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Pole to Pole

Day 110: Shiwa

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleAt dinner with the Harveys tonight, the talk ranges from the long-distance lorry drivers' part in the spread of AIDS in Africa to the scandal of agricultural chemicals, banned in Europe, still being sold to Africa, and on to superstition and witchcraft. David Harvey, who farms in the south of the country and is as level-headed as you would expect from a graduate of agricultural college, respects witch doctors and has used them. He saw with his own eyes a witch doctor make his way down a line of farm workers, one of whom was thought to be guilty of stealing. He touched each man on the shoulder with his stick but as he applied it to one man the stick burned into his flesh and stuck fast. The man confessed.

Apparently many public figures believe in lucky charms and talismans. Even Kaunda, sober product of a mission school only a mile or two from here, was rarely seen without a certain white handkerchief. President Mobutu of Zaire never goes anywhere without his stick.

Back in my room I take the bark off the table and put it in my bag. At the bottom.
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  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 110
  • Country/sea: Zambia
  • Place: Shiwa
  • Book page no: 251

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