Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lake Mweru

A couple weeks ago we got to take a family drive up to Lake Mweru which is about an hour or so north of us. I and the kids had never been up that way despite living here for over 3 years.

Tom has been up there countless times. Long before we moved to this area Tom took trips up here and showed the Jesus film along with Campus Crusade. He even took boat trips out to the islands on the lake. One of them had not had white visistors for over 15 years meaning that for most of the children Tom was the first white person they had ever seen.

As we drove north I was fantasizing about what I would do when we got there--sit on the shore, sip a coke, gaze at the sheer beauty of God's creation.

The reality was a little bit different. God's creation took on a different form than I had expected.

The lake was gorgeous. The lonely fishing vessels out in the middle--peaceful!

The shore line though--not quite as pretty

Laundry washing and a broken down old boat.

An abandoned suitcase and a little baby all by his lonesome.

Ok, so the mom was about 10 yards away doing the washing.

Readers of this blog will not be surprised that one of the first things I needed to do when we got to the lakeside was to find a restroom. Well, we didn't quite find a restroom. It didn't even have proper walls. There were small gaps between the bamboo strips.

This has got to be the ricketiest facility I have ever used. It was sturdy enough but made me exceedingly nervous!

After deciding that we couldn't really sit and relax on the shore we headed for a restaurant for lunch. There weren't many choices but Havana Restaurant came highly recommended.

All dishes were served with Nshima. Nshima is a type of cornmeal porridge--similar to thick grits or polenta but without any seasoning. It is the staple food for Zambia and very important to them. If you ask them if they have eaten the actual term in Bemba is: 'Have you eaten nshima?' If they haven't had nshima then they haven't eaten no matter how much other food they've consumed.

We all chose the chicken except for Troy who chose eggs.

The white lump in the center is the nshima. It is stiff and slightly sticky. You pull of small lumps and mold them into balls in the palm of your hand and then pinch up bits of meat or vegetables to go with it. I almost never use the palm choosing to just use my finger tips.

I could only eat about a third of my nshima portion. It is really filling stuff!

My son however had no problem eating all of his and most of everyone else's. Teenagers!

All restaurants have hand wash stations set up so people can have clean hands before and after the meal. This towel was fresh but normally I air dry my hands because you have no idea how many people have used that towel before you.

This place was nice because they had liquid soap. Bar soap is as nasty as a used towel for bacteria.

The restaurant owners were so sweet and let us bring our dog in with us and even brought a bucket of water for her. This is unusual because most Zambians don't treat their dogs like pets but more like work animals.

The day out was great and relaxing. I'm grateful for these places that God has provided for us to 'get away' to from time to time.


  1. Does everyone know what a squat toilet is?? This one in the picture sure doesn't look like our American toilets, or "Western style" as they are labeled in most countries.
    I can hardly use them anymore because my knees hurt when squatting... oooo, so glad to be in a country where they have normal toilets everywhere.

  2. Okay, that bathroom would freak me out! And I love the menu at the restaurant!

  3. Mweru was one of my favorites!! Havanna is awesome & the family is incredible. The secret is, if you know you're going up, call ahead & ask for chips or rice. They'll buy potatoes or rice & have them waiting for you when you arrive. I always ate there when I was in Kashikishi. The other option is out on the lake, can't remember the name right this second, but they have a great view while you eat.

    I love reading about your adventures, but it makes me REALLY miss Zambia. Homesick.

  4. Goodness, that does sound like a nice change of pace for you all. And a restaurant meal after cooking for ages is always a welcome change around here.
    The water is lovely, too!

  5. That's a talent just waiting to be developed; peeing anyplace.

    I had a friend who contracted parasites in Utah Lake. The only person to get them EVER from there. That was how she found out she had leukemia.

    I am such a ray of sunshine! Why don't people like to invite me to their parties? Why?!

    {Side note: Same friend who found out she was dating a polygamist. She's doing fine now. Thank you very much}

  6. Thank you for taking me along on that trip. If you ever get a chance, I would love it if you would participate in Sundays In My City. You live in a place that most of "us" (whatever that means) have never been to and will never go. I think it would be great for us to "travel" there with you as our tour guide.

  7. I love seeing the life you live. Amazes me!

  8. Hi Amy,
    This post was soooo interesting! I will be back to read more later, but wanted to check in and say Hi, let you know I really enjoyed it, and follow back! Thanks for following, (though you must be doing it anonymously, as I didn't "see" you). Happy Sits Sharefest Saturday!
    Wendy @ Faith's Firm Foundation


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