Wednesday, April 16th was day one of our trip. Jason and I met John, John's wife Robin, and Chris at DFW airport. This turned out to be a small fiasco because our first flight from DFW to Detroit was delayed, which wouldn't allow us to catch our flight in Detroit. So..after Chris talked with the Delta check-in lady while we all waited at curbside with all of the luggage, we were moved to American Airlines for our first flight. All 5 of us into the truck with all 16 bags plus carry-ons to move to the AA terminal.
We did make all of our flights, and aside from it seemed like insanely long periods of time sitting in planes we made it to Lusaka, Zambia Thursday night. Our flight landed after 10 pm so thankfully there weren't many people around at the airport. At baggage claim, we acquired 12 of our 16 bags and then figured out 4 bags never made it to Lusaka. It took awhile to figure this whole thing out, but the four remaining trunks would be flown in on Saturday night. This was a bit of an issue since we would be leaving Friday morning from Lusaka for a 6 hour ride to New Day Orphanage. (The rest of the "missing 4 bags story" will continue later.)
Blu picked us up from the airport in "Bus Number New Day", and we stayed at the Flying Mission in Lusaka on Thursday night.
Now, the New Day bus is a 1991 year model bus from Japan that made it through a tsunami and has a history of frequent flat tires and break-downs. John and Chris' last trip in 2012 includes a story of a flat tire on their way to New Day that took hours to get fixed. Strangely enough, on our way from the airport across town to the Flying Mission we had a flat tire....at around 1am. Blu, John and Jason managed to change the tire pretty quickly, and we were on our way again. It was SO nice to shower and sleep horizontally in a bed rather than sitting on an airplane Thursday night. The Flying Mission was a nice place to stay...remember don't drink the water and use the mosquito net when sleeping. (Brushing your teeth using a water bottle is very odd to me.)
Friday morning we left out. The bus crew included all 4 of our team and the Tidwell family, Blu, Darbi, and 3 kids, Caedmon, Cambree and Cason. We made a stop at the grocery store for a little shopping for Darbi, the orphanage and whatever we wanted for our stay for drinks or snacks. We picked up Esther, who was our cook during our stay at New Day, before leaving Lusaka. After the long bus ride, starting on a "nice" paved road and then ending on dirt roads to the orphanage, we arrived with time left in the day to unpack and set up most of our work areas. The main paved road from the capital city Lusaka running south is best described as a paved county road here in Texas. Narrow, several pot holes and bumps, and some detours off on a dirt road for the construction parts. Some pictures from our bus travel to New Day:
Chris enjoying the scenic ride.
Luggage all in the back of the bus and Jason looking very serious.
All along the road you can see people walking, riding bicycles or selling things on the roadside.
I absolutely loved the hills and mountains around the Lusaka area...so beautiful. It was much more flat in the area where New Day is. Blu says New Day is located in the "armpit of Zambia".
You can see the nice driveway and buildings that contrast greatly with the buildings and huts further away from the city.
Example of a woman selling alongside the road.
A river we passed over...not sure the name though.
Blu stopped to buy a few baskets on our way.
New Day Orphanage---we thank you SO much for hosting us for this trip.
*Next post is Day 4: First day of patients.