Day 9: On to Zambia

We met our new group today and, though the country representation is similar, the group is very different than the first leg. There average age is much younger – I’m guessing 31 – and there are more couples. But so far, so good!

Today was a long day of driving (500 km), plus the border crossing into Zambia. We met the group at 7:30 am and didn’t arrive to our campsite in Lusaka (the capital of Zambia) until about 8:00 pm. We had a few stops along the road for bathroom breaks (I’m becoming an expert) and lunch, and one at the grocery store for our guide to get food for dinners for the next few days. We’ve been doing as many grocery store visits as we would while working. dunnhumby folks, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve been into Shop Rite quite a few times in South Africa as well as in Botswana.

Zambia is entirely different than Botswana. The landscape is lush and green (especially since we’re in the rainy season). There were farms along the road for almost the entire trip – agriculture really dominates the economy. There have been a lot of corn fields, so it oddly reminds me of home.

Here’s the view out of our truck’s front window:

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As of Jan 1, Zamia divided its currency by 1,000. On Dec 31, 2012, $1 USD = 5,000 kwacha. On Jan 1, 2013, $1 USD = 5 kwacha. It was embarrassingly difficult to figure out how much money we needed from the ATM machine and how much things cost at the grocery store! And to think, I majored in math in college. When we saw the price of Pringles for 24,000 kwacha we were sure we were doing the conversion incorrectly. Pringles surely couldn’t be $5 USD. It turns out our math was correct, but we’re not eating Pringles in Zambia!

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