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Riots and a rooster

Things have been pretty exciting around Kitwe this past week. The Zambian presidential elections were held on Tuesday and the race was close between Mr. Banda, who was seeking re-election, and the main opposition candidate, Mr. Sata. The Copperbelt province where I live strongly supports Mr. Sata so there had been many rallies and campaigns leading up to the elections. Voting day was fairly quiet, but then on Wednesday there was trouble. There were riots in the center of town as well as in many of the compounds. The neighboring compound I had visited my first weekend here, Chimwemwe, had serious riots and the Nakadole market there was badly burned. The riots started over concern that the election results were taking so long and suspicion that the outcome was being rigged. We could hear the riots from the compound where I live and work, which was quite frightening. We could hear the people shouting and the police firing canisters of tear gas. I spent the afternoon and evening with another missionary family that lives here and stayed the night with a friend. At 12:30 am on Thursday morning they announced that Mr. Sata had won and we could hear the cheers. There were people shouting, blowing horns, and cars honking. The celebration lasted all through the night, the next day, and into that evening.

So how did we pass the time waiting out the riots? Well, I helped the family I was with catch their rooster who had gotten loose.It took us several attempts, but we finally surrounded him up next to the house. When he tried to dash he ran right next to me and I grabbed his leg! The rooster started flapping and flapping and only then did I realize I had actually got him. We also played games, enjoyed dinner together, and watched a movie, but the rooster was the most exciting bit.  I never thought I would be catching a rooster in the middle of a riot!


The rooster I caught during the riots
Posted September 26, 2011

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