Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Afrikan Adventure: Rice and Beans Edition

Another significant accomplishment was achieved this week in the life and times of Shannon Storey. The four of us “single” girls, as people like to refer to us by, embarked last Sunday on “The Rice and Beans Experiment.” Our goal: eat rice and beans for lunch and dinner for seven days and seven nights. My own personal terms and conditions included that I eat each of the meals with my handy, dandy travel chopsticks. This experiment was really just for fun, but it is also a lot easier on the ol’ food budget. Now before you think we are too hardcore I have to let you know that we didn’t eat the rice and beans plain, but with a plethora of other ingredients and some very tasty recipes. The mission was a success. I wanted to eat out of a coconut shell in my bathing suit to really complete the “Survivor” experience but we have no coconuts and cold season is approaching. I will post pictures of our meals on my blog soon.

This week I’ve delved full force into the world of netball. I’ve been playing most every afternoon with the girls and had our first Bible study on Friday which went well. They also started calling me “mzungu” (meaning white person) the other day even though they know my name and they found it to be quite hilarious. So it’s been fun hanging out with them. It’s nice to have a sport to play with them because they don’t really speak all that fluent English so it’s a good way to hang out and form relationships without worrying so much about language.

On Saturday I led some singing with the youth group at the church I attend which was good. They usually sing a capella out of the hymnal so it was nice to spice things up a bit. And then right after that was choir practice so it was a busy afternoon.

As of this week I am now an official “alien” of this country, so now it is more fitting when I “phone home.” We went down to this government building to get our Alien Registration Cards which is quite the little process. It involves traveling to many different rooms, often waiting for lengthy periods within each. As I have observed there really is no such thing as customer service in this country, which after working a Christmas season at the Sears Portrait Studio is kind of refreshing! But people will just stop in the middle of something and take a personal phone call or get up and walk away or what have you. So things can take a little longer. I got my picture taken for the card where the photographer had the fastest trigger finger of the Congo. I’m not even sure how she lined up the shot she brought the camera up and shot so fast. And our experience was complete with a power outage in the midst of things. So the whole process took pretty much all day by the time we got our cards.

I will be heading to Malawi next week for two weeks to visit a family who works with ACTION in a rural area. Apparently they have a thriving youth ministry happening so I’m really interested to see that and it’ll be fun to be in a more rural environment for a while. I am going with the Whitfield family, having three kids under 7, on the 10 hour drive in their 5 seat truck…experience: priceless I’m sure! I probably won’t have internet access while there so if you don’t hear from that is probably why. Or a lion ate me.

So that’s the latest from Zambia. I hope you all are well and had a pleasant Mother’s Day…I know I did (note: I am not a mother, don’t worry).

Take care,


“I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies”

~ Psalm 57:9-10

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Afrikan Adventure: Wedding Bells

I have something very important to announce to you all. I just can’t keep it a secret any longer….I went to a wedding reception today! Ha, I got you. I bet you all read the subject and first lines with bated breath and sweaty palms thinking, “could it be true, could it be true, she’s finally met someone!”. Well, maybe you didn’t think that at all, but I hope I tricked at least one of you. But it is indeed true that I went to a wedding reception. It was for our Zambian accountant, Bwalya, and it was my first Zambian wedding experience. Surprisingly it was very westernized. Nothing like what I would have expected. It was pretty much the same as back home with the exception that there were no tables so we just ate sitting in our chairs and the extended families of the bride and groom did this synchronized dance all the way from the back of the hall to the front. Something I think we should incorporate into our weddings back home…and I will be requiring it at mine so you better start working on your routine now cause with my Mennonite roots it will probably take until the time I get married to get it into shape!

In other news…I went to on a little trip to Livingstone this past week, home of Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It was pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Since it has just been rainy season there is a lot of “mist”, more like torrential downpour, and so as you walk through you get completely soaked…it’s awesome. It’s the most water pressure I’ve felt since I got here! I should have brought my soap and scrubbed up. It was also the day there was a lunar rainbow…where you can see a rainbow at night from the light of the moon…I may not have needed to explain that as you most likely got it from the name, but there you go. So that was really cool and we walked through again in the dark and got completely soaked. And being that it’s Africa the safety standards aren’t really what they are at home…so it was a little creepy walking around in the dark on a moss ridden, wet and slippery, stone path right next to this massive ledge with nothing more than an itsy, bitsy rope running next to you. Good times. We also went on a safari which was phenomenal…I’ll post some pictures soon on the blog.

I have also started actually playing netball with the girls in the afternoons. Some of those girls can come off pretty intimidating but I just put the elbows up and tell ‘em “Big Shannon’s” here to play! And so now they are asking me to get them jersey’s because the football team has jerseys that someone donated…so if anyone sees a set of matching jerseys for cheap let me know!

May is shaping up to be a fairly busy month. For one thing today is Cinco de Mayo which is a huge celebration here in Africa…just kidding! Although we did have a little fiesta meal of our own…complete with a worm in the cayenne pepper. The last two weeks of May I will be traveling to Malawi with the Whitfield family to follow in Madonna’s footsteps and adopt a child. Actually, to visit a family that works with Action there and see what’s going on. Apparently they have a thriving youth program happening so I’d really love to see that. It is way more rural there which I am excited to experience. All this while pushing the big 2-5 on the 19th. Yes, that was your subtle hint to get your birthday poems ready!

So that’s the latest here…three months in. Homesickness comes in small waves, more like small ripples…mere disturbances in the water. But it’s nothing I can’t handle. I miss people more than anything…and nacho’s…for some reason I have this big hankering for nachos. I miss you all and your friendship and support continues to mean more than you know.

God Bless,


“And we have this treasure in broken vessels to show this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”