After my 6 am "wake-up call" (aka, the sun), I laid in bed for a while before making myself get up. My group had the meeting with our project company this morning. We had scheduled our meeting for 9:00 am during our visit last week. I think I had my first real experience with the more laid back schedule here in Africa, because our meeting ended up not beginning until 10:00. It was a productive meeting and we were able to come up with a project that we should be able to complete in our remaining 10 weeks.
After the meeting, we got back to the University and were able to work together for a little while before lunch. Lunch was the typical fare of nshema, meat, veggies, and rice. I have really enjoyed nshema, but think I am hitting my limit by eating it every day.
This afternoon we drove out to one of the water treatment plants. This drive took us through a neighborhood, though I do not know if that would be the appropriate term, maybe community is better. Where we got to see real poverty, though it was not as bad as a village, so I am told. There were tiny homes built of what seemed to be cinderblocks and clay. Many of them did not have doors, but a few had a cloth draped in the door way. These houses could not have been much bigger than my living room at home and according to one of the students, would house up to 10 people. I got a short video of the drive, so I will try to post it on here some time. There were what seemed like hundreds of these tiny homes together in this neighborhood. May with patched roofs, or plastic for a roof. Also during this trip, my definition of a dirt road has been entirely redefined. It is a rather odd sensation to be in a bus while it is driving at a 60 degree angle off the side of the road.
The water treatment facility was an interesting experience. It was neat to see the process and hear how they clean up the water from their river before distributing it to the community. The treatment facility felt as though it was out in the middle of nowhere, with bush all around. A fire had been started in the bush, and it seemed to be pretty close to the plant. You could hear the fire crackling. It was rather nerve wracking, but apparently fires like that one are not a problem here. Typically they are set on purpose and controlled, but even if they are not intentional, they do not turn into wildfires like we experience in the states.
Our instructors, and now the two guys, are staying in the apartment at Northrise (the guys moved over there on Saturday). The apartment has been great because it gives us a place to relax and spend time together. It has other benefits like a kitchen and a washer/dryer. We have had a Chinese stir fry, the other girl on the trip, and my roommate, An, is Chinese, and boy was that an awesome meal! We also made Frito Pies (a large group stayed at the apt a few weeks ago and left huge cans of chili and cheese so we wanted to help get rid of some of that food) it actually turned out to be a pretty good Frito Pie.
Tomorrow is our last class day. It is rather bitter sweet feeling. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Ndola.