One of the great benefits of travelling with an “open mind”, is that you never know where your next micro adventure may await. Nic recently travelled to Zambia, and in the melee of action in Lusaka airport, the following short story unfolded. Here’s the story in his own words.
As I had suspected, the hotel had not booked my shuttle, and that sinking feeling associated with being stuck at the airport till I could arrange another option started sinking in.
I looked around the myriad of signs being held out for the new arrivals, looking for any sign of my name. Then by pure luck of timing, I see my hotel on a signboard, with the driver and guest about to walk off. I seized the moment and without hesitation asked if I could join on the trip. In typical African hospitable fashion, I was greeted with a warm nod, however, the other guest had one condition, he wanted to make a stop along the way, which i was totally fine with.
We got chatting as we entered the cab and I soon found out he had been a school teacher at a local school, 33 years ago, and the stop he wanted to make, was to visit his old school. He was an eccentric Estonian man who had been attending a convention in Durban for the week and had ‘snuck’ up to Lusaka for the night to enjoy this little walk down memory lane. He regaled stories of his years in Zambia, and quickly took me back in time in a journey of a developing and ever changing Zambia.
Following a visit to the school, something he said really left an impression on me. Ah yes, “One Zambia, One nation” he remarked, remembering the unifying slogan widely used by long standing ex-president Kenneth Kaunda. This slogan has stood the test of time in Zambia and serves as a reminder of a story of unity and transformation that has been burning for many years. In our own ways, as tourists, business people or travellers, we are the just the current version of that long burning flame, and we need to take responsibility for adding positively to every place we visit.