Sunday, September 09, 2012

As I was packing up to leave Idaho, I kept thinking of how happy I will be when I return.  There is no place I have traveled to that makes me feel so good.  Is it the beautiful countryside...the fun of boating and jet skiing on the Pend O'Reille river...the friends and family that come to visit?  It's all of these things, and much more.  But having said that, I was looking forward to my move to Ndola, Zambia and getting settled into a new country.
Having the roof over the trailer made storing everything a lot easier
One last dinner at the Mexican restaurant in town with Don, Neal and Camille

All packed and ready to move to Zambia!  Even the British Airways agent was surprised that I was taking so little, but after five years of being a vagabond, I've figured out the difference between what I need...and what I want.
I stopped by Calgary for a whirlwind couple of days to visit my Auntie Elaine who just celebrated her 92nd birthday, get my hair done, see the doc, and pick up a few last minute items.

Plan A was to take Auntie Elaine and her friends out for her belated birthday lunch, but we decided it would be easier if I brought lunch in.  I always enjoy my visits with these ladies -- all are lots of fun and well traveled with lots of tales to share.

Clockwise from top:  Auntie Elaine, Donna, Jean and Ileen
Flying to Zambia was much more pleasant in business class making the 30+ hours traveling time less onerous.

Approaching Ndola in the Copperbelt Territory of Zambia.  The city is usually very smoky and we're hoping it will lessen during the upcoming rainy season.

The blue vans you see in the middle are city buses
It was great to see Roger waiting for me as I emerged from the airport. We've only spent 9 weeks together since mid-February, so we're glad to be finally be in the same country!

Roger had been staying in a lodge while the townhouse we are renting got spruced up.  There is very little long term rentals to choose from, and although it is pretty basic, it is spotless after being repainted, and new furniture, linens and kitchenware were purchased for us. The grounds are lovely, and it is very quiet.

It feels like we are living in Fort Knox with all the bars on the doors and windows
The townhouse has 3 bedrooms and 1-1/2 baths. There are no pictures on the wall, so that is left to be done.

We have a lovely maid, Rabecca, who I have no doubt will make this the cleanest house I will ever live in. She had another girl helping her get the place ready for "Madame" (that's me) and before I could say, "Roger will take that suitcase upstairs", the girl had it (weighing 27 kgs) on her head and sprinted up the stairs.  The first time we left Rabecca to do laundry, we came back to everything washed, ironed and put away.  Even our underwear was immaculately folded!
Master bedroom 
Dining room
Living room with satellite TV that gives us a multitude of choices
We don't have internet at the house yet, so I've been coming into the office with Roger.
Layne's offices
Roger's office
So, everyone is asking about my first impressions...

The city of Ndola is reported to have a population of around 400,000 but it doesn't seem that big.  Traffic isn't a huge issue (unless you are trying to get to the new 40,000 person soccer stadium), and there are few buildings higher than 4 stories.

These beautiful trees are like enormous lilac bushes and on some streets form a canopy over the road
One of the main streets on a quiet Sunday morning
This reservoir used to provide good sailing but is now choked with weeds.  Fortunately, there is still a Boating Club that has a good bar and restaurant which we'll be checking out

More of the beautiful trees

Lots of neat signs for businesses.  Not sure what panel beaters do though....
There are three large grocery stores in the city with anything we need.  Our first major purchase will be a washing machine, and there are several places to choose from.

With all due respect to our friends in Ethiopia, this part of Africa is by far a much easier place to live.  Everyone I've met has been warm and welcoming.  Roger has his work cut out for him, but as usual, he is leading by example and I know his staff will respect him and get on board with the changes he is making.

I like the blend of traditional Africa with modern conveniences.  There has been a festive air in the city since I arrived due to a big soccer match between Uganda and Zambia.  Fans spent the better part of three days driving around the city blowing their vuvuzelas non-stop.  The underdogs, Zambia, won the game yesterday so things have quietened down.  I think everyone must be sleeping.

No one has a big enough address book to keep track of us, so I keep the blog and my email signature updated with our latest contact numbers.  Please keep in touch! good.

"Being happy is better than being king."
African proverb

No comments: