Downtown – Lumumba Road

A few weeks ago, Tim and I were out of the hospital, running errands.  There is one main road in Lusaka, running North and South – the Great North Road.  It changes names several times, and in the middle of the city, it is quite crowded – street vendors, turn lanes, traffic circles, robots (traffic lights are called “robots” here!), pedestrians, etc.  (I’ll try to post pics of this sometime in the future!)  In an effort to prevent even more congestion, a bypass road was built to serve industrial traffic (big trucks) to the downtown area.  I had never been on this road, so Tim drove us that way – to bypass the midday traffic jams, and to show me a new-to-me area of the city.

There are huge trucks driving along here, so there are also huge potholes, road IMG_20140514_125449672 IMG_20140514_125409219_HDR copyconstruction, and blocked-off lanes.  In addition, there are a lot of small stalls set up along the curb.  Many of these are right in front of stores, selling the same goods.  This is a popular area to shop, to find a bargain, IMG_20140514_125621418_HDR copyalthough I have to admit that it intimidates me – the crowds, the pile of goods, and the reputation of pickpockets all serve to make me more comfortable shopping  in the more “western” parts of town – in malls, with cash registers, fixed prices, etc.

IMG_20140514_125645691 copyCan you see the man selling cold drinks (balanced on his head) in the picture above?  One location had several vendors selling shoes, right in front of a large area of burning trash.  (photo to left)

 

Although it is very crowded and busy, it also seem so precarious and temporary. Goods for sale are tossed over a fence or piled on the sidewalk.  The number of shoppers varies by time of the month (very few still have money at the end of the month), time of the year (fewer people are out during rainy season or cold season). I was reminded of the verses in  James 4:13-15 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”  I want to live with an awareness that my days and plans are dependant on what the Lord wills!

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Tim’s Birthday

Many people helped us celebrate Tim’s 60th birthday, so I thought I’d post a few pictures from the day.  We started before breakfast,Tim with stack of cards with a pile of cards and gifts on the table for him to open – a real treat!  Considering most mail has taken 3-6 months to arrive, it was wonderful to have two sets of visitors offer to carry cards, gifts, and birthday supplies in their luggage.

IMG_2048 baked oatmeal smallAfter an urgent request on Facebook, I had the recipe for baked oatmeal – a favourite of Tim’s, and something we had not made here.  Tim has a large cup of Starbuck’s coffee (thanks!), baked oatmeal, and is reading the BBC news on his iPad – a regular routine for Saturday mornings.

Tim ended up going in to work for about a half-day at the hospital, which gave him the opportunity to greet our newest visitors – including some from CURE HQ, who were in on the birthday surprise – it was fun, that he had opened so many cards and gifts before he saw them.IMG_2049 dinnerpartycopy

Saturday evening, we enjoyed dinner with two other couples, missionary friends we have met here.  We didn’t tell them it was Tim’s birthday, but they guessed, when they saw all the cards on display.  We had birthday cake, with candles, served on “Happy Birthday” plates and napkins – thanks, HH!!

IMG_2054litcake copyThanks to everyone who sent cards, gifts, party supplies, and emails, and extended birthday greetings to Tim on Facebook – he had a great celebration!

 

June Visitors

IMG_1790 copyJune is the start of a busy IMG_20140609_151427416_HDRseason at the Beit CURE Hospital.  In addition to the usual medical students, residents, and nursing students, Tim and I were delighted to host some family friends, Catherine and Connor.  They came for three weeks, staying with us at our apartment.

IMG_20140611_103703464_HDRDuring some of their visit, they wereIMG_1958 small helping us at the hospital – taking inventory, sorting out some IT issues, and painting.  They also were able to watch a variety of surgeries, and spent plenty of time playing with the children.

We went on a couple of “touristy” excursions while they were here – first, to a local elephant orphanage just outside of Lusaka.  IMG_20140607_120357292_HDR smallThe elephant mums were killed by poachers, and the young elephants were found by rangers, many in poor physical condition.  We arrived in time to see them run into the stockade area, being fed bottles by their handlers.  They are followed by at least two rangers at100_1825 small all times, assuring their safety and health.  They played with water barrels, tires, sticks – pestering each other over favourite “toys.”

The next weekend, we went down south for 3 days/2 nights.  When we arrived in Livingstone, we went to Victoria Falls.  After walking the many footpaths along the Falls, and up to the Zambezi River to see the top of the Falls, we left the park, and went to the historic bridge, crossing the river.  Along the way, we watched two baboons attack a woman to drag her shoulder bag off of her shoulder.  She ran away, screaming, and a nearby man came to her rescue, throwing rocks at the baboons.  None of us was quick enough with our cameras – we just watched, P1000352open-mouthed!  On the nextrhinosP1000445 small day, we went on a day safari to Chobe Park, where we saw numbers of animals, including a black-maned lion – a highlight of the trip!  On our last day, we went to a Zambian Game Reserve, where we saw the “wide” rhinos – endangered rhinos that are named for their wide lips.

P1000474 smallThey continued working on projects at the hospital, including lots of painting, and on Catherine & Connor’s last weekend with us, we went to a game park about an hour outside of Lusaka – driving on very dusty, bumpy, twisty dirt roads.  We saw a variety of animals, including some we hadn’t seen at Chobe – including the eland – the largest antelope, and ostriches!

We had a lovely time with Connor and Catherine, and are thankful for all the help they were, and for the work they did at the hospital!