Day 1 of Transaid’s Cycle Zambia Challenge

So here we are in Lusaka, after nearly 20 hours of travelling. Its warm and we’re all glad not to be on a plane anymore.

We flew via Addis Ababa which was a revelation: a patchwork of small green fields, rolling hills and streams – nothing like the caricature view of famine and parched land that I wrongly held of Ethiopia. By the time we were flying over Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia the landscape was noticeably drier at what is near the end of the dry season.

After arriving and finding out that all 47 pieces of checked luggage had made it (to the great relief of all of us) we headed off to the Industrial Training Centre (ITC). The ITC provides professional driver training for PSV and HGV drivers; Transaid and our corporate partners have been supporting the ITC for 10 years. It was the first driver training centre that Transaid supported and from these roots our work in Tanzania, Uganda and other countries has developed. Support is in the form of expert trainers from the UK who help Train the Trainers, as well as the provision of buses, trucks and forklifts to the centre to enable the trainees to practise.

We received a strong welcome at ITC and a fantastic lunch. It was also lovely to see our new Zambian based trustee, Phidelia Mwaba again, as she joined us for the afternoon.

After the work of the ITC had been explained to us cyclists, we were then also privileged to meet the designer of the bicycle ambulance and some of the bicycle ambulance volunteers, who had travelled seven hours from Serenje province in order to meet us and describe their work on the Mamaz Against Malaria project. I think all the cyclists found this a moving and humbling experience.

A lovely meal to the sound of hugely noisy frogs, and we are off to bed – 5:30 start tomorrow morning!

Thank you again to my corporate sponsors for the challenge: logistics property experts sbh and the logistics and supply chain consultancy, Model Logic.  

I now have two new bronze sponsors: materials handling experts, Emkat Solutions, and software developers, Green Gorilla Applications. Look out a full set of sponsored kit tomorrow!