July 2000 ended with me turning 17. I got to spend the day with my Mama and my siblings in Ndola. My Mama, as usual, had baked a cake. But my mind was already thinking about the adventure that we were about to embark on as a family. My Dad was in Amsterdam at a conference, so the rest of us would begin the journey without him.
We spent a week in Ndola, preparing and packing for the journey ahead, we were going to be gone for a month. Our summer adventure began with a bus trip to Lusaka, all I can remember was that Celine Dion’s music was the soundtrack of that trip. It blared loudly from the bus’ loudspeakers. I didn’t mind it, it reminded me of school. It’s not hard to admit I was already missing my friends.
After a few hours, we were in Lusaka. We spent some hours visiting Friends and then we were off to the airport. I was so excited to be travelling via aeroplane. It had been three years since I had flown into Zambia.
The first leg of our adventure as a family saw us landing at Heathrow Airport. Then we were picked up and taken to a family friend’s house where we had a semi reunion. My Dad soon joined us after a month of absence. It was good to be reunited.
The next day as a family, we headed out to sightsee. It reminded me of the Parent trap the Lindsey Lohan version when the twin from Napa found herself in London.
After two days in London, it was time to move on. We boarded a flight for Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, we got to visit Disney Land in Anaheim, California, as well as Knott’s Berry Farm. It was terrific to relieve some of the fond memories of my first trip to Disney Land when I was 7. It was interesting to go on some of the same rides I had enjoyed as a child.
However, the highlight for me in Los Angeles was getting to visit my Dad’s Alma maters, Azusa Pacific University and Biola University. Touring the schools allowed me to see how the campuses looked liked. Actually, during my visit to Biola University, I knew within me that I had found my school and a new home. I was blessed compared to many international students who never get a chance to tour their schools before they even apply.
It spurred me on, as I found whatever little time I could snatch to study for my upcoming IGCSE exams.
But before I had time to buckle down, it was time to move again this time to Port Angeles, Washington. We got to visit the Olympic National Park and the county fair in Port Angeles. Then we took a ferry to Seattle and went to watch a Jesus Play at the Amphitheatre.
After a few days in Seattle is was time to head to Denver, CO. The main reason we had left our home in Zambia. But before the conference started, we went for a Father’s and Daughters trip. That was extremely fun; we got to hang out with our dads.
Then it was time for the conference. It was good to see the participants from different nations. To see my Uncles and Aunties from the various African countries. But by this point in our adventures, my Father was beginning to give me a look. In his eyes, I wasn’t doing enough studying. He had no idea that I had read so much. That I was seizing my opportunity to have some fun before embarking on writing my final exams. So while others played, I often was in the hotel room studying my notes, my focus was on the subjects I struggled with: Physics, Biology for the most part. Although I still got time to do some sightseeing, and take in an acrobatic futuristic artsy type movie at the IMAX theatre.