Thursday, March 15, 2007

Week Three

African Adventure: The Graduate

Three weeks have past and things are rollin’ right along. The three months of orientation was condensed into three weeks due to the fact that the director and his wife who lead it are leaving for the states this Thursday. It may sound like I’m getting jipped here with only three weeks but I they don’t call me “sponge-brain square pants” for nothing…actually no one has ever called me that. So I am a proud graduate. I’m actually kind of glad now I can get out and do and see more instead of sitting in a classroom. Put more focus onto learning to carry massive amounts on my head. We still covered all the material there was to cover, we just had orientation five days a week instead of the three they usually do.

The weather continues to do bizarre things and the power continues to go out. When my mom told me to eat carrots because they would help me see in the dark I really should have listened. I think it was out almost every night last week. And since we are on a water pump when the power goes out we have no water either…leaving for a smelly environment of no bathing.

So I have joined the church choir! This past Saturday I and another girl on the team went to choir practice. It was so much fun, what a crazy gang. I brought my guitar and we taught them a new song which we sang on Sunday. This Saturday I am hoping to go to their youth meeting. I was hoping to do this this past Saturday but not having my own vehicle and living half an our outside of town presents it’s challenges with transportation. On Saturday’s we have also started a little kids club in the neighborhood. So we had about 15 kids show up and we talked about creation of the world, played a little game, sang a couple songs…it was pretty cool. So hopefully that will continue to grow.

This past weekend I also had my first experience driving here in Zambia. Yes, that’s right, yours truly behind the wheel! Just when you thought the streets of Lusaka couldn’t get any more reckless!! Actually it went quite well. It’s bit of an adjustment driving on the other side of the road and having to hold your cell phone with your other hand while driving and reading the paper. Just kiddin’. I found the hardest part was judging where I was in the lane and how much clearance you have on the passenger side. Only three pedestrians and one goat were injured.

So now with orientation over I am having the chance to shadow some of the ministries of Action Zambia to see where I think I could fit into. This week I am “shadowing” the HIV/AIDS team who provide education and resources to HIV teams and do a lot with training churches in how to respond to this epidemic. . The church in the past has been one of the worst contributors to stigma and ignoring the problem so this team is trying to work with local churches to help change that. One of the big philosophies of this organization is working through the local churches to bring lasting changes to communities as opposed to us foreigners just walking in, putting bandaids on the problems and leaving with no one to carry on the work. The HIV/AIDS team is looking to do more of a focus on youth and develop that area so I think that would be a really cool area for me to get involved with, although challenging. So I am excited about that possibility.

So that has been the week in an electronic nutshell. I am hoping to get my recording stuff up and running this week once I can get a proper power converter and hopefully start recording some stuff. Thanks for all your support, prayers, and encouragement. I couldn’t do it without you!

Love to you all,


Ps. I ate fried caterpillars this week. I liked them. I also have acquired a taste for tea and drink it by the barrel cause coffee isn’t as popular.

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