Giant Change in Plans

Our last full day in Zambia was full of surprises. Our original plan was quite simple. We had planned to go to church with our native friend, Audrey, followed by laundry, relaxation (aka Elle burning in the sun and ping pong), studying, and a final visit to Audrey’s for a traditional dinner. As soon as we walked down the stairs, we knew all our plans were derailed. One of the other volunteers let us know that Audrey left town early in the morning due to a family emergency. We were very distraught. Suddenly, we had nothing to do in the morning and no plans for our evening and dinner. The REALLY sad part was that we never got the chance to say goodbye to her. Punch. We naturally played a few rounds of ping-pong to dry our tears.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty chill. We spent most of our afternoon at backpackers working on blog stuff, editing pictures, burning in the sun (Elle), playing ping-pong, and chatting with the other volunteers. We decided to head for lunch around noon. It was great. We went back to Ocean Basket and got wonderful sushi. We then made a visit to the tourist market for some last-minute gifts and souvenirs. In the end, we bought a few small things, but we were saving our money for one more big dinner, and oh boy was it exciting.

We had no idea, but Zambia and Malawi we’re playing tonight in the tournament for the Cosafa Cup. There was good news and bad news. The good news was that we ate dinner at Zest which had the game playing where we could see it. The bad news was that our food took so long to get out, that we basically watched the whole game. Overall, it was a very exciting game, though.

The game started off in a train-wreck situation for Zambia. Malawi scored with less than two minutes on the clock. 0-1 for Malawi. The details are fuzzy, but after a lot of great shots on the part of Zambia, Malawi got a penalty shot right before or right after the half and scored. Just so you are aware, Malawi was favored to win the entire tournament, so it was no surprise that they were ahead 0-2 against Zambia. A little bit into the second half Zambia scored with a BEAUTIFUL shot in front of the net. 1-2. Despite Zambia pressuring very with everything they had, they never got another good shot on goal.

No, they didn’t need a good shot, because they basically walked the ball into the goal -in the 89th minute- to tie things up. One of the defenders was WAY too far forward defending a player with the ball. Upon gaining possession, he passed the ball back to the goalie, unfortunately for Malawi, their other defenseman was playing too far back. As soon as the ball was kicked, a Zambian player charged the goalie in an attempt to steal the ball. Luckily for the striker, (unfortunately for the goalie) as he got close to the goalie, the goalie went to kick the ball and missed by about a foot. The stationary ball was easily snagged by the striker and driven into the box. The defensemen that had previously played too far back charged in front of the goal, but he wasn’t nearly large enough. A quick pass was made to another Zambian player, and the ball was pushed into the goal. It was insane. Everyone in the restaurant and streets was going wild. We ended up leaving the restaurant at that point, so we didn’t see the ending, but Zambia won 3-2. It was a fun to be with the people experiencing their excitement.

The food at Zest was also great! I had fried, stuffed chicken, and Elle had a traditional village chicken. It was really delicious. The rest of the evening was spent packing and watching Ice Age. Although nothing went according to plan, the day was still really great!

Author: Braydan

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