Did you mean?Try your search again
One of the great things about having my household helper James prepare my meals was that I got to sample how the local Zambians ate. Here (in my local 'chitenge' shirt), I've returned home for a simple lunch called 'nshima', prepared by James . This is a traditional Zambian (and East/West African) dish made from ground maize (corn) flour known locally as 'mealie meal'. Although maize was not introduced to Africa until the mid-1500s, thanks to its importation from America by Portugese and other explorers, it soon took a very strong foothold with the locals due to its yields as compared to the previously used sorghum. It is a good thing that I had James doing the cooking, because preparation of nshima requires expert paddling of the boiled maize flour into a sticky paste. Once this is prepared (my left dish here), it is eaten without using implements by dipping a ball of this paste into a side dish of 'relish', which can be made of meat, poultry, fish or nuts and/or a vegetable such as rapeseed or cabbage. As you would expect, the flavour is really dependent on what is in the relish and how you want to 'spice' it up a bit. I am not a fussy eater, so found it to be a great meal the way James prepared it!
By the way, the triganglar carton on the table was how the milk was locally delivered to your door - it was UHT treated so it would not spoil. It had been a long time since I had ever seen home delivery of milk, and I certainly was not expecting it in Zambia! The Chess set on the table was one of the things I used to help pass my time in Luanshya, having a couple of regular foes in those pre-internet days.
Favorite Dish: My cooking skills were basically non-existant when I arrived in Zambia, but I was lucky that one of the local women Volunteers from Canada, Helen, took me under her wing and tried to teach me a bit of self-sufficiency! I had a lot of great meals eating-out at functions hosted by other volunteers or married couples and I think they really kept me going! All of the cities and towns on the Copperbelt had a great mixture of restaurants (especially Chinese) so I also enjoyed those few times eating-out under more expensive conditions than normal for a 'poor' Volunteer.
Updated Nov 13, 2006
Luanshya was quite well stocked with places to go for evening entertainment. With it being a mining town, the company had made sure there were lots of amenities to keep its hundreds of contract workers happy. They built first-class facilities including the Rugby Club, Golf Club, Tennis Club, Cricket Club, Horticultural Club, Makoma Dam and so on, all of which held fairly regular weekend dances in their large bar areas. After I met Sue at my one and only Horticultural Club dance, we usually frequented the Saturday night dances at the Rugby Club from there on. It was a lively and cosy spot with the beers flowing and a great 2-man disco setup called 'Disco2000' and wow, we thought that was a really distant future time!
In my earlier days in town I often frequented the African bars to enjoy their ambiance. Cold Castle or Lion beers were standard fare as we enjoyed the great beat of the local rumba bands blaring away on scratchy record players. I've still got a few old 45 rpm records to remind me of the sounds! The majority of the customers were African men and there was no problem with men dancing with men when the beat simply got to be too much to resist! It was also common to see men walking down the streets of Luanshya holding hands. It was also customary for volunteers posted in more distant locations to stay with their buddies when travelling around the country. As a result, I often took guys who were visiting with me to these bars and we really enjoyed those evenings out seeing how the Zambians entertained themselves! They had interesting names too, like Phyllis's Pleasure Palace or Theo's Bar & Delicatessen.
Updated Apr 12, 2007
Very shortly after arriving in Zambia, I scouted around Luanshya for a used car that I could afford to buy on my meagre 'Volunteer' salary (it had helped that, while waiting for my Zambia departure date, I was able to return to my old Canadian summer job for for about 3 months after graduating from university). I was in luck when I came across a 1970 Peugeot 204 station wagon that was in good shape. I am not very mechanically-minded and did not give the car proper maintenance while I had it, but it sure was a reliable vehicle nevertheless! I drove it to Malawi twice, Victoria Falls once, Lake Tanganyika once, Lake Mweru three times, Lubumbashi (Congo) once and numerous times to Lusaka as well as all around the Copperbelt Province. Because gasoline (petrol) supplies were 'iffy' at times, I always carried a jerry-can of the stuff with me, giving the car a range of about 700 miles before I was in trouble.
It had a strange system whereby you only needed a key to unlock the doors - once you were inside a twist of a knob on the dash started it up and you were away. Because the larger Peugeot 404 sedans were very popular as taxis, they were stolen all the time for spare parts and I am still amazed that my poor little car was not broken into and driven off into the sunset during the 2 years I had it!
I recently read an account of an expatriate couple who returned to Zambia for a visit, driving up from South Africa. At a police road check in Zambia, he was asked to produce his drivers licence, so he pulled out his old one from the 1960s - they have no expiry date. The police were quite amused and waved him onward! Sue and I are planning a return visit sometime in the near-future, so I plan to bring my old 1972 licence with me as well (2nd photo) to see how I make out!
Updated Mar 30, 2007