At the airport in Zurich we said our good-byes and then I was already on my way flying towards Zambia. After traveling for a combined 20 hours, I arrived in Ndola and had to suppress a laugh: the 'airport' there really resembles more an oversized barn.
Once we stepped out of the 'barn' into the sunlight we were welcomed by a whole throng of people. Among them, Nico and 'Mama' – and that is what she is to us, as I have to admit that I never got to know her real name, she simply was like a mother to me. After a taxi drive which robbed me of any sense of location or direction we arrived at the volunteer home. On the ride, and also later during my stay, I noticed that on the cars usually the red 'refill now' sign is lit up all the time. When I asked about this the answer was simple – gas is so expensive that everyone only fills up just enough to avoid running the gas tank empty. At 'Malaika Home' (translated into English 'the home of angels') we were welcomed by two charming young ladies. As Daniel was still at the airport, the two of them took over 'guide duties' and showed me around the property and our volunteer house.
The next day we visited Mackenzie community and the community school there. I noticed that most houses in Mackenzie are built out of simple earthen materials, which makes them crumble during heavy rainfalls.
One day later we visited another community school and the children's home, which really touched me. There were so many kids there who longed for some attention, interaction and love.
After these two starting days, we took a brief break and traveled to Livingstone to visit the Victoria Falls and also go on a short safari. Upon our return from Livingstone, half of my time in Zambia had already passed.
But there was still lots of work to be done. During my second week there we had various work and project-related meetings. I was especially impressed by the Madalitso Wits Sports Academy, which was founded and is led by local enthusiastic volunteers.
With the approaching departure my initial longing for my home in Switzerland actually started to decrease. I would have preferred to stay here, in Zambia, far away from the stress and daily grind. And so my actual return to Switzerland indeed more resembled the awakening from a beautiful dream – 'poff' and I was back in reality.
And so, when I boarded the flight back home in Ndola, one thing became clear for me: Zambia, there will soon be a reunion. And while writing this report today, I have to admit that I already miss my second home, Malaika. Can't wait to be back again!