An absolutely alphabetic itinerary: Afghanistan to Zambia, to Zimbabwe, and back to Afghanistan. Can anyone else say they have gone from the front of the alphabet, to the back, and returned to the front? Ask the lady at the Executive Platinum Desk who made it possible – all while maximizing earnings of OneWorld miles. God Bless Lorraine Cross.
The road from the airport was so familiar, as was the taxi driver, Elias. Everywhere I turned, a familiar face. Zambia holds so many fun memories – it disguises how hard I worked there last year. Somehow I found time to have a big impression made on me, and to make many small impressions around Lusaka. The barista at Ababa House, my coffee and internet haunt, made this for me when I arrived:
It was jacaranda season – purple everywhere. These trees are especially stark because of their dark black trunks, against which those purple flowers seem to color the sky around them.
Last year at the same time, I was in Lusaka watching these mammoths bloom and, then, a couple weeks later, yield those blossoms to the wind.
I went to Mumbwa in Central District for the project we’re evaluating, and learned how Land O’Lakes and World Vision distributed food to families and how they knew what price to pay for their local maize, beans and oil.
Somehow I made time for a lot of catching up with friends here, too. There was ping pong at the Milennium, fajitas and margaritas at Revolucion, G&Ts with Michael on his back porch with (now) three cats(!), the (in)famous Keri Shandy drink (2/3 red wine, 1/3 coca cola) at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel lounge, a trip through the finally completed Manda Hill Mall (and subsequent Zambian dress purchase), multiple coffees at Arcades, pickup volleyball against some uppity teenagers at the American International School, dinner with John and family including beans purchased at Soweto Market while doing research on bean price trends, and to close it all out, a trip back to Ababa House for one more coffee: