Those stacks by the side of the road are charcoal. I tried to capture a photo of one of the earthen coking ovens, but wasn't quick enough. This is the charcoal Tom purchased for bbq when he made his trip two weeks back. The charcoal is "caged" in sticks, then wrapped with plastic on the bottom.
Another section of the road had hollowed out gourds. I was tempted to ask Tom to stop, but we wanted to get off the road as soon as we could. As it was, we drove the last hour in the dark.
This is at one of the "truck stops" ... I've enlarged the photo so you can see the women carrying heavy trays of fruit on their heads.
While we did our furniture shopping in a mall and regular stores, you can buy couches alongside the road. One place between Chingola and Kitwe must have well over 500 sets. They sit outside, rain or shine ... In this photo there are also some gorgeous African fabrics. Maybe another day!
More furniture, must be a more upscale shop as they have a tarp canopy.
Mostly along the road were fruit and vegetable vendors. This market was quite long, stretching for probably 500 meters. The prominent produce were watermelons, tomatoes and butternut squash. While it is fashionable to eat in season now in the States, here it is just part of life!
And some stands are single families plying their wares. Often when a trucker has stopped to make a purchase, or someone else you will have at least 5 little kids crowd around, each holding a tray of the same type of fruit. Purchase from one, and ever hopeful, the others will try to get you to buy theirs as well!
This vegetable stand was on one I spied on the way to Lusaka, just past where the "shortcut" between Kitwe and Ndola takes off from the main road.
Along the way we also could have purchased live chickens, 2 litre bottles of honey, roasted corn on the cob, rattan type furniture, tin "toys" ... It is never quite the same, but always something can be found to buy. When we have more time we plan to stop and boost the more local economy.
These are the rural open markets. In the little cities there are plenty of others. Most of those sell used clothing (from the US, Canada and European countries). I saw a huge selection of used toys, all spread on blankets on the ground, and being perused by several customers.
Along the main street of Chingola, in front of the regular stores there are vendors. One day Mary and I walked past a display of women's sandals that absolutely reeked of moth balls. Unfortunately, after we managed to get past without passing out the young man selling them ran after us with a pair to see if we had perhaps not noticed them.
On any given day there are people who sell used books, counterfeit cell phones, used clothing, used carpets, linens, shoes, you name it. If you have ever dropped give-a-way items into a collection bin where you live (unless you know it went to an established charity) it likely will find it's way to one of these outdoor markets.