Africa is definitely the most difficult and expensive place to visit from North America so I didn’t back down from the opportunity even if it meant as much time in transit as it did on the ground and even if my main purpose was for work and not exploring.
I ended up getting a layover in Lusaka to walk around the city. This was mostly spent wandering around and pinching myself as a reminder it wasn’t a dream. Having spent a good deal of time in South-east Asia, it was natural to start comparing and overall, finding a lot of similarities. One big difference for sure was the general lack of foreigners outside the malls and hotels. At one point I wandered through one of the biggest city markets and felt very out of place in a sea of locals.
A couple things that stood out compared to other places in the world. No motorbikes or street animals. A truckload of people went by and everyone was loudly singing together. English! Ok, not uncommon but as a first language in such a faraway land, very convenient for digging into a culture.
Before long it was off to the north and to the copperbelt. Evenings were pleasant and there was enough down-time to do a little hiking and get a general lay of the land (forests for as far as the eye can see).