Hello blog followers! I have finally gotten my phone set up here in Zambia. They have three major carriers and significant reception in most towns. I now have a 12 digit phone number and very limited data.
At this point I am settling in to Pre Service Training with the other 34 LIFE volunteers like me. We are staying in the town of Chipembi and attending the Farm College here. Each volunteer was placed with a host family in the surrounding villages and was given a bike to commute to language classes and technical training 6 days a week. We were warned that PST was intense and after 4 weeks we are feeling the strain.
Still, I am so happy to have so many new friends with such great attitudes and dispositions. We have all been getting along so well and the days have been flying by.
Where should I begin to update?
Well, as I mentioned I am living in a town called Chipembi, which is north of the country's capital. The is the original land of the Lenja's but there are many languages spoken here, especially English. I am learning to speak Bemba, one of the country's most widespread languages. The traditional land of the Bemba's is in Northeast Zambia. So I can expect to have my final site somewhere up there.
My host family is Bemba, but they all know English. My Bamayo (mother) is the head of the home with 2 of her 4 daughters, Mwiza (13) and Martha (23), oh and baby Mienza (1), son of Martha. It is a lively farming home with gardens and maize fields all around it.
My daily routine consists of waking up to roosters outside of my room before dawn, bathing from a wash basin inside a grass shower enclosure and watching the sun rise, playing with the baby while my older sister cleans the floors and then eating my home mother's awesome egg dishes and dough fritters. By 7:45 I am on my bike headed to language class for 4 hours. I head home for lunch and to the farm college for agricultural training for 4 hours. By the time we all bike home, the sun is setting and the family is home cooking dinner. We eat together and basically gossip for the rest of the evening. While I attempt to study at night, by the time my head hits the pillow I am out like a light.
This is just a quick overview of my day to give everyone reassurance that I'm still alive. I plan to break my day down more and post some pictures too.
Also FYI, it was snowing in Philadelphia when we left, and arrived in Zambia to the rainy hot season. I already have a tan on my arms. Unfortunately my legs will remain pale because women can't expose above their knees....
Overall there are plenty of struggles to keep me on my toes and tired. I'm lucky to have good friends with me and Facebook... Ha! Missing home everyday.
Please stay in touch!
Til next time,