Siavonga: Gifts I Seemed to Need From a Lake Kariba Village
Siavonga: Gifts I Seemed to Need From a Lake Kariba Village.
I had some backpack mechanics to deal with this morning. The clip for the waist belt on the bottom of the 9.5 year old $14 North Face knock-off Chinese backpack broke on me. Three nights ago, when it was dark on the bus through Tanzania, I took my jackknife and I cut fabric of a seatbelt that no one ever uses to take the clips. It was not nice of me but all of the seat belts were unused. And most of them were broken anyhow as I had a hard time finding ones that were still working. Actually, I had to take one side of the belt from one seat and one side from another. But, I got the clip. Today I sewed it onto my backpack. It works freaking awesome. Farm boy handiness lends its creativity again! Gosh, I am glad to have grown up in Big Beaver like I did…
Enough talk about the seatbelts. Life just has a way of delivering situations, people, and things at just the right time. I have been feeling down the last couple of days. Maybe it is all of those miles I made over a three day stretch to get from East Africa to Southern Africa with little sleep. It has maybe run me down and made me a little grumpy. I have just felt exhausted of being a “target” as a Caucasian for the past couple of days with everyone wanting a piece of me, hoping to cash in. It wears a man down. It has me thinking that maybe I should start thinking about getting out of Africa, though there is so much more I want to see.
So, today I was trying to figure out what to do. It is clear that I need a break from these bastards in the city who are beginning to mentally break me down, shorten my temper, and make me much less of a pleasant person. I found a review on a lakeside town called Siavonga, which according to Triposo is “…a city in Zambia, probably best known for being a place to refuel and getting some connection with your cellphone. This is the closest most Zambians will ever get to a seaside town or resort.” The last line of that is pretty terrible, but the first part intrigued me, so I caught a bus for $5 for three hours to go there.
The drive was beautiful. Villages of grass huts appear in a clearing in the forest on the side of the road every few kilometers. I wished I could have had the power to stop the bus many times along the road to meet the locals and to get some photos.
When we arrived at a market in Siavonga, it turned out to be a really quiet town on the side of Lake Kariba. It felt peaceful. I asked my mini-van bus driver which way to walk for a guesthouse. He pointed in a direction. I found this place and this view for $10 a night. Sweet. I think I have found just what I need right now…
On a walk around town, the locals were so sweet. I met the wonderful girls running the bakery, who took me to a sweet girl running a kitchen, where she made a fantastic meal for me. Then, as I was dealing on a SIM card for a better phone company in Zambia, I met two pretty sisters who are 19 and 20. They taught me words in their native tongue and I spent the evening hanging out with them. The 19 year old girl is a singer and she took me to a studio where she makes music. The studio turned out to be the house of a guy about her age who has the popular hang-out in town. He has electronic equipment and the “make beats” as he put it. There were records by artists like Tina Turner hanging on the wall. It is probably the coolest place you could ever hang out in your late teens and early twenties.
The older sister was tired and wanted to go home so the younger sister took me to find music. We went to a resort on a hill where we could hear the unmistakable sound of live drums. It turned out to be an African-music band with blues influences. It was fantastic to hear. It was just what I needed.
At 21:30, my friend and I left the live music and went to a place called the Zesco Club. Zesco means “electric”. We had two more beers there and my 19 year old friend started to get pretty touchy. We were with two of her local friends and an Egyptian man in his mid-40’s, who is Arabic-Caucasian, balding, fat, was wearing sweat-pants in the club, and still had two reasonably attractive women hanging all over him…proof that it is never truly over for you…
My friend, maybe realizing that compared to what her friends were all over, possibly thought that she had her hands on the legs of Don Juan and escalated things very quickly. She wanted to have one more beer after our fourth big beer, but I did not see the point in having more. I decided I was done and was leaving. She decided she was coming with me holding my hand. Once on the walk, she stopped and told me that she was going to move on to a nightclub, but ended up walking home with me anyhow. The games and the mental torture younger women put themselves though to try to not seem easy…something I love not having to deal with in women a few years older. I kept on moving and took her directly to my guesthouse and into my room, locking the door behind me. She drew the curtains. Well, that spelled it out when she did that.
So, it was on… it happened… we had sex. Just before it started, I grabbed a condom, which she told me, “Don’t use…” I told her, “Yeah right… In a nano-second I can think of about six reasons why we should be using that. So, there is no freaking way this is happening without it.”
This little town, Siavonga, sure came to the rescue. Just as I was having negative thoughts about Africa and making considerations about leaving the continent, it supplied me with peace, relaxation, wonderful people, live music, and a beautiful girl. Thanks for stepping up just when I needed it travel spirits!