Yes it remains Africa, so it took a while before we had internet and could post this blog. But of course we also want to share our experiences in the north-west of Zambia with you.
Many personal visits this time; We visited the village where Suus lived with her father, took a look in the largest copper mine of Zambia and visited the GCZF projects in Mponge where the brother of Roel last year helped to paint the guesthouse. Many special experiences that made the weeks very special.
Mumbezhi: the village of Suus her father
We had agreed with Erik who was in Zambia with my father in 1971 to do volunteer work there. Erik still lives in the area and nowadays works for the company Quattro, which arranges all transport of employees working in and around the mine. He regularly drives past the old camp of my father and was immediately excited to show me this. It was super interesting to hear from him about that time and to visit the old camp. The foundation that my father made at the time (to ensure that his caravan did not wash away) is still there. The caravan has now made way for a house. The neighbors could tell us that the current residents had just left and that the new residents would enter in about 2 months.
Particularly to compare the place with the old photos and see that much is the same. There is now a waste away (although it is now so bad by all pothols that it is not really an improvement ;-). The bridge has been replaced for a new one and the trees have grown considerably. My father would have liked to show us Zambia and this place that was so special to him. Unfortunately that did not work out any more so we took a bit of Papa and scattered it, so that he was symbolic again at that place.
A visit to the Kalumbila mine
Through Erik’s work, we have learned and seen a lot about the copper mines in the area besides my father’s old camp. We were able to experience life at the compound and even managed to arrange a visit to the largest copper mine in Africa (Kalumbila). A special experience when you see the enormous bakebeest of trucks driving around. Only the tires are almost 4 meters, so you really feel very small and it is immediately clear why this area has so many restrictions and why the 3 meter high flags on the cars are needed ;-).
After three very pleasant days we have again set out on the hellish road full of pothols and detours. For your imaging a piece of 360 km we have done over 9 hours on both the way back and on the way back! Partly because of the pothols that you only see at the last minute and are often super deep, the trucks that cycle back and forth for the mines and the many thresholds and detours.
Housekeeping tasks at Nsobe Camp
Also on the way back, after these pleasant and special days, we decided to stop at Nsobe camp again. A hidden spot on a lake where we have had wonderful days consisting of; reading, walking around a bit, cleaning the car inside and out, checking the car, enjoying the many fireflies in the evening, watching birds in the daytime, cooking extensively, doing laundry and more of that kind of things.
Visit to GCZF in Mpongwe
Continuing our way after these wonderful days and we drove on to Mpongwe, where the brother of Roel last year painted the GCZF guesthouse. The income from the guesthouse is used to finance the orphanage and they also have many other projects in the vicinity of wells, clinics, schools, farms and the most recent project is a secondary school. Super interesting to see! We have also been taken here by a zambian who has given us a tour of her village, where we went to the camp of her family, to the local police station.
Here the agent himself was so drunk that he showed us the red-faced 5-person cell. Continue to the local bar and shake hands everywhere! Sinterklaas evening we did not celebrate with pepernoten, but with lots of Mosi’s, Bram had a great evening together with Bram. So with a big hangover the next day went on the road towards Lusaka.
We have taken a few days here to give the car a good service (except for the broken leaf springs in the beginning, our Cruiser does it perfectly!). The inside has been adjusted so that we can sleep in and then we had to leave Zambia because our visa expired. On to new adventures in Malawi where we spend Christmas at the beach of Lake Malawi !!
Ps. At the request of our neighborhoods we have added the route and we wish you all happy holidays !!