Monday, May 10, 2010

The Last 2 Weeks

The last two weeks have flown by! I've had a great time showing my friend Crstal around and just hanging out with her. We visited the market near Kalene Hospital but unfortunately didn't get to climb Kalene Hill. Crystal has been a great help getting my classroom set up and gave me some great ideas for bulletin boards. I think the best part so far though was our trip to Solwezi. For those of you who know Zambia, Solwezi is not exactly as "tourist trap" infact its quite a dirty little town. Originally we were hoping to go to Livingstone and see Victoria Falls etc. but in the end we realized we had waited to long to make that spontaneous descision, and Lina and I would have to be back at Sakeji before we'd had enough time to really look around. In the end we decided to go to Solwezi because some missionaries from the Congo were heading down that way and we could hitch a ride. The roads are still really bad, worse in fact in some places, however it has now dried out a lot as the rains have pretty much stopped. here are now new 'roads' going around the worst parts of the road. overall it wasn't a bad trip down and Crystal was able to see some of the Zambian countryside. The first day (Monday) we only drove down as far as Mwinilunga. We stopped and checked out a large (and pretty stinky) market where Lina and Crystal bought some yitenge. We were able to find a "guest house" fairly quickly, it was pretty cheap and clean so we decided to stay there for the night. The other missionaries were heading back to Nyongombe for the night. The 3 of us girls amused ourselves playing Dutch Blitz on the front lawn until we realized it was time for supper. We figured it wasn't too far to walk, so we saved ourselves some cab money and walked back to the market where we had seen a fairly new looking restaurant. I have to admit i wasn't at all impressed with the food, but that's probably more because i'm a picky eater then anything else. It was great to be able to drink real pop though :) After walking/stumbling back in the dark to our house (we did have flashlights but it was really dark!) we played a few more card games and called it a night. we had to get up early to catch the bus for Solwezi. The next morning we awoke to find there was no power and no hot water so we dressed and packed by the light of our flashlights. our hostess had called us a cab who came in a not-so-roadworthy car but we managed to make it to the bus stop on time in one piece. the bus was very crowded, some even had to stand in the isle for awhile until people got off. we weren't sure how long it would take to get there we had been told about 4 hours but our driver must have been training for the Indy or something because we made it in just over 3 hours and that was with stops! it didn't take too long to find a cab who once we got to Solwezi, infact we were practically shoved into one. unfortunately this was the worst cab experience i have had here to date. he got us to our hotel, but not without stops, police bribes and detours first; we weren't too impressed. however, once we got to the Royal Solwezi Hotel we didn't let it bother us. The room was really nice, 2 queen sized beds, air conditioning and the most amazing shower! we spent the rest of Tuesday and wednesday shopping, swimming, eating at the hotel restaurant and playing card games etc. basically we had a pretty sweet time relaxing and enjoying each others company. lots of good memories!

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