Re posted on Feb. 14, 2021
Originally Posted September 12, 2011 at medwoman.wordpress.com
I have abbreviated the original post to the following.
About one month before my flight in August 2011, I met with a friend of mine and we were talking about her 19 yr old daughter Jami. She had completed college and was looking for work to no avail. Millie her mom said she really wanted to be a writer, especially re humanitarian issues but it was a hard field to get into. I was sitting again one morning, it is my best time to think, and I called Millie and left a message saying “Why doesn’t Jami come with me?” It would be company for me and a chance for Jami to write and maybe start her career. So with in two weeks she was booked on Ethiopian Airlines with me.
I sent Jami and her parents a list of what I thought the expenses were, our itinerary and important phone numbers like the Canadian Consulate in Zambia. We were all set and Carl drove us to Buffalo to catch our flight as it was less expensive to fly from there.
So with my two suitcases I bought from Value Village, with the intent to leave them with Njamba, Jami and I checked in at the airport. I had stuffed a few more things into Jami’s suitcase last minute and her bag ended up 13 lbs over. It cost me $200.00USD. Apparently it didn’t matter how much I was over it would have cost $200.00 but at that point I wanted to take the world to them so I paid it. It was well worth it.
Hindsight being what it is I should have made all the people behind me wait in line while I took 13lbs out of Jami’s suitcase and carried it onto the plane. But as it was I was carrying a stuffed big purse, my camera & video camera bag, binoculars, my backpack with my clothes and a 3ft long tube of gum balls. It was the first thing I bought to take on my trip and I was bound and determined I was going to give them out in the village.
After 30hours traveling we arrived in Lusaka Zambia. We had stop over’s in Washington, Addis Abba, Harare and finally Lusaka. After changing $2000.00USD into Kwacha, the driver from Kilimanjaro Country Lodge barely packed us & our luggage into his little car.
We drove through downtown Lusaka to the east end of town to a marvelous country estate. The owners Ann & Nick have a two year old so the property was geared to children which was lovely. They had miniature ponies for the kids to ride.
Sandboxes and a cage with bunnies & guinea pigs. Ducks, peacocks and even a turkey. The food was amazing either on the patio or in the restaurant and there was a good assortment of local art and crafts you could buy. It was the perfect place to get acclimatized to anew country as the staff were welcoming and spoke English very well. I loved their names. Innocence, Collins, Chamba, to name a few. We had a lovely meal and Jami went back to our room to re group while I sat and enjoyed the smell of the air and realization that I was in Africa sitting on a patio on a beautiful property. Around 7:oopm the power went out.
I had heard that this happened during peak hours to avoid blowing a transformer. I left my patio seat and walked down the path, in the pitch black to our room to make sure Jami was Ok. I met her on the path coming to find me. I went back to the room and lit my candle that I had brought for just such circumstances and found one already in the room. We lit that to save mine and I left her by candle light, doing her thing. It was luckily only out for about 15 minutes, but the restaurant and patio looked beautiful lit by candle light.
Stay tuned for the next episode in two weeks time!
Happy Valentines Day 2021!