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MIT student blogger Mitra L. '07

Zambia Ate My Neighbors by Mitra L. '07

We only get 20 minutes on the internet every night and I spend 15 of them blogging.

Yesterday was my team’s first full day in Zambia, and what a day it was! We took
a minibus from where we’re staying to downtown Lusaka, where we walked through
an open-air produce market and into a large, covered goods market. There, we
bought cloth for skirts/sarongs (15,000 Kwache each, which comes out to roughly
$3.75). It was incredibly sunny during the day, and although I wore a hat and
drank lots of water I got tired quickly. We walked all the way from there to
the Lusaka Post Office, and along the way stopped at three different bookstores
looking for small books on local dialects of Zambia. Though we didn’t have much
luck finding them, we did have a good time looking at the math, history,
English, and science textbooks they had. If they weren’t so heavy, I would have
bought some to bring back to MIT with me. From the post office, we took another
minibus to Manda Hill, a strip mall that lots of ex-pats frequent. I have to
admit, the minibus experience takes a little getting used to. The drivers only
leave a stop if their bus is full, so it is an interesting optimization problem
for a group of five to select which bus out of the 10 waiting will fill up first
once they get on it. And then once you think the bus is full, they fold out
chairs into the aisles and pack more people into those. Anyway, at Manda Hill
we walked around some more and ate dinner before taking the minibus back to our
guest house.

It is unclear if we are going to be in Lusaka this weekend or Mwape, but I hope
to have internet access again tomorrow. This morning, my team leaders have a
meeting with the Dean of Engineering at UNZA, and we have planned on meeting
our 3 UNZA student colleagues this afternonon. Take care!

25 responses to “Zambia Ate My Neighbors”

  1. yay first entry whats the time in zambia its 1130pm in this part of the world smile

  2. Elizabeth says:

    No first post, again :(
    I still think pictures would be awesome if you have a camera, I mean, Africa has got to be so different.
    But what’s with the “Zambia ate my neighbors?” Is there an interesting story behind that?

  3. Ovippo says:

    I’m sure this will be an unforgettable experience of your life. Keep going on. My best wishes from Italy. Enjoy your stay.

  4. Sam says:

    Hey Elizabeth — I can explain the title. Mitra sends these entries to me and then I post them for her, but she hasn’t given me any titles. “Zombies Ate My Neighbors” is the name of a Super Nintendo game. Since Mitra lives right next to me and is in Zambia for IAP, I thought it was clever. (still, nothing I come up with will be as clever as Mitra’s “zOMG Zambia!” title).

  5. turnef says:

    Waiting for a minibus and folding chairs sound somewhat familiar to me… but I would wait not more than thirty minutes… How long do you approximately wait for the bus to get full, Mitra?
    I can’t wait for your titles Sam smile honestly

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sam-
    The title was sort of clever:) Please do ask Mitra to send some photos for the blogs. We’d all love to see some pictures of a different place.

  7. Prashanth says:

    Zombies at my neighbors : Favorie game for SNES EVER. I sold it for 10 dollars though >.Zombies at my neighbors : Favorie game for SNES EVER. I sold it for 10 dollars though >.<.

  8. ehsan says:

    I like to study in mit and I want to give information from you

  9. bhushan says:

    in ‘marathi’ language
    Mitra means Friend i.e.
    mitra=friend

  10. bhushan says:

    in ‘marathi’ language
    Mitra means Friend i.e.
    mitra=friend

    Jai Maharashtra

  11. TKD says:

    What a perfectly sub-Saharan, if not anti-bourgeois excursion . . .

    Methinks Laura Tyson would be impressed (I certainly am)!

  12. Tlou says:

    its nice to see That MIT is sending its students to africa, to see whatgwun on the continent. im a worker at the state IT agency in south africa and we have been researching the 100$ PC project, and i stumbled upon your blog, and i think its really cool. it seems as though conrad was a sceptic, enjoy.

    peace

  13. Tlou says:

    its nice to see That MIT is sending its students to africa, to see whatgwun on the continent. im a worker at the state IT agency in south africa and we have been researching the 100$ PC project, and i stumbled upon your blog, and i think its really cool. it seems as though conrad was a sceptic, enjoy.

    peace

  14. Tlou says:

    its nice to see That MIT is sending its students to africa, to see whatgwun on the continent. im a worker at the state IT agency in south africa and we have been researching the 100$ PC project, and i stumbled upon your blog, and i think its really cool. it seems as though conrad was a sceptic, enjoy.

    peace

  15. Tlou says:

    its nice to see That MIT is sending its students to africa, to see whatgwun on the continent. im a worker at the state IT agency in south africa and we have been researching the 100$ PC project, and i stumbled upon your blog, and i think its really cool. it seems as though conrad was a sceptic, enjoy.

    peace

  16. Tlou says:

    its nice to see That MIT is sending its students to africa, to see whatgwun on the continent. im a worker at the state IT agency in south africa and we have been researching the 100$ PC project, and i stumbled upon your blog, and i think its really cool. it seems as though conrad was a sceptic, enjoy.

    peace

  17. Tlou says:

    its nice to see That MIT is sending its students to africa, to see whatgwun on the continent. im a worker at the state IT agency in south africa and we have been researching the 100$ PC project, and i stumbled upon your blog, and i think its really cool. it seems as though conrad was a sceptic, enjoy.

    peace

  18. Tlou says:

    its nice to see That MIT is sending its students to africa, to see whatgwun on the continent. im a worker at the state IT agency in south africa and we have been researching the 100$ PC project, and i stumbled upon your blog, and i think its really cool. it seems as though conrad was a sceptic, enjoy.

    peace

  19. Tlou says:

    its nice to see That MIT is sending its students to africa, to see whatgwun on the continent. im a worker at the state IT agency in south africa and we have been researching the 100$ PC project, and i stumbled upon your blog, and i think its really cool. it seems as though conrad was a sceptic, enjoy.

    peace

  20. adib says:

    I’m so happy to find an Iranian name in MIT site but not sure that you Iranian and bahai,are you?
    please if you have time help me about this brand new open-learning courses in MIT.
    Best wishes

  21. jacky says:

    Well, it looks like all women like shopping…

  22. broooom…….. Here goes! Who made it going? I mean I wonder (not wander ;|) to know who made the minibus to go with a broooooom?… drove it! Please forgive this nonsense pranks….

    Well, honestly I would like a bit wandering story, in the country’s land and water and air, excluding the wanderings in mall.

    Please…… it’s my pinion, and not intended to make any mall enthusiast disappointed.

    Chiario.

    Wandering Albatross

    [email protected]
    0
    /|/
    |
    / /

    YAAAAAAAAAAHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  23. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr it doesn’t accept HTML grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  24. kobe says:

    hey,you got a visitor from China.from your blog,i know sth about college life in America,it’s very different from China,hehe

  25. kobe says:

    hey,you got a visitor from China.from your blog,i know sth about college life in America,it’s very different from China,hehe