Two days in a row of long bus rides is enough to make anyone ready to run a marathon… We left Livingston bright and early this morning and decided to attempt to make it not only to Lusaka, but all the way to Kitwe in the Northern Copperbelt region of Zambia that borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Last night Andrew secured us a place to stay, with Yuu, a young Japanese girl completing her teaching internship in Zambia. We were off by 6am and on our way to Lusaka with fruit and bread in hand. The ride to Lusaka was beautiful and after about 6 hours we finally reached the big city.
When we stepped off the bus in Lusaka we were surprised to see Justin, the coach surfer we had met at Colins home just a week previous, waiting for us at the bus station. Justin has impecable timing let me just say. We had mentioned to him that we would be heading up to the copperbelt this week to see the Chimpanzees and Chimfunshi, but we had no idea he would actually join us!
I sent Andrew off to find some popcorn for the long ride to Kitwe and made sure our luggage got safely stored in the back of the bus. We have been very lucky not to loose any of our possessions thus far in Africa and we would like to keep it that way.
The bus was set to depart at half past one and when Andrew had not returned by 28 minutes past one I started to get a little nervous. At 31 minutes past one the driver started to pull out of the bus station and Andrew was still nowhere to be found. I rushed to the front and played damsel in distress saying that I could not go on the bus without my husband, I would have to get off and with no cellphone I would have no way to find him… I guess teh bus driver took pity on me because he stopped the bus for a mere 2 minutes, just enough time for Andrew to rush on as we pulled out of the bus station.
I had asked the bus staff if there was popcorn available anywhere in the bus station and they had distinctly told me no. You can imagine my surprise and joy when Andrew arrived with two bags of freshly popped (no oil and no butter) bags of popcorn. Let me just say, sometimes he really is superman.
The next 6 to 7 hours on the bus were difficult. We arrived into Kitwe around 8pm in the evening and by that time we were very tired from sitting all day in the bus. We calculated that today alone we spent 17 hours traveling from the Southern tip of Zambia that borders Botswana to the Northern tip ofo Zambia that borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Quite amazing if you ask me.
Yuu and her friend Roger picked us up from the bus station and proceeded to take us to dinner at a delicious Chinese restaurant. Andrew was so happy to finally be eating Chinese food again. Nearly two months have passed since we last ate oriental food (as oriental ingredients are not very common in this part of the world) and Andrew and I enjoyed every moment of it. We had rice, dumplings, vegetable soup, and sweet and sour beef with eggplant. Everything was delicious and we were so thankful to Yuu and Roger for treating us out for the evening.
Yuu stays with Roger, a man from South Africa, and their house is absolutely beautiful. When we arrived to his home I instantly became very excited to live in Los Angeles and the start of the fall. Andrew and I have already begun our online home browsing and we are excited to start the shopping process once we return to the states.
Roger works in the mining industry in Northern Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the major mining hubs in Africa. He sells equipment to mines throughout the regions, his equipment specifically aimed at improving the filtration process of precious metals from ordinary rocks. Mining is not an easy industry to understand, trust me…
We were off to bed early (again) to prepare for an early start to the Chimpanzee orphanage in the morning.