I have recently started to volunteer with a young and growing NGO with operations in Lusaka. One of its programs in Lusaka is public outreach in the compounds, teaching children how to wash their hands and clean their teeth properly. I have appreciated the opportunity to have a closer understanding of the compounds, especially as the volunteers took me around Chawama, their home. We visited the Friday Market, where rows of produce peddlers sold their products. One item that I had always been curious about are the little pieces of rocks as pictured below. I thought maybe it has something to do with construction, decoration, or maybe they are toys. It turns out that it’s something that pregnant women in Zambia like to eat. It’s a delicacy that is high in calcium. I would not have guessed in a thousand years!
Other interesting items in the market included live chickens and a range of dried fish. I also learned from my friends that many foods are considered sexual boosters for men, from baobab fruit to groundnuts (peanuts) to dried cassava. Dried baobab fruit and cassava both taste similarly chalky and bland. Groundnuts are pretty tasty though.
Leaving the market as we headed towards one of my friend’s homes, we passed by a row of barbershops, where clients were slightly bent over with the back of their heads sticking out of the storefronts as the barbers squeezed soap and poured water over their heads to wash their hair.
We then passed by my friend’s sister’s home, next to which, we found an interesting quotation scrawled on the exterior wall, “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” I personally quite liked the quotation, but my friend rightly pointed out that that is not really forgiveness after all.