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|Two Weeks in Zambia|
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Two weeks in Zambia on a copper mine may not seem like an idyllic place to spend some time. There is malaria, putsi flies, snakes, spiders, scorpions, a single shop selling the most modest of “goodies” and a job that demands your full attention every day.
Now this may not sound like everyone’s idea of a good time, but if you dig just a little deeper into what you can make of the situation, then two weeks on a copper mine in Zambia can be so much more that what you may expect.
After delays in Johannesburg I landed in Lusaka 2 hours late. Luckily the next plane had waited for me. So as I ran from the international arrivals to domestic departures there was no time to go through customs or have my bags checked. Yihaa! A speedy yet efficient African customs!!
The next plane was rather knitting needle shaped i.e. long and thin. It wasn’t bad because everyone had a window and an aisle seat so there were no arguments over who sat where. The gastronomic crescendo to the flight was a packet of cheese and onion crisps and a cup of apple juice. This sounds rather meager but if you have ever flown a domestic flight in Ghana you’ll realize that this was like a feast of kings! I was pleased to finally land in Solwezi mainly because of the mean storm clouds that were brewing everywhere. Don’t want to get caught in a storm in any small airplane thank you very much.
The airport at Solwezi reminded me of a cattle shed in a quaint and respectful kind of way. There were other guys going to the mine that had flown in from Ndola and who had been waiting for me to arrive. We were missing a person so we waited and made phone calls to find out where he was. We eventually concluded that he was not going to arrive since there were no more expected flights to Solwezi. So after impromptu introductions John, Vikki and Adam and I jumped into our minibus and sped off to the mine a meager 80km away.
Because I was late, the guy who was to meet me was nowhere to be seen. I decided to gravitate towards the reception to find out where I was staying, collected a key and unpacked my stuff. Initially they wanted to put me in a tent, which would have been rather grim since it’s the rainy season. I’m told that I was lucky to have a room with a bathroom that I share with the next door neighbor. I tried to take some photos to show the opulence and luxury offered by mine accommodation but I don’t have a wide enough lens so you don’t get the full experience. No fridge, no desk, no air conditioner and no TV but it’s better than a tent. A desk would have been nice but hey this is Africa and it’s not for sissies. I didn’t have a desk but then again I didn’t have a tent either.