Next week, I will be celebrating my 6-month kilometerstone of living in Zambia! I expected the time to fly by, but I didn't realize just how fulfilling it would be each day. Up until now I have been in the phase of my service know as Community Entry, a time in which I have simply been integrating with my village and getting my home in order. At this time, I have just returned from the capital city, Lusaka, for what was two weeks of workshops and exploring the big city. Lusaka residents live a completely different lifestyle than Zambians in the rural areas of the country, and small towns for that matter. Still, the struggles of the city are apparent as we tried to get around on foot or by taxi. Buses are erratic and extremely unsafe, sometimes the drivers are drunk and you are always battling their attempts to overcharge you....
In Lusaka, there are huge, overwhelming open markets (which are filthy) and large, modern shopping malls (retailers delight). On a visit to the capital, volunteers get to stock up on fancy foods and readymade house goods. Also, dining out in Lusaka is a total luxury, but an expensive one! It's a nice "break" from the simple village life.
|At an Irish pub in Lusaka drinking an expensive Guinness!|
|Out for Korean BBQ and karaoke for Will's B-day!|
Back in the vil, I have been getting to know my neighbors...and all the local drama that comes with a small, disparaged community. I've slowly gained a sense of life here, including family matters and making a livelihood from subsistence farming. Right now, farmers are completing the big maize harvest, next comes processing (hand-shucking and milling) and buying and selling among villagers and to the market.
|Kalli, who is quickly growing big on a diet of eggs and nshima|
|Kalli helping harvest maize|
Also, I got a kitten! I have named her after the cat I had growing up since she looks just like her! Funnily, Kalli Kay (with different spelling) actually means "let her be" in Bemba....it gets a little confusing at times, ha. She's the best little bed deadweight and mouse chaser and my host family seems to like her.
I want to shout out to my loved ones back home who have sent me letters, post cards, and offered care packages. It is truly my favorite part of this experience to hear from you all in different ways; it really makes me happy. Keep 'em coming!
Here is my new PO Box address:
PO Box 850055
Once I head back from the Provincial House tomorrow to go back to the village, I'll be getting down to working: planning farming demos, school garden lessons, and bracing myself for the hot season!
Missing everyone back home! xo, Brandi
Current Mood: Anxious
Current Music: I Will - Brandi Carlile