Hi, Alex writing here, on mine and Steven’s first night in Zambia! At the end of such a colossal journey, it was great to be picked up by Max and Anna in ‘the beast’, the vehicle truly living up to its name. This exhilarating (and bouncy) journey capped off the quite overwhelming experience of being in Africa for the first time ever, something which altogether is hard to put into words.
There’s a real beauty and vitality about the areas we drove through. Though they are essentially slums, there’s nothing depressing about them. They are filled with colour and life, the people busy exchanging goods and smiles in equal measure. We were clearly an object of mild fascination to those nearest the road as we drove past; people were calling out excitedly as we four markedly incongruous Westerners made our way through Lusaka. Two people even danced on the bonnet and roof of our car!
With such a positive introduction to this country, it was no surprise that the people at the Ngoma Dolce Academy, which we popped into briefly to have a look around, were so warm and welcoming. I had no expectations as to how the Academy itself would look, and it’s miraculous: a series of self-contained, detached rooms arranged in a circle around a big, central thatched building. We circled the Academy once, and each time we passed a room got a little glimpse of teaching, a snatch of music. The whole thing was rather beautiful.
We all went out for dinner very close to our accommodation (which is wonderfully peaceful and full of flowers), and as I write it’s only 9pm but we’re all heading bed-wards. An early start in the morning!