My Trip to Zambia
My son 16 year old son, Njenje (not his real name), and I flew out of Dulles airport in Washington DC on June 14 at 10:40 pm. We were going to our home village in Zambia to visit my parents and other relatives. We were also to visit the Luangwa Game Park and the Victoria Falls. The flight to London was five hours long. Njenje sat up and watched movies all night. I dozed on and off. But there was a young kid in the back who kept kicking the back of my seat throughout the night. The mom was zonked out and I was not about to tell a strange kid to simply stop kicking the back of my seat. When we landed in London, in the light of day as we were disembarking, I found out the mystery kid was a 13 year old girl who should have known what she was doing. We had a 10 hour wait at Heathrow airport in London. I changed some money into British pounds. I always feel uneasy when the fifty dollars shrinks to less than 25 pounds. I bought a phone card and called my wife in the US, my uncle in Lusaka, and tried to reach my friend in Leeds a couple of times but to no avail. The phone card use took a while to figure out. I bought a short wave radio. My son and I ate something. Eventually, he ate a hamburger and fries that cost 7 British pounds. Have you ever eaten a 14 dollars burger and fries? Airports are expensive.
We took short naps on benches all day. We could have gone into down town London but we did not want to deal with the possible hassle of going in and out of the airport. We took off for Lusaka at about 7:00 pm. My son zonked out as soon as we ate dinner. I slept too. When we woke up, there was a bright and reddish glow in the eastern horizon. It was early morning and we were about an hour from Lusaka. We were both very excited.
We landed at 6:30 am to a fresh crisp morning in the Zambian winter. The grass and trees were brown and the air was very dry. It was pleasant. We breezed through immigration and met my uncle outside in the arrival lounge. He expressed surprise at how the 16 year old had grown since 2000 when we visited and he was only 11 years old then. A young male relative put out bags into the jeep and we headed to my uncle’s farm just outside Lusaka.