A Weird Morning and New Scariest Moment of this Trip

It was the weirdest of mornings. It is an election day so to shuttle people to the polls, a car showed up before sunrise blasting Zambian reggaeton and then R Kelly. I ignored it and stayed in my tent. An hour later, it sounded like my tent was being broken in to. I shot up and realized it was a chicken landing on my tent. Chickens here sleep in trees and one must have been sleeping in the mango tree above my tent.

I decided to make the long overdue Shamiyoyo photo tour blog post. While snapping photos, I heard an angelic voice singing in Nkoya. It stopped me in my tracks. One of the daughters of the pig farm caretakers was singing while cleaning dishes. I approached her and though she couldn't speak English, I communicated to her that I loved her voice and the song she was singing. I returned with a GoPro and asked her to sing it again. You should hear it; beautiful voice and crisp falsettos.

New scariest moment of this trip. Richard was visiting after he was hospitalized the past five days for a heart attack. I nearly had my own when I found a spider over an inch wide in my tent. I don't know how it got it in but I'll have even more trouble sleeping tonight wondering if it brought any friends.

Spider after Richard ripped its legs off. Watch for some scale.

Spider after Richard ripped its legs off. Watch for some scale.

Richard is my new best friend. While I was frantically trying to kill it with a stick, he grabbed it with his bare hands and ripped its legs off. My heart is still pounding. Big spiders are one of my biggest fears.

I felt like I was indebted to Richard so I asked him to walk with me to the market where I bought him some rape seeds and pest control spray that he mentioned he needed but couldn't afford. After the market, we tried to take video of the honey beer makers but they insisted on me paying and I declined for today. We then went to the hospital where I hoped to capture some photos and videos but they declined, saying they didn't know me or how I'd use the video and it could get them in trouble - their version of HIPAA laws, understandable. On the way, we passed a polling place where they were electing members to the local Council. Word on the street is one or all three parties are attempting to illegally bribe voters with food, money, and even bicycles.


Richard showed me his house and I found out he is the grandson of the preschool Chairman who's helped us dig the preschool latrines. Richard then showed me his garden.

Richard and his garden. Growing rape, bananas, and tomatoes.

Richard and his garden. Growing rape, bananas, and tomatoes.

Tonight, with no hot coals to start a fire, I showed Wana and Chim a flint and magnesium firestarter I've had since Boyscouts. They jumped and took a step back when I made the first spark but burst out in cheers and laughter as I started a fire from seemingly nothing. I brought it thinking it could help them start fires in the rainy season. They thanked me warmly as I handed it to them as a gift.

Ben Kirby2 Comments