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Pole to Pole

Day 108: Kigoma to Mpulungu

Mpulungu, Zambia 
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First taste of Zambia: me and my prescription.
Michael Palin - Pole to PoleIn the evening, back at Denish's, Jake and his colleague Paul Murphy, a lean, wiry English-born Zambian, cook us a splendid meal as a fierce thunderstorm breaks. I drink too much wine, but haven't come across any since Kenya, and feel the need to wind down after this extraordinary day.

As waves of rain lash through the trees I talk to Paul about the problems of the country, it being election day in Zambia. In his opinion what the place needs is discipline. Liberalism, in the Western sense, cannot work in Africa. He quotes Malawi as an example of the way things should be done.

I also meet Chris and Jean Bigereaux, who employ 300 people in Mpulungu's biggest industry, fishing. The talk turns to malaria.

'The first time you have it, you never want to have it again. You just want to die,' says Chris.

Denish agrees, adding that he now expects to have malaria attacks about four times a year.

My head is muzzy by the time I reach the hut I'm sharing with Basil. Pushing open the door with infinite care so as not to wake him, I drop my torch, trip over Dr Baela's medicine and nearly bring down my mosquito net.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 108
  • Country/sea: Zambia
  • Place: Mpulungu
  • Book page no: 247

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