I have been in Lusaka for a week now. It’s such a different experience and feel from where I have lived in Africa during my last several years (i.e., small communities in much more rural settings). Sometimes it hasn’t even felt like I’m in Africa this past week. Lusaka is a big city. With traffic. And restaurants. And people don’t care that you are a foreigner. Most people who haven’t been to Africa can’t imagine it could be like this in Africa…the perception is that living in Africa is hard. And, of course, outside the major cities it is a different world. But in a place like Lusaka it’s almost like being in America, really. I mean if you look hard enough you see the cracks (and no you can't get everything you could get in America). But, for the most part, it’s quite sophisticated.
I have moved into my new home. It’s a small rondavel…how to explain a rondavel? It’s a round house with a thatched roof and everything is contained in the one room (there is a small kitchen and bathroom). It’s great because the high thatched roof keeps the temperature quite cool and it’s perfect for me. My move was pretty easy because in Mongu I didn’t really have anything (except my clothes and a few essential items) so when I learned that this place was fully furnished I figured we were a perfect match. And I’m loving the space so far…it’s close to a small shopping complex and my office is about a 20-30 minute commute. The one problem might be the ants...because of the thatched roof the ants seem to want to share my space. I'll have to figure that one out. I suppose this a reminder I'm in Africa.
Other than that, I’m trying to get into a groove with my new job, learn how to drive on the wrong side of the road, and make a few friends (while still keeping in touch with all of Mongu friends…yes, I miss them terribly). One of my closest friends left the country on Saturday (she finished her contract here in Zambia) and I’m learning the transient nature of this work is going to be difficult as many great people come and go.
Here is a picture of my new little home (I'll try to take a few more). I hope you like it as much as I do. J