“That’s not real Africa.” This is what Lusaka expats and locals tell me when I mention I’ve traveled to northern Africa. I guess that means Zambia is the “real” Africa, but I wonder how the North African countries would feel about these opinions.
I came to Zambia with preconceptions. I didn’t ask for them, but I’ve had a narrow view given to me by the opinions of others. I thought that Africa, real Africa, was: dirty, poor, hot, dangerous, and hungry. After a week in Zambia I’m making my own opinions.
This is my experience: within hours of exiting the plane I was eating spaghetti with fresh herbs and vegetables, I drank a glass of red wine, and ended the evening with a cappuccino (with latte art). This was not the Africa I had been nervously worried about living in. Lusaka is a major urban area; I’m told it’s different in rural Zambia, and I’m looking forward to finding out for myself.
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