This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bus Station

You can go anywhere in Africa if you start here.  Of course you must first get here to the Lusaka bus terminal ticket agent that is situated in the middle of a huge block of swirling buses and hundreds and hundreds of people and their luggage.

Once you have a ticket, (they are not sold on the bus) you find your spot for that particular bus.  There are innumerable bus lines and some are cheaper and some are safer.  Never are the two the same.

While waiting there is always a chance for some snacks.

People wait and wait.  So did we.  Our errand was to go to the bus terminal and pick up Elder Emmanuel Kabwe who was returning from a trip to the Johannesburg temple.

He had called from the Zimbabwe border and estimated he would be in Lusaka at 1200.  We arrived at 1300 getting used to African time.  Time, we knew about.  Bus stations, we didn't know so much.
How were we to find Elder Kabwe?  He is black so that didn't help.  Everyone wanted to help and the first question was "What bus line from Johannesburg?" We had no clue but after a phone call or two we knew it was "Intercape" and found out to look for a white bus with orange on it.

We weren't the only ones waiting.

I thought about buying a tie.  It is my only fashion statement, but I like to tie my own knot, and I am still working on the ones I picked up on the streets of New York.  I would have waited if I had known they were so easily obtained here.

Apparently, these two activities go together.  I did save some money.

When a bus does show up I wonder if all the people and their bags will go in.  No one seems stressed so I guess I won't.

We waited about two hours and in that time we circled inside the terminal four times.

This gal had dried fish for a snack to sell.  It was sunny and warming up.  Notice her down jacket and two baskets.

She stopped at a bush in front of us and got rearranged.  Off came the coat and it was folded neatly in the bottom basket where I assume she keeps other personal items but she also has a purse for making change.  Next she rewrapped the chitenge that was on her head in a donut shape to place the basket on.
Next, she readjusted her outside skit, called a chitenge, revealing nice western wear clothing underneath.  The chitenge is traditional and helps keep women clean.  They are used to sit upon when they sit on the floor or ground and also to wrap around to carry babies and children up to about two years old.

She had a bite or two of fish then came over and tried to sell me some.  It smelled good but I declined.

It was fun to watch the maneuvering to get the buses in and out.

Finally, in comes a bus that needed a lot of room.  This bus was pulling a trailer and lo and behold it said "Intercape".  We followed it to its parking spot and Elder Kabwe emerged with only two pieces of carryon luggage.  He was riding high on the most expensive bus ($130 one way to South Africa) and he was picked up by these old white people who were very happy to see him.

I had forgotten to take a photo of him in all the traffic so he took a photo of himself at home.

On the way to his home in the village of Lilande, he could not stop talking about South Africa and the temple and how modern it was there.  He said there were buildings and pavement everywhere and NO DUST!  He said he laughed when they told him he was going through a village and he showed us the photo he took.  It looked like any strip mall in America.  He was so impressed with the "villages" of South Africa.

When I get time I will show you his happy mother when we got him home.