Five things I love about Zambia
As you can probably tell if you’ve read any of my other posts about my Zambia trip, I had an absolutely amazing time in the country. There are many reasons why I loved it so much, but here are my top five:
I love the people
After my trip to South Africa earlier in the year, I was expecting the people of Zambia to be friendly and I wasn’t disappointed. Everywhere we went we were greeted with warmth and affection. My overwhelming memory is the laughter that followed us wherever we went. At one clinic we visited the staff actually had to go outside and tell the women waiting to quieten down as they were laughing so loudly. Conversations always take place with a hand on the arm to stress a point or a friendly hug if something funny is said and who can resist smiles like this?
I love the fashion
Women in Zambia know how to style it out. Every day we were greeted by our fixer Sally who always put us to shame by looking amazing. Even in the compounds (slums) the women dress in beautiful bright colours and there are tiny little clothes shops hidden away in the smallest buildings.
I love the food
Food always plays a big part in my trips and the first thing I like to do when I arrive at a place is head to a local restaurant to sample the food.
In Zambia we were lucky to be taken to a restaurant by Sally, which meant we had the added bonus of someone telling us what to order and explaining the different recipes to us. Zambian food is fresh, simple and very tasty and one of the things I really liked about it is that so little is wasted. Even the leaves from the vegetables were used to make other dishes.
I love the scenery
It’s hard to find the words to describe the majestic Victoria Falls. One of the biggest waterfalls in the world, it really is something you just have to stand and watch in awe.
The Zambezi river was also one of the highlights of my trip. It was so calm and peaceful and after a hectic day it was perfect to just sit and watch the sunset over it.
I love the positivity
During our #ZambiaHealth trip we met and interviewed a lot of people who have been dealt a difficult hand in life. We met people suffering from illnesses, children living in poverty and journalists who felt afraid to report their stories. At times it felt unbearably sad but what helped was the positivity that so many people managed to maintain despite everything they were going through.
We met health workers who were trying out new medical techniques, young graduates setting up technology start-ups and children working hard to get out of the slums. One of my favourite conversations was with a seven-year-old girl at one of the compound schools. She and her classmates were learning to use tablet computers which had opened up a whole new world to them. I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, expecting her to say a teacher like most of her friends, instead she gave me a big grin and said: “a tv producer”. An answer which seemed to perfectly encapsulate the optimism and determination of the Zambian people.
Sounds like you had quite the trip! I have been to Morocco and South Africa but nowhere in between yet. I’m hoping to climb Kilimanjaro this winter/spring and add more of Africa to my world!
Wow, that would be amazing! Yes, for some reason I’d always kind of missed Africa out on my trips but after visits to South Africa and Zambia this year I’m definitely ready to explore more!
I also didn’t mention this to you but I applied to the Tanzania trip. I didn’t get selected but did get chosen as an alternate. Maybe next time! Sounds like a really great opportunity! 🙂
Aw, sorry to hear you didn’t get it but well done for being chosen as an alternate and keep trying!:)
Thanks! Life has thrown a whirlwind at me anyway. I’m headed out to Arizona to be with my parents during some hard health issues. But you are right, will never give up! I’m glad Jennifer is going again as she is so amazing, and another woman I work with is going too! So I can share their stories again and follow along. I really enjoyed following you and your travel. I think more people need a grown up gap year! 🙂
Great post! It makes me excited to visit soon!
Thank you! You’re going to have such an amazing time! Can I come?;)
Love this, Emily! That was such a great trip
Thanks Jennifer, it really was – such great memories!