Because of the vast distances between Kitwe and some of our customers, we used to charter a small aeroplane and go the easy way. Our auditor was also the agent for Piper aircraft and wanted to put in some flying hours, so it all fitted in nicely. He would take a stack of accounts records to work on, using the Government Rest House for the day. On the flight, when one of those wonderful tropical storms could be seen in the distance, he had time to fly round them, rather than through them. It was not possible, of course, to fly over the top in a single-engined plane. This gave me the opportunity to take a few photos of complete storms, from top to bottom. pic1 _ pic2
Landing strips were, of course, somewhat primitive. On this occasion, we had a senior director visiting us from England, to have a first-hand look at our operation. He was an ex-Army man, very fit and very keen. My colleague from Lusaka, Don Clarke, came with us. Our Kitwe accountant at that time was Mrs McCartney, a Polish lady who was once a Captain in the British Army in North Africa. She was also a Countess. She prepared a hamper of magnificent food for our lunch. Alas, both Don and our overseas visitor were somewhat queasy after the flight in a small plane, and were quite unable to do justice to Mrs McCartney's culinary delights. All the more for me! But that was a diversionary tale. Here's a photo of our plane, in the solitary splendour of Samfya airport.
Here in Australia, people talk of the sunburnt country and the great brown land. But when you've lived and worked in Africa for 15 years, there are other images that come to mind. This photo shows the Africa I remember.
Samfya is on the shores of Lake Bangweulu, and here are shots of the stunningly white sand and the sunlight on the water. A beautiful place indeed. We had freshly caught bream for our breakfast, too. My companions were fully able to handle that. pic3 _ pic4
It is especially beautiful at sunrise, and this is one of my favourite photos.
While I was gazing out over the water, and watching the sun slowly rise, a little boy came and sat nearby. He, too, just gazed into the distance. I didn't speak to him, because I thought he might be saying his morning prayers (we were staying at the United Church Mission) This photo became for me a sort of symbol of the youth of Africa looking towards the future. Alas, things didn't quite turn out as we hoped.