Sunday, February 10, 2008


On Saturday I went to a small shanty compound on the outskirts of town to interview some women about their lives in Kamatipa (Bemba for “mud”). I thought I was interviewing a couple of women, but when I arrived there were about 50 children and 40 adults gathered in a small school room, the adults eager to share their stories. A leprous man, through translation, told me that the open sores that had claimed most of his fingers and toes have not been treated in years. We walked through the dusty streets (again the heavens offered a reprieve from the rain) and I was shown home after home whose porous walls had finally crumbled as a result of the heavy rainfall.

It was a humbling day and, again, I felt like my heart was going to bleed right out of my chest. We walked the 7 kilometers back home (stopping for a black mamba that was crossing the road) and just as I reached Nakadoli Market a torrential down pour began. Thankfully I had brought a plastic bag that I wrapped around my backpack, so my camera remained snug and dry but I on the other hand was soaked to the bone. It was pretty hilarious. I had to strip down as soon as I entered the kitchen and literally rang out my clothes in the sink. Dripping. Soaked I tell you!

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