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Zambia so far

mandevogirl.jpgBY GINGHER LEYENDECKER, SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN LUSAKA -- I am struck by so many things in Zambia so far. The kindness of the people, their happy positive demeanor and willingness to help. The city is beautiful. Our host, Dr. N'agoma, is so gracious, putting us up in his resort and feeding us. We really appreciate all he has done for us. To him I say a huge "Zikomo", or thank you.

We had a readthrough with the cast of BAD TIMING yesterday and they really made the script come alive. I think the project will be a huge success.

Also, the faculty met with the President of the Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce, Sam Kangwa, yesterday. It is the premiere art school of Zambia. We met many of the faculty members and were given a tour of the school. They were very excited about the idea of an educational exchange, and our meeting was very successful. It looks like they will be a perfect fit for Mesa Community College, and we will be able to exchange faculty and students in the art department and other areas.

I also bought some dried salted caterpillars last night and the chef has agreed to cook them for us soon. More on that later! They also sell roasted termites, so of course we'll have to try those too.

Elections are going on this year and we have seen demonstrations and marches. My favorite part of this trip has been interacting with the wonderful people, listening to their points of view and comparing them to my own. It seems as though people everywhere have many of the same hopes and concerns.

Many people here have to face adversities that are not part of our daily lives -- challenging living conditions, HIV-AIDS, lack of certain resources, etc., but they have an admirable and strong spirit. They are proud and beautiful and positive. They are an inspiration and so far this trip has been worth it for this understanding alone.

Zambia is "ndimwa babwino"--very good!

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