I thought I knew what the word “rural” meant: according to my experience, that was a place in the middle of the countryside with normally a church and a cemetery for the soul, both contrasted by a couple of pubs or restaurants for the body. I then visited a rural community near Chipata, in the Eastern Province of Zambia, and the adjective “rural” took another meaning: “rural” turned out to be a place in the middle of nowhere (for those of you who are farmers, yes, the “nowhere” can include a massive farm so it is indeed “somewhere”), reachable in 4×4 in 45mins from the main surfaced road. We drove and drove through the capillaries of this green, lush land and I am still amazed on how the Live Well (LW) team did manage to find our destination: any junction was like a decision tree and the probabilities associated to any of the possible routes to take us to an inhabited settling were below zero to me!
When we arrived there, one of the LW’s agents welcomed us and showed me around. The village was pretty simple, grass-roofed houses (of which some of them were used to dry tobacco) and a few wooden sheds for raising doves. Most of the people are farmers.
As per my last trip to Ngombe compound, the reason for this visit was a community event in the form of a drumming session followed by a “play” and a lecture on prevention and products included in the LW portfolio. The performance attracted the interest of the locals who, at the beat of the drums, made their way to see what was happening. They were all very participative, more importantly they all stayed for the “serious” part of the event and quite a few questions were asked at the end of the session and even screamed “more”!
Overall, it was another great experience that will stay in mind for a long time.