Invited by my colleague, I spent the last weekend (from Friday afternoon to Monday morning) in her home village, situated in the Area of Chiparamba, which is about 12 kilometres from my current hometown Chipata in Eastern Province of Zambia.
As we arrived there, the relatives (from the extended family, “My sister’s daughter is my daughter as well”, like one of them said it) to my colleague took it as their honour to show me places around Chiparamba. And they really did it – properly.
Here are few things that I had a chance to experience during my short stay in Chiparamba:
– Sitting on a carpet made of straws and having the Friday night dinner under a clear dark sky covered with shining stars after which I had a bath in an outdoor bathroom (this was my first time to experience this way of bathing!)
– Saturday morning joy of Children when listening to the music on a radio. Observing their dancing (they were so good at it!) to the music played between programmes
– Chance to observe more closely the smashing of groundnuts (they taste so good here…plain and when added into any meal…) with a long stick in front of a hut
– A sightseeing tour (by relatives and friends who offered their time and help with smiles and warmest hospitality) in the sub-centre of Chiparamba. We visited a school, health centre, churches (one of which had very eye-capturing black altar paintings and icons)…and many more places…
– After a lunch some pumpkin pudding for desert that tastes like heaven (and there is no sugar and butter added, just some groundnuts smashed with peeled pumpkins – couldn’t believe it!)
– Hiking to a nearby hill with views covering Chipata Hills and the beauty of Zambian nature. I was told by (my new) friends that it’s not THIS flat everywhere in Zambia!
– Accompanied by the nephew to my boss, The Sunday morning Mass in a nearby Church with unbelievable music and dancing performances. Suddenly in the middle of one performance, the nephew joined the singing choir and after we had left the Church and I asked if he belonged to that group he answered “No, I have never seen them. I just felt so happy that I wanted to join them” In the beginning of the sermon I was welcomed and introduced (in front of the altar) as a special visitor
– After the sermon (that started at 10:00, finished at 13:30, but felt like a half an hour) I started immediately feel the guilty of stealing this young man’s free weekend (since we were together also on Saturday) with my tourist class activities. But after a quick lunch (with a lovely side dish of cabbage) it was apparent that I would certainly not be left alone (for which I was totally prepared for) to explore my last few light hours in Chiparamba!
– No, now it was time to take a roll on another side of Chiparamba (there’s no need to spend anything to have fun), visit football pitches and shake some hands there, watch making of bricks and building a house, visit some more relatives and friends…Understand one (new) word of the local language Chinyanja (apongozi=in laws) as I was most welcomed also as “a family member” to these people I had just met…
As the Sun started setting we realised that it was time to head back to the village of my boss. On a way home two boys and two girls (of which I already knew three!) joined us – along with a skyline with multiple changing colours.
On a Tuesday night back at my current home in Chipata my “apongozi” from Chiparamba call me “How are you Anni, did you have a safe trip back home?”