Farewell to NW Zambia and back to Kitwe

Monday, April 15, 2019
Kitwe, Copperbelt Province, Zambia
Today we packed up the MLL (Mufumbwe Luxury Lodge) into the SUV and drove back to Kitwe. The trip, we are told, can be as many as seven to eight hours, but we were very fortunate with much lighter traffic to make the journey back in a little over six hours.  The big long line of trucks into the Congo was gone. Obviously, the murder issue was resolved.  We understand that it was the Zambians that closed the border because of the killing of the driver by Congolese authorities. Whatever it was, traffic was now moving through the Chingola portal.
Many people stayed overnight in the Church building. It is bittersweet to leave.  We are so attached to them… all of them.  They have a sweet nature.  There are many children. More than half the attendance is young children and they are all in the vicinity and walking distance of the church building.  Christopher, the deacon, lives no more than 100 feet from the building.
There is no electricity out here, but we were all able to get our computers and phones charged up last night.  We have battery chargers with us, too. One of the members who stayed overnight came by early to ask to borrow ours to charge his phone.
I went out under the mango tree in front of the church building to talk to a group of men, about seven or eight of them to talk. They speak among themselves in Kaunde and they have to switch to English to talk to me. Among them was Christopher and Joseph Kapatula, Lazarous, other Kapatulas, and Simeon.  All the people that we have become acquainted with. 
The Pringles arrived from their guest house in town and we load up the trailer and back end of the SUV.  It almost seems that we’re taking back as much as we brought!  We unloaded lots of things as well, leaving dishes, cups, etc. in the MLL (Mufumbwe Luxury Lodge) that we refer to often.  It’s not a bad room, attached to the church building and equipped with a modern bathroom, bed, etc.  Hey, you’re all set and live here at no cost.  The Pringle’s have really thought this through.  Without them, there would be nothing here and the group of the faithful members here would still be living under the mango tree in town.  
Before leaving, we did a podcast from the MLL.  Derrick and Cherry did a wonderful job in relating their life’s story from Rhodesia days to the current work with the Churches here.  We talked for about 35 minutes.  I’m sure our listeners will find this one particularly interesting.
We pulled out among all the church people waving both hands to us in an emotional farewell. 
The drive on the main highway to Solwezi is uneventful except for the gasps of little children walking on the main road along with the scampering goats that we skirt around. . . and the potholes. But, the highway is so much better than ever.
In Solwezi we went to the Rooster Café again.  It’s becoming a ritual.  We didn’t have ice cream, though, as we plunged on eastward.  Derrick has amazing energy.  I probably dozed off a good hour or so on the drive.
At Chingola where we were expecting the traffic backup, it was clear.  Before we knew it, we were at the Pringle’s estate outside of Kitwe.
The Pringle’s son Mackie was in town.  He works with his father’s Active Agencies and manages many of the projects. He really knows everything about the business. He actually lives in South Africa, which is where his wife and three children live (twin boy/girl, aged 10) and daughter, aged 13.
We had an enjoyable dinner talking about this part of the world, living and working here.  It is so true when they say: “Africa is not for sissies.” Some of the most interesting conversations were about the Congo, which is only a few miles away.  It is a huge, rich, violent, corrupt, and mysterious land.  The stories abound about this giant of a country whose elevated terrain is visible from Kitwe.
In the morning we fly to Lusaka and then on to Malawi for our final stops on this epic journey.
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