Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Afrikan Adventure: 8 Weeks

It has been eight glorious weeks today since I arrived here in Zambia...perhaps not all moments have felt so glorious but none the less I am thankful to be here.

I have just returned from a week in Zanzibar (an island off the coast of Tanzania) where 6 of us girls had the chance to take a little vacation. It was so awesome to see the ocean again. It was my first experience with the Indian ocean and I have to say I think we got along quite nicely. Our first part of the week was spent on the eastern coast of the island by the beach. In the morning the tide would go way out and you could walk for miles. I thought that I would walk to India on or first morning but feared that with the tide coming in in the afternoon I would not make it back in time for dinner...and a girls gotta eat, am I right?! It was a strange yet welcome feeling to be in an ocean where you didn't have to spend the first 10 minutes psyching yourself up to go in further. The water was so warm...sometimes seemingly almost too warm as the climate was very hot and humid. I would have to say I spent most of my time in the water, exploring the sea life, and in the afternoon when the tide came in I would swim out to the dhow (the traditioal boats) and climb on and dive off.

Those who know my track record with me, exposed skin, and sun would be very proud of me. I wore my rash guard (those surfer shirts) which was possibly the best thing to ever happen to me. It kept my nights much more pleasant than those I have known in the past of not being able to move as the feeling of material on burnt skin was less than desirable.

We spent the last couple of days in Stone Town which has a very Arabic feel to it with some great architecture and doors and a cool little night market with super cheap sea food.

On Sunday morning we had our own little sunrise service on the beach. It was awesome although somewhat strange as Zanzibar is a prodominantly muslim place. Easter is probably my favorite holiday as it celebrates pretty much the foundation on our faith. My mind never seems to be able to fully wrap around the fact that Jesus gave himself for a world of broken and sinful people like me because of his unfathomable love for us. And we can do nothing but choose to receive this grace and be filled. Crazy, eh! As the sun rose over the Zanzibar horizon we reflected on how Christ was our light that came to shine on a dark world. Pretty amazing. As I go through the streets of Zambia I hear God saying how much he loves these people...he has not forgotten them. And I in turn feel this urgency for them to know this hope I have and the only thing that can fill that emptyness in your soul, that we will one day be together in a place far better than this one. So it was a good Easter, although I must say I missed eating the good ol' Mennonite Paska (a sweet, sweet bread with icing and sprinkles...sweet, sweet, bread!).

Back in Zambia I have been attending orientation meetings with the CROSS Project team and am initiating my work with research and development of a youth curriculum. This week I hope to work with a girl at the street kids drop in centre to do some teaching on HIV/AIDS which I am looking forward to. I am also hoping to spend some more time with her (Brenda Savillle from New Zealand) as she is doing what I hope to be doing and hopefully we can work together on a developing curriculum and working with youth, although her focus has been more on little kids and I on teens.

Other than that I continue my language study. I met with my tutor this morning. In Zanzibar they spoke Swahili so I leaned a few key phrases such as "hakuna matata" (which they say all the time!) and "poa kshiza kama ndiza" meaning "cool like banana!". I like to stick with the essentials like that.

I also got the materials to build the Netball field back at the farm which hopefully I can start playing with the girls in Kasupe (or neighbourhood) soon. Just need to find a ball now! So that should be a good way to connect with the teenage girls in the neighbourhood and burn some energy. I mean being chased by lions is fun and all, but it gets cumbersome at times.

I sent out an audio update last week although it was a very large file so I know a lot of you didn't get it. If that's something you would be interested in let me know and I'll see if I can shrink it down or spread it out into a couple emails. Also we no longer have internet at the farm so I can't call with skype as much anymore. So if you would ever like to call me you can do it for really cheap by using "Skype Out" and feature of skype where you can buy time and it works out to about 2 cents a minute although it is through your computer so you need a mic of somesort, but it works. My number as I believe you would dial it is:

011 26 0977 185773

apparently you can also find some cheap calling cards on the internet and such which you can use. Not that I'm pressuring you to call me or anything...just putting it out there! (subliminal message: call shannon now!)

Okay I shall call it quits now. I hope you all had an awesome Easter. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers...it makes me happy in my heart! I miss you all.

Love From Zambia,


No comments: