Nearly two weeks ago I left for Ndola. It was an early Sunday morning when we set off—walking to the bus station. We had to leave before dawn since the bus was due to pass through the village at 4:30 AM. Since our car was not working well and Tom was worried about the road being muddy we left on foot.
If I were a cynical person I would have thought that Tom just didn't want to get up and drive that early, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt. To be fair as well, Tom had told me that I could ask our gardener to come help with the luggage but since that would have meant him getting up around 3 AM in order to walk up here in time, I really didn't want to do that. Tom explained later that because this culture is so helpful and by their rules an employer is a parent, the gardener would have been very happy to have the opportunity to assist me. He does understand this culture more than I, so perhaps he was right.
But, I didn't follow his advice and therefore I was left to carry my own luggage. I had my ‘be prepared’ bag, my laptop in a case, and my small suitcase which did not feel small that morning, let me tell you.
I had both shoulders occupied by the two bags and was then challenged with how to carry the suitcase. Those suckers are designed with wheels for a reason. Unfortunately, those little wheels don’t work as well when being pulled down a muddy dirt road at 4 AM. Go figure! Believe me, I tried. After discovering that pulling wasn’t going to work, I tried carrying it in one hand which completely threw off my balance. Shifting from hand to hand didn’t work either. I even tried carrying it on my head African-style but I think that’s a skill you have to learn at a young age.
Finally remembering the gift God gave me—namely my ample hips—I hoisted the suitcase up to my right hip, supported it with my right arm and held on to the handle with my left. That position actually worked. So did uttering some choice words—did you know that ‘research’ has shown that those that let certain words fly handle pain better? I still don't recommend it but I'm only human.--What can I say?
On the plus side the rest of the bus ride was pretty comfortable compared to the walk so that was nice.
And I learned that not only do my hips not lie, but they are very handy luggage carts as well.