What we hear is the sound of metal scraping metal. It was that deliberate, unsettling sound that echoed across the compound of this remote village in Luangwa District, Zambia and drew me to discover its source. What we see is a three year old boy scavenging for every morsel of charred and hardened cornmeal leftover from his neighbor’s cookware in a vain attempt to quell his hunger. As I frame this stark picture I’m reminded of an occasion when I myself scraped a bowl with such vigor. I’m reminded of the times growing up when my mom made cake or chocolate chip cookies and I relished the sweet remains in the mixing bowl as the batter baked in the oven and the sweet aroma filled the house. The comparison of pleasant childhood memories and the dismal situation before me is a vicious reminder of the reality at hand, the reality[…]Read More
Post Tagged with: "luangwa"
You certainly won’t need an umbrella in South-West Zambia outside the month of January. While many places in Africa have plentiful rainfall and lush soils (central Uganda for instance), many rural farmers, after only one brief rainy season each year, must attempt to cultivate enough food for their families in extremely dry and sweltering conditions. This means that families have only one small window of opportunity to grow food and sell any surplus to earn income. Often that window is not great enough to last the entire year, and so not only does poverty persist, but something even more brutal occurs: hunger. Most of us who would read this entry have never experienced true hunger. Perhaps we’ve had to go without lunch because we were too busy at the office. However, true hunger is a reality for the people of this area of Zambia, most of whom survive on cornmeal porridge[…]Read More