witnessed Zambian creativity. Withi9n minutes a fire burned outside the office in order to cook food whereas the rest of the crew relaxed their heads on the computers that were out of order. I woke up when the Radio started again to play Zambian music.

When I got home I realized that I left keys and cell phone at my place. So I had to wait for Marten and Domi. I used the time to go back to the bar where we had a couple of beers on Sunday and due to a misunderstanding haven't got our change. Probably very impossible back home, I just asked the waitress whether she remembers me and the fact that we did not get our change and after a few minutes she came with the money and wished me a good day.
Though amazed by this kindness I was still not getting in to our house. So I started to play soccer with the neighbour kids. They are good....but they could not stop the German striker. I got to score 6 times to turn the game into a victory. A girl that was playing in my team told me that she was supposed to go to Linköping with her school (exchange) and wondered whether I knew this place....Hell yeah I know it! Funny story....!

Since Domi is leaving for her host family today (Wednesday), we went out for some beers, also because I dropped my beer back home and created a mess....Some people wont be surprised by the fact that I spill things or drop things....I know....I take this habit with me wherever I go.

Have to go to class now....Wish me a lot of I do not burn myself again! :)