Jul 27, 2013

Day 8 - Northrise/Ndola

Man. It was another awesome day. 

We had class this morning and continued discussing logic structures, in particular negative branch trees. We also had a few minutes to discuss our projects with our groups in preparation for our meetings next week. 

Dr. Gray gave us the afternoon off, so 2 of the Northrise students, Gift and Brian, showed us around Ndola. They took us to 2 slave trees, where the slave drivers would allow the slaves to sit and rest. That was an extremely difficult experience. I have always been proud to be an american, but today was the first time I was rather ashamed of my nationality. The students who were with us had intentionally taken us to the trees and wanted to get pictures with us there. I think the pictures were a good reminder that though we have cause pain, there is healing and forgiveness. We were able to put our arms around each other  and smile while standing in front of a reminder of our painful past.  The two trees are named Mupapa and Chichele, the students told us that they are the equivalent of our Statue of Liberty. 

After the trees, we ended up going to the memorial for Dag Hammarskjold (pronounced here - Hammer-shot). Dag Hammerskjold was a UN Sargent-General who worked hard to bring peace to Zambias neighbor, the Congo (for more info try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dag_Hammarskj√∂ld) . He was flying into to Zambia for a meeting to discuss a cease-fire when his plane crashed. The reason behind the crash seems to be a bit of a mystery. According to the proprietor of the memorial, the official statement says that a bullet hole the plane received while taking of over the Congo caused the crash, while local villagers recall seeing additional aircrafts in the air and jeeps coming to the crash site and removing an extra body from the rubble (supposedly that of a mercenary who was stowed on the plan to sabotage it). It was a very peaceful and beautiful place in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. 

After the memorial we stopped by some local vendors selling crafts on the side of the road. I picked up a few things to take back home and the students helped me haggle with the sellers. I have had some moral discussions with myself (and others) on this trip about haggling.  The exchange rate of the US Dollar to the Zambian Kwacha is 1 to 5 (roughly). So even when they are asking for 100 Kwacha, it is still only $20 dollars. I do not mind paying a bit of a premium because of my skin color, but a the same time, I do not want to get ripped off. It was pointed out to me by one of our professors that these sellers will not make a deal that does not benefit them. After I accepted that fact, I felt a bit better about haggling for a better price. 

After the market, we ended up grabbing some gelato from the local mall. After gelato we decided we should go ahead and grab some dinner, so we got some pizza from Debonairs (the students told us that this is the best pizza place in Ndola). We ordered 4 personal sized pizzas and split them between the 4 of us. The pizza here is not like in the states but it was awesome, non-the-less. We tried Tika Chicken, Sweet & Sour, Mexican, and Something Meaty.  All of them were really good! 

Once we got back to the university, we spent a few hours hanging out with our instructors. I really do not think this trip would be half the trip it has turned out to be without these 2. They are so wise and insightful. It has been an honor to spend so much time with them and learn from their experience. 

Tomorrow we are going back to Ndola Baptist Church, but I do not know what we will do the rest of the day. 

Thanks for reading! 


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