rural life

Sounds of Jack Mwanapapa

I came to Jack Mwanapapa in late January of this year to visit the family of my friend and assistant in Lusaka, Sydney Mwamba. It is, by far, the most beautiful place I have been in this rural area of southern Zambia.,  Nearing our destination we passed two small boys driving an oxcart and crossed a lovely winding river as we entered the village in our taxi. There are no gas powered vehicles here and no electricity.

Small flower gardens and tall shade trees intersperse the little round mud houses that cluster about a central open space where meetings are held and the children play soccer. I was taken to see their orchards of banana and citrus, mango and papaya and followed a twisting path flanked by small fields of corn and pumpkin, cucumbers, peanuts and peppers. The ambient sounds were peepers, cicadas, birdsong and the children’s voices in the distance.

Though not wealthy, these folks have everything they need to feed, house and clothe themselves. They have a system of volunteers who care for those with AIDS in their community, visiting and feeding them daily, and riding them by bicycle into Livingstone, a very long trip on dirt roads, once a week.

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