great north road

The Great North Road

by Spencer

Making videos from a bicycle! It’s challenging! These edits are a bit rough. (I’m actually being kind of rude, holding everyone up to upload!) I expect when I have more time I’ll re-edit, but as it stands, we have miles to make. Burundi calls!

The music is by a Zambian musician, Dali Soul. I hear he’s a cool dude ;). Most of his music, including this song, promote progressive causes. The lyrics are mostly in Nyanja. This song, if it’s not very clear, promotes condom usage. HIV / AIDs and other STIs are a big problem. You see signs everywhere yet the infection rate exceeds 10%.

The English manor is called Shiwa Ng’andu. It’s in the middle of nowhere, miles off the main road on a dirt track. The two historical photos are by C&J Harvey.

Once again, it was all the wonderful people who welcomed us into their homes, truck stops, back yards and huts, they made this so worthwhile. Thank you!

To Cycle the Great North Road

by Spencer

A day’s ride on the GNR. Hard to describe. Mostly absolutely banal. But sometimes – like when the trucks pass each other and you have take a detour into a ditch, or when you’re riding after dark and you have no idea what crevasse lies ahead in the dark unlit abyss – the ride was absolutely terrifying.

True and hard to comprehend: The Great North Road is the only road servicing the couple million residents of Central and Northern Zambia. This is Zambia’s I95 – most everything else is a dirt track.

edited 1/1/2015

On the Great North Road

by Spencer

A legacy of empire – the Great North Road was built by imperial Britain in a grand attempt to connect Cairo to Cape Town, to bring the three Cs, commerce, Christianity, civilization, to the inner depths of the British Empire. Today the Great North Road isn’t so great – it’s but two lanes, with no shoulder and potholed. But for hundreds of miles around, it is the single best road. Giant trucks, often covered in people, transit goods from Zambia’s heartland to Tanzania. Closer to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, there are commercial farms but mostly the country is nothing but subsistence farming and bush.
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