White in a black world

Trip Start Jul 24, 2013
Trip End Aug 07, 2013

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What I did
Zambian Agricultural Show

Flag of Zambia  ,
Sunday, August 4, 2013

We spent the afternoon at the Zambia agricultural fair, listening
to local and big name African bands, browsing the livestock from the
area, eating local fair food. We watched local bands competing and
dirt bikes jumping through fire.
I forgot how much our white skin stood out, forgot I was white,
until people looked at us funny. Drunk men gawked and made comments,
little kids stared - some of them reached out to touch us, some of
their parents introduced them to us saying they wanted to meet us,
others wanted their picture taken – and someone tried to pickpocket
me, unsuccessfully thanks to our local friend, Daniel.

We talked to someone at the police booth who described the
different uniforms and badges and who wears them. We also got our
picture taken with marine police and one of the 20 police boats they
have in Zambia. They’re waiting for six more boats from
There was garbage everywhere. At one end of the show a fire burned
with toxic fumes blowing over the vendors, advertisers and horse
rides - it was a pile of garbage burning. I realized how the piles
got there and how accepted it was when a child in front of me dropped
his garbage on the ground without any thought. No one said anything,
with no garbage cans there was no other option anyway. It's a way of
I played the tourist today, it’s not like we didn’t stick out
There was a walk-through cow wash all the cows at the show had to
go through to stop any diseases from spreading. In the pig barn two
teens played with the pigs' ears to make them squeal. There were
seeds for sale, college booths advertising their programs, large
noisy crowds, cute little children riding on their mothers' backs and
washrooms you had to pay to use.

As we neared the exit we were suddenly hurried out by
official-looking people who were clearing the area. My reporter mind
thought something terrible had happened and immediately wanted to
follow the trail. Our local friend said they were probably bringing
in money or something and wanted everyone out of the area.

At home we played the game I bought at the market on Friday, and
finally, exhausted, went to bed at what seemed like midnight but was
only 10:00.
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