After dinner tonight a few of us went to a mall across the street from our hotel where we could change money and activate SIM cards for our phones. I didn’t tackle my SIM card situation just yet, but I did change US dollars for Zambia kwacha at a supermarket that looked just like any supermarket in the States. This modern grocery store is the first one I’ve seen like that in Africa. Although I can’t be sure of this, I believe southern Africa is a little better in terms of sheer infrastructure and status of living than other sub-Saharan countries and regions of the continent. That said, I have been in Zambia all of seven hours so I may be making a huge leap about that. That’s just what I’ve observed so far.
I do love changing money when I travel. US dollars go so far in so many places. In Zambia surprisingly things are a little expensive, at least more so than Ethiopia and India where you can buy a ton for a little.
Our day gets started mid-morning tomorrow. The IRP showed mercy and didn’t require an early, early start since so many of us have traveled nearly an entire day to get here. I literally skipped Saturday time zone wise. When I left it was Saturday morning and when I landed in Dubai it was all of 7 am. Missing most of a day really does a doozy on your sense of time and date.
I have a few things to do tonight and then I’m off to bed. I usually don’t sleep much when I travel, but I figured I might as well get some rest now before our work officially begins.
I am traveling to Zambia as an International Reporting Project Zambia Fellow. The International Reporting Project is a part of The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. I will be reporting on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and how these three infectious diseases acutely affect mothers and children. You can follow our journey for the next 11 days at #ZambiaHealth.