Home Sweet Home

I had a list two-pages long of things we needed to buy to bring back to Zambia. Our next trip to the U.S. isn’t until Christmas so I had to buy in super bulk.  Fortunately I’m a card-carrying member of Sam’s Club so I was able to get 5 lb bags of chocolate chips (three!), industrial-size cans of Pam cooking spray, and boxes of Airborne.   Because I always eat safely with boatloads of condiments (condom-ents, get it?) I also stocked up on A1 sauce and L&P Worcestershire (and yes, the L&P brand is the only real brand of worcestershire sauce imo).  I can get all of these things at the American commissary here but it’s at least triple the cost.

I also had a list of things I couldn’t get in Zambia that I really missed — an outdoor thermometer in Farenheit, an attachable rubber shower nozzle to give the big puppy a bath, dobie scrubbing pads, nail polish remover (you can get 1.5 oz bottles here but I wanted a larger size), etc.

The main thing I wanted to bring back was a size 700 crate for Coco.  If you remember, she was still trying to squeeze into Buddy’s size 300 crate for comfort.  The largest crate I could find here was a 500 size, that cost about $400.  The 700 size crate was so large we had to borrow someone’s van for Kevin to drive us to the airport.

We arrived at the Detroit airport at 4:30 am with five suitcases crammed with goodies (we had brought four empty ones, which upon writing that, makes me realize that sadly, we are prototypical consumerist Americans) and the dog crate clam-shelled (top taken off, turned upside down and fitted into the bottom half) and taped.  The gate agent stuck “Fragile” stickers all over the crate and then wrote “Empty” on a large piece of tape over the top.  Better safe than sorry I guess.  We had to redistribute three bags on the spot (always embarrassing to have your Victoria’s Secret panties in full public view) and ended up having only one overweight bag ($100) and the crate ($200).  I considered it a bargain compared to what these things would have cost in Zambia.

We flew Ethiopia Airlines back and this time the Dulles-Addis Ababa leg was non-stop — 13.5 hours of hanging in the sky.  Of course, I had obsessively read up on the Air France flight #447 so watched to see if we changed routes whenever we hit a bit of turbulence (and we did, according to our personal flight path monitors).  Oh, and did you know that flight #447 descended 10,000 feet per minute in its last four minutes and that they think everyone was alive and conscious when it hit the ocean because when they found the plane many people were in the crouch position with fractures that only come from a hard impact?  Yes, these types of thoughts kept going through my head.  Fortunately, I took pity on the nun fingering her rosary beads next to me and kept these little tidbits to myself.

Again, we had a great experience on Ethiopian Air, connected directly to our Lusaka flight (with a stopover in Harare), and arrived with all of our luggage safe, intact and unbroken.  The doggies were thrilled to see us and Coco immediately jumped into her crate while it was still clamshelled.  She LOVES it.  Here is the comparison of her new crate next to Buddy’s crate.


It was wonderful to be home in the balmy dry air with the big African sky overhead.  The flowers were blooming…

…especially the bougainvilleas (below are photos of the cottage before we moved in and now; the bougainvillea is covering up that empty wall just like I wanted it to)…


…the garden was fully ready for harvesting…











…and I spent all of my first day back picking peppers (from left: jalapenos, bell, thai hot [light green], and cayenne [dark green])…






…and digging up carrots…(I juiced them the next day)…

Life was great! I went grocery shopping and opened the fridge door to put away the milk and UGHHHH!!!!!  The power had gone off and flipped the circuit and the fridge had been dead for two weeks.   Spoiled food, rotten meat, nauseating smells, maggots galore.  We filled two bags full of fridge/freezer debris, washed the appliance out thoroughly, windexed the entire insides, and then for good measure I poured bleach down each of the walls and let it sit like that overnight.  Note to future ex-pats:  Count on power outages that will flip breaker circuits while you’re gone and clear out your fridge/freezer before leaving.  Don’t know why we didn’t think of that, stupid Americans!

I wish I would have had the presence of mind to take photos but I was so tired after 2 days of traveling and disgusted I just wanted to get the job done.  However, here is the cleaned-up fridge/freezer.


Despite the fridge mishap it is great to be home!  I opened Google Earth and mapped out several 5k routes so I could begin working off all of the Coldstone Creamery and Culver’s ButterBurgers.  We’ve been back four days now and I’ve already logged 20k!



About Kimm X Jayne

Gravatar Photograph from the exceptionally talented Ben Heine. http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/3794765860/
This entry was posted in Traveling abroad. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Home Sweet Home

  1. Christy says:

    Glad youre back! That looks like one VERY happy pooch. 😉

  2. Jack Pyle says:

    Sounds like a great adventure. Sorry I missed you while you were here. Hopefully I’ll see you next time. I am enjoying your blog posts. Be Joyful!

    • Kimm X Jayne says:

      Sorry we missed you too — it was a whirlwind trip. It’s your fault we ever got introduced to Culver’s and I hold you totally responsible for all of this extra jogging I’m doing.

  3. Mikey says:

    Vilkommen home!

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