Ladies of the Club
Yesterday I joined the Ladies of the Club. Well, that’s what I call it anyway. The weekly gathering of white mothers and their children for social and play time is really called Play Day or something like that. It was just so properly British. The women were from South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Belgium, Australia. The table was covered with tea cups, saucers, quiche, carrot cake, cheesecake, and two kinds of tea (roibus and black). While children played inside and out, the moms nibbled and visited, catching up on the week and admiring the two newborns among the group. Malaria was a topic on everyone’s mind, since children are so susceptible and the rainy season has been bad. One little guy got into army ants and literally had ants in his pants (or nappy if you will); his mommy had to quickly strip him and quiet his cries from the painful bites. After eating, some really fine South African wine appeared and it, too, became part of this afternoon tea party.
The group was made up of women married to men who worked for mining companies, owned farms or businesses, or were professionals (teachers) in their own right. Zambia can be very isolating for these women, most of their extended families were in another country. One young Belgian mother had three small children under four; her little family had lived in Senegal for several years before being moved to Zambia. They seek each other’s company, commiserate and listen to each other, love each other’s children, share advice and friendship—not a bad thing to do over a cup of tea or a glass of wine on a Thursday afternoon in the Zambian sun.