Sunday, July 26, 2009


With most of my time spent in rural areas, it made little sense to rent a flat in Lusaka. I instead opted to stay at the Chachacha Backpacker. The nice thing with backpacker living is that you can always find a friend to share a beer and a conversation. The bad thing with backpacker living is that those friends always leave you. Getting left is usually worse than leaving.

Of course there were a few other ‘lifers’ like me. There was Tom from Australia, working tirelessly to set up a school in Misisi Compound. But he left me at the beginning of July. There was Reck, who intended to travel throughout Southern Africa for 7 weeks, only to leave Lusaka for Malawi after four weeks gone. And then Lisa who was interning with the UNDP, but she also left to chase Reck to Malawi. And finally there was Doc, who after four months of living in at tent at Cha, took off for the Congo.

So in my last week at Cha, it was suddenly just me. Well not exactly….30 high school girls from London filled the gap. And boy did they fill it…

I was struggling to find conditioner and a razor. Meanwhile, these ladies came equipped with blow dryers, hair-straighteners, and the biggest offense of all…ROLLER SUITCASES. Um…it is called backpacker for a reason. While I tried my best to inculcate them with the beauty of simple living…they had a different idea of beauty. I returned from a run to find the room cleared, but a stack of Cosmo and Glamour magazines on my bed with a post-it…”You should read these”.

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