Zambia

It’s been three days since I landed here, and guess what? No WiFi. So much fun.

I’m not even being sarcastic. I miss the Internet, but I do get time to do other cool things, like you know,  run around with children around the water tank and then give them a piggy back ride. Also, dear Sam promised to teach me football. Fun.

Where do I even start? I have a room to myself for about two weeks, and the washroom freaks me out. I forgot my sunscreen, which is no fun. But I did find a store which sells my cereal, and the milk is really sweet. It’s nice, in a way. The food is usually good and more than I can handle on most days, so we collect it and give it to some children around who give us high fives instead. Oh, they have a super chill handshake and it took me a while to master it, but now I can totally greet everyone like a local.

I’m sitting here in a quintessential little café with local pop music, which is super catchy. I missed a festival which is really depressing, but I’m hoping to go to other places. There’s, of course, Backpackers and Jollyboys where beer is cheap and well, it gets the job done. Also the games are fun. Drinking legally is a relief, and it’s even better when you squeeze in 7 people into a cab to get back. The lights went off at night and we had to defend our food against a vicious and attack, but we won.

Other volunteers are from all over the world, from the States, Canada, Netherlands, England, you name it. But I just happen to be the first Indian, and honestly that’s surprising. I don’t mind a novelty though.

Today I went to my placement, about 7 kms away from home. Yes, I already call Sunbird home. It’s about an hour of walk, through town villages and across streams which apparently have alligators in them. I’m honestly hoping to see a few. The community I will be working for is an extremely vulnerable community with absolutely no means to survival but their farms. They have huge families, often with little food. Most families earn $7 per week and can’t even afford government schools. The kids, they call us MZUNGU, which means foreigners and then hug tackle us or try to climb on us. They’ve been very fascinated with my fitbit, and also my purple hair.

It’s a beautiful, beautiful country. Everyone I’ve met so far has been helpful and courteous, and not once did I feel unsafe. Wait. Once I did, but that was my paranoia. There’s open space and so much scope, but most people don’t have access to resources. The locals haven’t seen the Victor Falls, even though the entry is around 70 cents for them. But not once, never, did anyone treat me like a privileged little brat when they have every right to. I’ve felt welcome, and I have a feeling it’s only going to get better.

This is a quick post because I have WiFi at this cafe. I’ll hopefully wrote more elaborate posts soon, but we never know. Maybe I’ll be too busy loving life.

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