Trip Start Sep 11, 2007
Trip End Apr 26, 2008

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Flag of Zambia  ,
Monday, October 29, 2007

October 24th was a holiday, so I got Wednesday off to celebrate 43 years of Zambian independence. Can't say that I did much that day, other than buying a mountain bike, which is great for getting to and from work instead of taking the minibus. The locals here find my housemates and I very entertaining as we ride around, especially since we're pretty much the only people who wear bike helmets in this city. There were celebrations going on around the city but things were relatively low-key. It was strange to see large groups of children walking around town in the middle of the day. In the evening, I went to a bbq hosted by some other Canadian interns working in Lusaka.

On the 27th I went to the Chakwela Makumbi traditional ceremony of the Soli people in Chongwe, just outside of Lusaka, hosted by Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukabambo II. The literal translation of the ceremony title means "Spiritually Pulling Down of Clouds." There were several hundred people there and a number of other chiefs and chieftainesses. The ceremony included a prayer for rains, blessing of seeds, traditional dancing, and the burning of dried stalks of last year's crops. Once the annual ceremony is complete, people in the chiefdom are officially allowed to start planting seeds. It was a really beautiful drive back from Chongwe as the sun came out. The seasons are changing and rains will be starting soon. The past few days have been a bit cooler and it has been wonderful to have some relief from the burning heat of October.

I have a picture of my roommate Sam!! It's fuzzy but at least now I have one to prove that she does in fact exist. Yay Sam!
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