Pages

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Solwezi

Solwezi, a dot on the map, found in the North-West provence of Zambia, is actually the capital of this provence. Wow, who would have guessed. Of course, we were here on a Sunday which slowed the environment down considerably. Still, could we have been only in an outer lying part of the city?
There did not seem to be any indication that this was a bustling capital of 65,000 inhabitants. One could definitely not call it a pretty town but rather a dusty, dry town bustling with the day to day normal life and activities of its inhabitants along a linear pathway on either side of the highway or "tarmac" as it was called. I like what Bradt guide book has to say "Solwezi doesn't have any cellphone access for foreign mobile phones [[sic]nor for Zambian chips], but their are land lines here - including public phones at the main post office, on the main road near ShopRite." [yeah, but what about when there on the weekend?] "On the main road the Internet Center, somewhat paradoxically, has the only email access. Even that doesn't always work, [and never on the weekend]..." Yup, in a nutshell.

However, a walking tour, guided by Travis, showed us a more picturesque part of the area. Being a Sunday the market itself was not in full swing but enough of the vendors were in attendance to give us some insight into the workings, sights and sounds. A photo however, did not allow for passing on those sights, smells and sounds other than what occurred in that photographic micro-minute.
 many of the vendors were closed
 deep fried caterpillars anyone?
 outdoor vendors, mostly food stuffs
 these teeny silver fish were dried
 home made bricks for sale. Many places where they are made were seen along the roads traveled
 lots of greens being sold. Did the US's South love of greens come over with the African slaves?
 not a lot of people in the market today
 trying sweet potatoes cooked over an open fire - a totally different taste from those in the US
 Peggy looking for a new watch with Travis trying to convince her of a purchase - there were many street vendors with suitcases filled with watches  of all kinds

Being "gringos" and not many around, we accumulated many "new friends", all of whom wanted something or needed something, but what really came down to "money" and that they wanted you to give them some. Some were easily sent off while others were quite persisted, like this fellow with Danny:

Later, another visit to the PC way house where PCVs were coming in for a mandatory meeting. Yup, they were certainly coming in: A wonderful experience making one reminisce about and possibly even wishing to be back in the swing of things. This thought however, did not last long, especially as we trudged down the streets back to the guesthouse, knowing that we only had snacks to eat, no place to go to buy anything, nor a welcoming hot shower.

Tomorrow we head out on another bus ride to close to Mwinilunga, to visit with Travis. We have bus reservations for the 11:30am bus thanks to Travis and will have lots of time to get some groceries for the trip and the stay.
 Do you think that you would like to live like this again? Ummmmm, I don't know ...