October 17, 2006

Arrival in Lusaka

Compound opposite Kenneth Kaunda’s house





I called this blog Positively Zambia, without knowing how I would feel about the country, but it has certainly turned out an apt name. It’s a fantastic country and the people are incredibly friendly.

I arrived in Lusaka on Saturday afternoon. We were met by a few Zambian VSO staff who took us in a small coach to a youth conference centre in the grounds of the University of Zambia. It’s quite plush really so no culture shock yet.

The soil has that African redness and there are lots of colourful trees. The grass looks like it did in England this summer, but the texture is more like straw.

There are some wealthy districts in Lusaka containing the embassies and a few businesses. We went passed a few compounds (areas where the poorer people live) with quite neat houses and little plots of land near the Presidential house. Later on we were driven through a much poorer compound with massive overcrowding, lean-to shacks, sewage and rubbish everywhere and loads of kids running about. It was really friendly but understandably the locals were a little surprised to see a bus full of white people going passed. Lots of them waved, and some of the kids pointed and shouted “Muzungu” the generic African term for a white person. “Wuzungu” is the plural.

I’ve got a week of training starting this morning before I go and start working for my employer, the Youth Development Foundation, in the Eastern Province. It turns out that all of the staff at my organisation are volunteers. They are just a bunch of young people trying to do something to engage other youngsters in advocating for their rights. There are 30 of us being trained, with 10 from the UK and the rest from Kenya, Uganda, India, Ireland and the USA.


The sign below was outside the house in which the first President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, lived between 1960 and 1962 while campaigning for independence from Britain.

Sign outside Kenneth Kaunda’s house


2 Responses to “”

  1. Marian Says:

    Hello henry, sounds like ‘so far so good’. Pleased to hear the journey went ok and hope all goes well in the next few weeks/ months while you find yourfeet. will keep logging on to see how you are doing.

    love Marian xx

  2. Joe Says:

    Well done, hope all is well!


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