Thursday, 16 December 2010

Book Bus Journal - Zambia 08/05/10

Back to Lubasi!

So the first volunteers of 2010 have arrived and our first stop was a visit to the spectacular Victoria Falls. The Zambezi River is very full after the rainy season and at the moment the falls really live up to their local name “Mosi O Tunya” – meaning the smoke that thunders. Whilst I have been away the government have doubled the entry fees but without warning and any given reason, it’s a very controversial topic locally. Locals pay much less than tourists but their reduced fees have tripled!!
We walked down to the boiling pot at the base of the falls which has a micro climate much like a mini rainforest because of the constant spray from the falls. There are plants and flowers here you can’t find anywhere else in the area. The climb up again was tough but then we went to see the falls close up from knife edge bridge and got absolutely soaked by the spray…it was like somebody had thrown us in a swimming pool but good for cooling off!

This week we have been visiting the Lubasi home as schools are still on holiday but both the volunteers and the children got so much out of spending consecutive days together. It’s great to see the trust building and the kids becoming more confident! All the children aged 3 to 17 joined in with our sessions and read a huge variety of books and partook in crafty activities afterwards, masks and friendship bracelets were the favourites with the youngsters. The children delight in showing us what they have been up to; be it learning to write or doing amazing back flips. Each day they would eagerly ask “are you coming again tomorrow?” Friday was hard; having to tell them we wouldn’t be back for a week. We are already looking forward to next Friday afternoon!

One afternoon we visited the colourful and ever vibrant Maramba market which is just opposite the home. You can buy almost anything here, from chickens to tyres and from material to taps. The food market it an assault on all your senses, especially smell! This is the “real” Africa where locals go about their daily business and we are a novelty walking around in our yellow t-shirts!

We have also watched the excellent local dance & culture show “Dancing around Zambia” performed by Livingstone Performing arts foundation at the Zambezi Sun resort. Inspired by the dancing the very next day the girls all attended a dance workshop to try and learn the moves! The Lubasi children were then treated to a demonstration on Friday which they found “interesting!!” And last night we went for a traditional Zambian meal, where knives and forks are banned!!

Overall it has been a very successful first week despite the bus still being “grounded” due to the road condition and everyone has enjoyed the week spent getting to know the Lubasi orphans and the real Zambia!

Book Bus leader - Kelly Geoghegan