Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I touched down at Ndola Airport at about 12 noon. It was indeed a very warm welcome in all manner of detail. The theromometer was near 30 degree C. The low cumulus clouds reminded me that the cold season was just around the corner (see airpot picture in this posting). The staff of this small international airport were excellent and all smiles. This was my second time in 10 years that I had landed at Ndola. I was in a hurry to get to Kitwe, my final destination and flying from Johannesburg to Ndola made a lot of sense. My ride to Kiwe arrived 30 minutes late and during the wait, I made frienship with two guys. We talked about soccer, a very safe subject. My two friends were utterly dissapointed that the once upon a time soccer power house (Zambia) was a shadow of itself in the 21st century. The worst player to them was this guy in the UK! To make matters worse, the stadium that once hosted continental games (Dag stadium) was still lying in rubbles (the stadium was pulled down with the intentions of buiding an ultra modern facility for hosting the Africa Cup of Nations competition). It never took place because of soaring costs.
On my way to Kitwe, I couldn't help shading a tear for the Dag stadium, lying in ruins and probably in peace forever and ever. I hope that one day, someone will resurrect this once upon a time loveley stadaium where Zambia never lost a game ( according to a Zambian legend). The Central Hopspital caught my attention too. It was once a gem but it looked an eyesore. Industies are virtually non existtent in this city of nearly 2 million people. The drive on the dual carriage way to Kitwe was comfortable (this is the only divided highway in Zambia). The road appeared to be well maintained. The highway was however overgrown with grass and the island was basically a jungle! From time to time along the way, people sprang up from nowhere onto the oad. My ride's hand was constantly on the horn to avoid hitting anyone. The trip to Kitwe took about 45 minutes.
It was great to visit the markets, a few shops and eat the nshima and kapenta. The road side markets have always been my favourite. It is here that one can eat roast maize and perhaps get a few bargains from sellers. One experience is shared in the next posting along Chingola road.
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