BY PAMELA BOWMAN MESA ARIZONA – I like to laugh … a lot. As a matter of fact I am usually laughing in my head most of the time. Some people ask me? “Pam, are you happy today?” And I say, “Sure.” Then they say, “You should alert your face.”
I don’t have the most revealing of faces. In Zambia, Malumba Malumba, one of the actors was sharing his impressions of the crew members. He commented on M.K. and how she was so approachable. “You can tell she is in charge of public relations. She greets everyone with a smile and a hug.” He said that Jeaniece is just a sweet girl. He was the one that gave Cyndi the nick name Makumba. That means earthquake or when she walks in the room things start to move. Then he pointed to me and said, “When you meet Pam she looks straight in your eyes and sees into your soul. She is quiet and watches everything and everyone. I think she will tell the real story of Zambia.” The crew joined me in laughing on that one!
Sometimes I had to go to my room because I just had to laugh into my pillow! How many people could come to the Kraal and ask for our coveted black t-shirts? How many of the drivers were going to ask how many different crew members for gas money, phone money and food money? The one that was over the top was when I sent a driver with K50,000 kwacha for phone minutes and he returned with K40,000. I asked him what had happened to the rest. He explained that he had decided to put the other K10,000 in his phone. WHAT? Or the time we gave the driver K60,000 for gas and only K40,000 was put in. “I am going to use the rest for my ride home.”
There were so many moments of sheer ridiculous requests. We had a cook. His name is Daudi. We loved Daudi. He cooked very well. And he tried so hard! The night before we left he approached me and said, “Pam, I want to come to America and be your personal chef in your home.” I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t help it. I had to laugh out loud and in his face. How could he think I could afford a personal chef? Cyndi received even more requests. One was for three computers to start an internet café! One person asked Jeniece for her hair! “Your’s will grow back.”
Of course the one time on the trip that I couldn’t contain my composure was when Cyndi fell off the bus and landed face first in the African dirt. “Cyndi, are you ok?” Both Alec and I asked. I mean we were concerned for her welfare. But before she answered I could feel my stomach start to tighten. She looked like she was doing the breast stroke in the African dirt for pete’s sake! She replied, “Yes! I am just so pissed!” She finally got up and stormed after M.K. Our windows slammed shut and the laughter bubbled over. She could hear the roar from outside! Just remembering…well my stomach is tightening up all over again! The image is burned in my brain. Too funny!
Yes, I learned many things about Zambia and about myself. I like to laugh …a lot and I think I have alerted my face!