Friday, August 27, 2010


Well, I now have my health certificate (I'm still cracking up over being asked, "Can you hear?" Umm....) but I'll have to try again for my liscense on Monday. I got most of my grocery shopping done, but I have a few odds and ends to finish tomorrow. Still looking for a rolling pin! I had two carts full of groceries which is a new experience for me (as in shopping for myself), but as this is my main grocery run for probably a year, I HAVE to stock up. I was suprised by what I found and what wasn't on the shelves--it's amazing what comes gets imported and what dosen't. Tomorrow is going to be less frantic as most of the errands are run, and we're going to be taking Bethany to the airport to catch her flight up to Sakeji. Also, Jill and the two short termers are flying in and then up to Sakeji, so we'll get to see them! I've really missed Jill and can't wait to have her back! Well, I need to go sort the groceries all over my bed so I can get to sleep tonight! We're going to be in Lusaka for the weekend--sounds like it's going to continue to be a hopping place around here!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Today was a crazy day of shopping, and it's nice to be back at the Flight House and catching my breath. The first thing this morning was going with the Ronald's to pick up Bethany from the ariport, dropping her off at the Flight House to recover, and then heading out to work on our list of many arrends. I tried to get my driver's liscense today, but we found out that I needed a basic certificate of health which basically certifies that I'm alive, have all four limbs, am not falling down drunk or stoned, and can see and hear. In other words, I'm not a zombie! So, I think tomorrow we're going to try and find a place to get someone to certify that I'm alive so I can do the rest.

My big accomplishments today are not being squished by a dump truck, finding a toaster and ironing board, and knitting quite a bit on my sock. Most of the shopping today was more supplies for the school and for various projects, but I did get to pop into an amazing Indian fabric store. To bad there aren't any balls in the bush!

Right now it looks like we'll go ahead and spend the weekend in Lusaka, and drive back up to Kitwe on Monday.

And, as a bonus, a picture of why I love Zambia so much. This view is on the path that goes from just bellow my house to the air strip.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Not currently in the bush...

Well, the Ronald family and I rolled safely into Lusaka this afternoon with little hassle at road blocks, and no car problems. I decided to leave my truck in Kitwe and ride down with the Ronald’s as there didn’t seem to be a compelling enough reason to drive two vehicles down, and because I’m still a little leery of driving in Lusaka. I will hopefully be starting the process to get my Zambian drivers license in the next day or so as well as finishing up the shopping that I started today. The trip down from Sakeji went really well—the road between Ikelenge and Mwunilung is much better generally after the grader rolled over it, but still could use a lot of work. Driving in the sand was interesting—good thing I have some experience with that! The worst part of the paved road was actually the bit between Chingola and Solwezi—dreadful! It’s so different driving here—being on the left, on the constant watch for potholes and people, the police checks that don’t seem to accomplish much. Driving through the Copper Belt towns I found myself very, very grateful for living out in the bush.

I got to visit some dear family friends briefly in Kitwe, and Auntie Anita sent a delicious curry home with me along with some yummy chapattis. I LOVE Indian food—it was a nice change after my cooking! Hopefully I’ll get to see them again on my way back through.

Tomorrow—more shopping and errand running. Getting ‘out’ to the capital is a big deal, so there is a lot of accomplish!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rambling thoughts of a smoke filled mind

I apparently made one pot of nshima too many for the dog, since the spoon broke yesterday evening while dishing out Ceili’s supper. I feel bad, but its not like the spoon was in any way new when I inherited it!

Yesterday was really windy and cool—so cool in fact that I lit a fire for the first time in over a month. Part of it was that I just wanted a fire, and part of it was because it was chilly. I’m trying to figure out my literature plans for next term—I have some ideas, but its just a matter of finding the things I have the materials for as well as getting ideas that work.

My doggie life continues—the little dogs make life interesting, and the big one is by turns a sweet puppy and an elephant when her sister comes over to play. Wish I had that much energy...

More sorting yesterday morning—getting ride of all the music I don’t ever intend to use either for myself of my students that’s taking up a corner of my big cupboard. I need to pack up the pattern pieces I’m done with as well and figure out where to put the text books I’m going through so the house doesn’t look like a crafting, planning teacher lives here. Oh wait, one does!

I went on a baking spree the other day and made up a whole pumpkins worth of puree. I’m still trying to get used to the look of Zambian pumpkins. When looking at the pile of gourds on the table, Jimmy, one of our kitchen workers, pointed to the only thing I would have called a pumpkin and said “That one looks like a squash. The rest are pumpkins.” Coulda fooled me! Not that it really makes that much difference in the long run, but I thought it was worth asking! I think I’m going to make a pie or some more pumpkin bread...haven’t decided which yet, and I might make some of my mom’s famous pumpkin soup. After all, its fall/spring in Zambia, and what better thing to eat in the fall than pumpkin!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It’s a doggie, dog life...

At least down here at Valley View! I’m dog sitting two dachshunds for some staff members on holiday, and have been spending large parts of the day opening doors for said dogs, being followed by said dogs, and occasionally attacked by very excited said dogs when I return after an absence of more than two hours. Here is a picture of them looking all cute and innocent on my couch—don’t be taken in by their big brown eyes! These two are trouble with a capital T...


The darker one on the left is Barbara, and the lighter one on the right is Princess. After my big, clumsy puppy, these dogs seem so tiny in comparison! They do make nice lap warmers in the evenings though!

I’m enjoying my term break very much so far. Sleeping in, reading, sewing, knitting, cross stitching, cleaning my house—all those things that I don’t get to do much of during the term. I’m clearing out my cupboards so that when the container stuff arrives I’ll have somewhere to put them! Its a little weird to live in a house where more than half the stuff isn’t mine... I’ve enjoyed cooking for myself as well. Right now we’re getting lots of eggs every day, so I’ve been enjoying hard boiled eggs and eggs on toast quite a lot. I’ve found that I can cook eggs in my electric kettle—its saves propane and makes use of energy already being expended. Of course, when the eggs crack I can’t really use that water to make tea, but no system is perfect!

The weather is starting to change—it looks like fall around her as all the leaves are coming down. I’m kind of looking forward to the rains starting again, even though that will mean mud everywhere and that I’ll have to keep track of my umbrella again!

Yesterday all of us on station (the Sakeji staff and Brass Tacks team) headed out to the cottage for a cookout. The cottage is still just a chimney and roof propped up on stilts (yes, I forgot to take a picture—sorry!), but we are hoping to possibly rebuild it before too long. It was so nice to enjoy the river, the good food, the good company, and getting to watch the stars come out. When we got back to the station I discovered that my house key had fallen out of my bag, but praise the Lord it was just under my seat in the Ronald’s car. God is so good about looking out for the little details in life!