Monday, April 25, 2011



Lusaka trip part 1

Whew—it’s been a crazy week! I’m trying to get everything I bought put away, get my crazily multiplying dishes under control, and get the house back in some semblance of order. I’m going to need a few days to recover from my vacation!

Thrusday—Leave Sakeji early in the morning and head down to Solwezi. We weren’t able to stay where we had planned to, but we eventually found a place that wasn’t too shady and later enjoyed a nice dinner at the place we had planned to stay at. We visited Road Traffic in an attempt to get our licenses, but only managed to get our provisional.

Friday—We reached Kitwe before noon and ran a few errands including being told at the Kitwe Road traffic that we couldn’t do anything there since we started in Solwezi, reserving 50 chicks for the school, and visiting Shoprite for some lunch. When we came back out we couldn’t find the car at first because some kids had washed it. We went out to Mkushi to visit a friend of my mom’s who works at Chengelo School. We had a lovely visit and enjoyed getting to see a different part of Zambia.

Saturday—We arrive in Lusaka! We make a quick shopping run before heading to the CMML Flight House where we were staying. That evening we went out for KFC—newly opened in Lusaka! It was very nice, but definitely Zambianified. You can order Nshima with your chicken, and pretty much the only thing you can get is chicken, chips (French Fries), mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. I was a little sorry to find that the coleslaw wasn’t at ALL like it is back home, but it was nice to get a little piece of home. Plus, we don’t eat a lot of chicken during the term, so it was a nice change.

Sunday—We went to church at the Lusaka Gospel Hall and arrived half and hour late since we remembered the wrong starting time. Oops! After that we headed to Arcades mall to browse the craft market there. Every Sunday lots of local artisans set up a huge craft market in the parking lot of Arcades. You can find wood carvings, jewelry made of all sorts of things from bottle caps, wood, silver, malachite, and beads, chetengi, cloths, and much, much more. After a few hours of shopping and frying on top of the trucker’s tan from the two days before, we finally headed home. That evening we splurged with an evening at Rhapsody’s, a really nice restaurant at Arcades. It was fun to dress up and enjoy a fancy meal with adult conversation!

Monday—Shopping in earnest begins! When you live 6 hours from the nearest real grocery store, you have to stock up when you have the change! Both Beth and I had a list of staples we needed and a list of ‘wants’ that we were looking for. On this trip because we were buying for two cats and a dog, a lot of the room in the patrol was taken up with pet stuff. Another thing I stocked up on was toilet paper—you can’t get nice stuff (or often anything!) up here, so I figured I’d stock up while I had the chance.

Tuesday—On our way to the amazing fabric store Safiks, we accidentally got stuck in a turning lane and ended up one a detour which took us past the Lusaka Animal Welfare Society which I had wanted to visit but couldn’t remember where it was. So, we went in and found that they had one kitten old enough to be adopted, so I then spent 20 minutes being grilled by the lady in charge. After the fabric store we went back to the malls to do some more shopping, and then we headed back to load our car and sort all our purchases.

Wednesday—We packed up that morning and then headed to Arcades one last time to meet Mr. Solomon to pick something up for his father-in-law who lives up by Ikelenge and a few last minute things. Then we went to the show grounds to pick up some vaccinations for the kitten, and then back to LAWS to get Java. Shortly after leaving Lusaka, we got pulled over at a police checkpoint and fined for not having the new license plates. We were pulled over again at another checkpoint for the same thing, but this time we had the form to wave at them. After arriving in Kitwe just after dark, we tried to go around the block of the Edinburgh Hotel to find the parking lot, and ended up in the meat grinder by the bus depot. Now, when I mean meat grinder, I mean that there were people double and triple parked on both sides of the street, and at least three lanes of people trying to go both directions on the street. There were dozens of pedestrians weaving fearlessly through the traffic snarl, and every time one car moved an inch, another quickly jumped into the space. It was impossible to turn around, and I had 5 or 6 people shouting directions at me at once. The guys on the street finally cleared a little space and I started the nerve wracking process of back up the street in the dark, weaving around all the buses, cars, and people until I reached a part where I could turn around. Whew—I hope I never have to do that again! We finally found the parking lot and wearily checked into the hotel. We smuggled Java into our room in her basket, and spent a nice evening distressing and playing with the kitten. Unfortunately, Java lived up to her name and kept us up for a lot of the night with her piercing meowing.

To be continued...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Household chorse and driving practice

Today marks the start of the first full week of term break, and I celebrated it by doing all my laundry, wading through the pile of dishes by my sink, and cleaning up the living room. I’m trying to get a room a day cleaned up before going on my trip—I like coming back to a clean house. Now I have a huge pile of things to be put away in locations around the station that ended up at the house during the term. Odd how things pile up…

Beth and I head out Thursday morning, and I must say I’m getting pretty excited. It will be so nice to be driving again, spending some time off station, and being able to get some shopping done. Today, much to the amusement of passing Zambians and the guy who watches P. Fisher’s hanger, Beth and I went up on the airstrip to keep practicing for the driving test. Now, driving tests in Zambia are a much bigger deal than they are back home! There is a COURSE OF DOOM that must be navigated and as I failed pretty flagrantly last time, I want to have at least a chance of passing this time. This is a picture of the course you have to drive-


You have to pull into the T and go first to the left and back out, and then to the right and back out. For whatever reason, going to the left is harder. The two circled cones are the ones that tend to get creamed or end up under the vehicle. Those are the two I hit last time. I was managing to get through the course pretty well this afternoon, but I’m just afraid we had the cones to wide and that when it comes down to actually doing it I’ll take out two ‘pedestrians’ again. Oh well, if God wants to teach me patience by trying to get a Zambian drivers license, than it is my job to face it head on!

It was so nice today to be home, hanging my laundry out on my new clothesline. There is something special in the smell of fresh laundry. The bright, blue skies of dry season are starting to come more and more frequently, and I am slowly working through some of the things that caused me so much stress last term. I am not a perfect teacher, and my students are not perfect students. However, as I work on regaining perspective and getting myself back in tune with the Lord, I’m slowly getting back to where I need to be as I serve Him here. Now that I have some time to think, meditate, and focus on something other than the desperate demands of the moment, I’m realizing again how vital it is to stay ‘charged’ with the word of the Lord. Because it is impossible to give as He asks us to give when we are dry ourselves.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Term 1--DONE!

After an afternoon of parent-teacher interviews and a howling gale, it is finally the evening of THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! There are just a few children to tuck into bed, and tomorrow the station will be eerily quiet as the last of the students make their way home. There is a wrap up meeting tomorrow, and then we are officially on holiday!

I have about a week to recover from the term before the epic road trip to Lusaka with Beth starts. I’m so excited about getting off station and getting to do some shopping and relaxing! I’m sure we’ll have all sorts of stories to tell when we get back. We’re also hoping to get our drivers licenses, so hopefully all goes well with that.

Yay for term break!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The week of crazy is almost over!

Reports are due Saturday at midnight, and I think I'm going to make it! I can't wait to take a nice, long nap on Sunday though...