Every community or country has their own anti-littering campaigns: "Don't be a Litterbug" or "Don't Mess with Texas". Zambia is no exception with their "Keep Zambia Clean" motto which you see posted on trash cans or signs all around the country.
The fact that the real message might have been lost in translation became very clear one day when Tom was running errands with our gardener.
Because we don't speak the local language fluently we will take our gardener with us when doing various business so that he can translate. Now that we have a vehicle both of our gardeners are very excited. Status is a big deal here and now that their boss has a car they feel that their job is even more important and they work hard to keep our car looking nice--a tough task in this dusty land.
On this particular day Tom was visiting various places and had stopped to get some bottled water to help fight the heat. Peter, our gardener, kept busy hopping in and out of the car to help load things or talk with people.
As he climbed back into the car after completing a task he noticed the empty bottles lying on the floor next to his seat. He frowned with displeasure and said, "Ah, Keep Zambia Clean!" and promptly threw all the bottles out the window into the street.
The story I'll probably never live down.
3 days ago