This journal chronicles the adventures of a risk-taking, wanderlusting, kaleidoscope-eyed, strong-willed, peace-seeking
explorer making moves to lead a simple, passion-filled volunteer lifestyle. Follow me vicariously through
time and space to taste a little slice of my sweet life!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

First Three Weeks of Village Life

On this day, the day in celebration of my 26th year in existence, I am comfortably resting in our Central Provincial House / crash pad for our yearly meeting. I would otherwise be confined to my village and nearest market for the remaining two months of Community Entry. But the fresh intake of LIFErs (like myself) and RAPpers (Aquaculture Specialists) were granted a respite from our disorganized settling in and the strain of speaking local language, not to mention remembering all the new people we have met in our communities!

LIFE and RAP 2016 Central Province

Since we finished Pre Service Training, we were whisked off to Lusaka for our Swearing In Ceremony and to do all of our fancy modern shopping at the malls and whatnot. From there we had to say goodbye to all of our cohorts going to different provinces, which was a huge crying fest. 
We bought furniture and housewares in our local bomas (township) and were rushed out to our sites to greet our hosts. The first few days I was able to get my bed fixed up with a mosquito net and started to unpack bags. My little two-room grass thatch home is filling out slowing...
In the past three weeks at my site I have been meeting and greeting with neighbors, local farmers and visiting the closest health clinic and primary school. 
New bed, familiar sheets, cozy lights

I have seen some very impressive gardens and have been eating fresh from the field for weeks. At the local clinic, the head nurse Ba Grace has welcomed me overwhelming me - I was even put to work upon visiting the clinic on an Under 5 day. This is a day when mothers flock to the clinic (on foot) to weigh their babies, get immunizations and other supplements. I was happy to participate in the reporting and chart checking.
My new home garden :)

The past week I have also been visiting the local Grade 1-7 school a quick 5km bike ride from my house. I first met with the Deputy Head Teacher and her staff to introduce myself and discuss the idea of me contributing to the lessons on gardening and agriculture in the future. I have also been training with the sports teams as they prepare for tournaments this week. I have fallen in love with net ball, which is similar to women's basketball, but you can't move with the ball.

Now, at Provs, I have met the prior intakes of volunteers in Central Province and reunited with my LIFE and RAP boys (and KiKi!). We communally discussed issues of Peace Corps policy and procedures, as well as, site specific inquiries and hardships. There's nothing like sitting down and talking to people one-on-one or together with many insights and perspectives. I have enjoyed my time with the others and all the amenities of a functional, modern home...refrigerator, et. al. We were also just moved to a new Provincial House after, I suspect, over a decade elsewhere. It will be a unique time to contribute to the flair and comfort that our House provides, hopefully that includes wall paint! Ha!

Net ball girls
Futbol boys crashing the picture
Love these kids!

Besides not feeling well at all this week as a result of eating something foul, I have enjoyed my birthday and meetings. Next I will head back to my village to pick up where I was and continue learning, greeting, and growing in the land of the LaLa people. Oh and I am taking home a kitten!
Signing off for now. Please keep me in your thoughts and hearts. I should have a P.O. box set up by the end of the week and I will post it for folks to stay in touch or send me relief packages ;)

Light and Love, B
Burning Man Prov Party

Current mood: Sleepy
Current Music: Two Step DMB