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Lusaka Experience Township Tour

Posted on | May 9, 2012 | No Comments

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Lusaka-Zambia-Lusaka-Experience-Township-Tour-Garden-Mural
We spent yesterday morning on the three-hour tour of the Garden Compound (township) hosted by the inspirational folks from Lusaka Experience. This neighborhood of 26,000 people crammed onto unserviced, unpaved streets where their 2-room cinder block homes are built on what was once a garden is an example of the environment where most of Lusaka’s 2 million residents live.

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Coming from any developed country it’s difficult to really appreciate what it means to have no basic residential services until you see streets where garbage is piled up with kids playing right nearby.

Lusaka-Zambia-Lusaka-Experience-Township-Tour-Street-Scene
The houses here do not have running water and no indoor toilets. There are water taps in the neighborhood which the residents pay to use to fill containers of water to bring to their homes.

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One of our tour stops was to visit the Happy Face center a resource center for neighborhood kids supported in part by the Lusaka Experience team. Many of the kids who come here do not go to school because the only basic (primary) school in the compound is over-subscribed. The center provides a space for kids to explore arts and crafts with simple drawing and craft-work.

Everywhere we went in the compound kids called out MuZungu, the local slang for “white person” and like kids everywhere they never tired of waving, calling out “Hello” and following us around.

Lusaka-Zambia-Lusaka-Experience-Township-Tour-Local-Craftswoman
The high point of the tour for me was a visit to this local craftswoman’s house where she takes chitenge cloth (the traditional women’s dress worn wrapped around as a long skirt) and re-makes it into fun bags and purses.

My trip to Zambia to visit the libraries built by Passports with Purpose in 2011 is sponsored by Expedia.

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