Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Afrikan Adventure: Trimester Four

As I left you last I believe I was still holding out hope that the highly anticipated rains would make their traditions Independence day debut…but alas, my waiting was to no avail. They did not come. I went to bed with a heavy heart knowing something was a miss. I got over the devastation pretty quick. But never fear, today the rains came! It was a nice hiatus from the November heat…there are two words I've never put together before…except at home when my sister and I would insist on keeping the heat off in the house as late in the year as possible, until appendages went numb with cold, just to be obstinate, yet frugal children. I took advantage of running in the rain. It felt like the good ol' days in the motherland…and I don't mean Russia…I've never run there. But then it got dark and lightening came, and since I usually run holding a long conductor rod I decided it probably best to get indoors.

As you can tell, this past week hasn't really held all that much in terms of captivating action. I've gone about my business as usual: choir, teaching guitar, Bible studies, visiting people out in Kasupe, riding on mini buses and waiting for hours, the usual. Although this past week my patience seemed to hit an all time low with the unwanted attention I seem to attract from the men here for the fact that I am white, female, and out in the open. So of course why wouldn't you yell degrading comments at me! When I stayed in Mexico several years ago guys used to think that they could impress us by squealing their tires as they drove by…and let me tell you it worked. I was impressed every time. Not so here. But I feel my patience tank is topped up and I'm ready to take on another week.

It was also a hard week in that I received news of two deaths. That stuff never seems to gets any easier. One was the mother of a youth named Edmond leaving him now an orphan who can't afford to go to school and forced to live with difficult relatives. The other the husband of one of the dear ladies on the Rural Health Committee that I've been working with.

There are these ladies who sit on the corner of my street and sell produce and whatnot everyday. So one day last week I sat down with them and they invited me to eat nshima with them (the corn meal like staple here). It is usually eaten with some kind of "relish" or sauce. This day they had something I had never heard of before. I couldn't understand what it was but it looked like little green leafs in a bed of oil. I delved in (you eat it with your hands) which caused them great amusement as apparently my nshima technique could use a little work. With every bite they would be on the edge of their seat to watch me try and eat it and then would break out into laughter. I'm thinking of coming out with my own Zambian comedy special that just involves me eating nshima and saying my full name.

This coming week is panning out to be a busy one, which I'm all for. Among the delicacies mounted on my plate is this Saturday I will be joining with the CROSS team (our HIV/AIDS ministry team) to do a day long seminar for 20 youth on sex education with a Biblical perspective. This Saturday we will be meeting with the girls and then the next Saturday it will be with the boys. This is a topic that is not really addressed here in Zambia, at least not properly. So this a pilot project to see where youth here are at and get feedback and info on how we could structure a longer program for youth. So there is a lot of preparation still to be done for this.

I am entering my fourth trimester here in Zambia. Don't worry, I am not a pregnant sea lion nor alpaca. Rest assured I am not a pregnant anything but nine months have gone by since I set out from that blustery Toronto airport. My time here has been anything but what I expected it to be. It's been hard and challenging on a whole but I'm learning to count it all as a privilege. It's a privilege to be here, to learn the things that I am, to know these people, to get a glimpse at the things that break God's heart every day, to gain a new perspective on just how much I need a Savior, and to see just how great a Savior we have. So these last nine months have seen a lot of development in my thinking and in my spiritual growth…even though I spent a lot of time kicking, wanting to get out of here at times…going back to the pregnant sea lion analogy…or just a the pregnancy analogy. Looks like I'm all prepared for this Saturday!

Well, that's about it for this week. I should stop procrastinating further and get back to the tasks at hand. I hope November is treating you all well and you are enjoying your saved daylight. Thanks for all being part of this adventure. I can't seem to express my gratitude sufficiently. Take care.


"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.' The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." ~Lamentations 3: 22-26

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