Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
22Trip End Dec 19, 2012
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In Livingstone, it’s a night-before-and-a-full-day event, including parades (I think most of the city was marching in the parade), speeches, and dancing, all at the same time in different parts of a huge field. If there was a schedule, no one I talked to knew what it was (or cared), and participants included anyone who showed up wanting to do something. There were groups everywhere dancing, drumming, and singing.
My favourite moment came during one of the speeches. Suddenly, a thousand kids started running across the field shouting, only to run the other way again screaming, chased by a man in a 6-foot mask
It was a fun afternoon. We heard part of the story of independence and the first leaders, and ate a few things I didn’t recognize, but which were tasty. I got caught in some of the running away from the guy in the 6-foot mask (a flood of kids), and got pushed to the front of a mass of people, mere inches from the dancers in the middle (and got my toes whacked by a guy driving us all back to give them room).
Zambia doesn’t have a whole lot to celebrate – hard times for people here (I’ll have much more to say about this later) – but when they do, it’s a great time, very happy, very welcoming.