Saturday, July 17, 2010

Real Life Africa

I am learning a lot here from how to build pedestrian bridges to how to shake hands the African way to how politics work in Africa. The kids here are so beautiful and happy- you always get a huge smile and shouting waves back. I also got to chat with Chilesi, our local subcontractor at the Malobi bridge site, on our 6 hour drive from this site back to Lusaka. We talked about some of the educational and working challenges here. He is educated with a university degree in electrical something, and he said that coming out of university- it took him 2 years to find a job. Even then, when you find a job, it is usually not enough to live off of- like I said before, the police are extremely underpaid- sometimes $200-$400 per month. This might seem like a good wage for a poor country, but the problem is that nothing is cheap here. The infrastructure is pretty bad, but it is completely funded by donations mostly from other countries. The government knows of these problems, but it seems that there is too much corruption to really be able to bring about any progress or change anytime in the near future. Despite the poverty, there is not a lack of laughter and smiles. Maybe its because I am the funny looking Musunga "white person". In my first two weeks, I have fallen in love with the beauty of the people of the place and the purpose of what we are doing here. I feel like I am right where I should be. I have loved hanging out with Zoe's family as well. Below is Petra playing on the playground at the Crocodile park and the two kids with dad on a 6 hour road trip in the back of a double cab Tacoma.

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