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Day 19: Matthew

So to pick up from where I left off last time, we got our stuff off the plan and walked into the Zambian Airport. The airport was about the size of your average restaurant in the States. There was a little waiting area. Then, to get into the country, you had to get past the guard in a little booth. He sat there checking everybody’s paperwork, one person at a time. Then you went into the luggage pick up. Two men worked out verbally who got which suitcase. Every once in a while, they would open up a suitcases, if the person had something to declare. But even then, people usually just took their stuff to the parking lot on the other side. We got our stuff with rather surprising ease. In other words, it could have been much worse.

We were picked up by uncle Ben. Now, I say uncle because in Zambia that is what you say instead of Mr., especially if the person is your friend. He and another friend took all of our stuff in their vans. Uncle Ben took us to a small cafe called Mints. There we ate and got some initial directions for being in Zambia, from uncle Ben. Such as, I was not to eat my salad, and I was only to drink water if it comes in a bottle, and a little preparation for how the road would be on the way to Kitwe. The Airport and the Cafe were both in a city called Ndola. Ndola is about an hour drive from our city, Kitwe.

I slept for almost the entire drive, so I can’t speak to that much. A little after I woke up we arrived in Kitwe. I saw a lot of small shops and salons. The roads were all dirt and really bumpy. Thats why I was awake. It seemed like it had just rained. There were puddles everywhere, and everything seemed wet. I noticed these little booths that  were everywhere on the side of the road. Turned out that they sell phone credit. However I didn’t know that at first, and when I asked uncle Bens kids later that week I got a lot of laughs.

We drove to “The flats,” aka apartments that are owned by the school. That was where we stayed for the first week as we got our house ready. It is the subject for a whole other blog, but real quick, Dad bought all the furniture at once from a guy who was moving out of the country. It was delivered to our house and then placed in our living room. Setting up our house meant arranging it so that it was all usable. Then we could move in. That was what we worked on for the first week in Zambia, while we slept at the flats. But that is getting ahead. At the flats we were welcomed warmly by many staff members at the school.

We settled in to our flat, and got some rest. The next morning I woke up at about ten. Every one else but Dad did not wake up till after eleven. Dad woke up at six. For the first week we were scheduled to be at one person’s house for dinner every night. It was fun. We got to meet a lot of people. It took a week for us to get settled in. Then we got another week together. The next week Dad went on a retreat during, which was the infamous plumbing incident.

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  1. Thanks for giving us the details of the beginning days. I bet it seems like a long time ago now. You are great at adding interesting details. So, if “uncle” is more like mister”, what does one call an “actual uncle.”

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