Our flight arrived pretty late into Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, so we spent the first night there and then took the bus down to Kalomo the next day.
Lusaka, with a population of 1.7 million, is a bit smaller than Nairobi (3.3 million in 2009). I took a photo of at least part of Lusaka from our hotel room, and you can see the skyline is pretty minimal. You can also see how many trees there are, which is wonderful.
Despite its size, in some ways it is more developed than Nairobi – better roads, drinkable tap water, greater variety of produce. It is so interesting to see a little of what life is like in some other African countries.
My friend Sheri met us on Saturday morning in Lusaka and took us to an ATM to withdraw some local money. The currency of Zambia is the Kwacha, which currently stands at around 5,000 ZMK to the US Dollar. Starting this coming year, however, the government will be cutting 3 zero’s out of the currency and printing new money to reflect this change. According to Wikipedia, this change doesn’t really affect the exchange value of the currency, but just makes commercial calculations easier. Makes sense – increments of 5 are much more simple to calculate than increments of 5,000. But until then, we are millionaires.
Our trip to Kalomo began at the Lusaka Inter-City Bus Terminus, which was especially busy on Saturday, since it was the beginning of most people’s Christmas/New Years holiday.
Our bus was also completely full (although there was no one sitting in the aisle – the traffic police check for these kinds of things now), and there was more traffic than usual on the road down, but despite this, it was a pleasant enough ride.
On Sunday we went to the church Sheri is helping her Zambian friend start up. I’ll be posting a brief video of the service there in the next couple of days. But I did also take a few photos.
And finally, we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas dinner with Sheri’s family this evening. We are so grateful for the hospitality of people we have only just met!
After Christmas, we will start our touristing down here – taking a day trip into Botswana and Zimbabwe, checking out Victoria Falls, maybe riding on some elephants, hopefully seeing the area where Sheri will be directing a new orphanage, and going white water rafting on the Zambezi river!