i thought i would dedicate this post to the wonderful people of zambia and their way of keeping time.
it's no surprise that when you travel outside of the U.S. you are often confronted with much more laid back people who value relationships more than deadlines. the kind of people who will stop and chat with you for hours even if it means delaying something that might seem more important.
thus the concept of zam-time.
i'm learning that when they say 15 minutes it really means more like an hour. a dear friend of mine here in zambia told me and i quote, "zambians are not good at predictions." meaning if you are travelling somewhere and you ask how much farther to our destination they might say, "we'll be there in an hour" and somehow that hour stretches into 3 before you finally arrive. it can be frustrating at first, but once you get used to it you learn to accomodate yourself. for instance last night we were waiting for some friends to get back from town. they called me and said "we are close." i almost jumped up to go to the door to wait for them and i then i realized i'm on zam-time. so i stayed where i was and read a book. an hour and a half later they finally arrived. see what i mean?
today starr and i made the trekk into town to get our visa's extended. we got to the immigration office and found it empty. there was a little piece of paper taped to the door with a phone number written on it. i called the number and the gentlemen on the other end of the line told me that the immigration officer was out of the office (obviously) and that he would make sure he comes in tomorrow. so here we are now stuck in town until this afternoon when we can catch the van back to home.
and we get to do it all again tomorow.