Monday, April 30, 2012

Five happy things and one sad one

Thing 1--Soft ice cream in Chingola yesterday. Such a treat!

Things 2--Staying with a good friend who happens to be a fantastic Indian cook.

Thing 3--At my dentist visit today I found out that I DON'T have to have a root canal, and my tooth was able to be filled.

Thing 4--Beth and I found a place that made a great cup of coffee, and had cheap but delicious chicken burgers.

Things 5--I found a whole bunch of Agatha Christie novels and the Zambian social studies book I needed at a bookshop in Kitwe. I may have walked out of the store with a whole lot of them... My mystery kick continues with a vengeance!

Thing 6--My dog's swollen face that developed into a huge hole which three of us managed to fill full of powder and paint with tar (yes, the tar went everywhere!) turns out to have definitely have been a snake bite. My options were costly reconstructive surgery (which would be impossible to get), or putting her down. I chose to end her suffering. I'm gonna really miss that puppy!

God is good--all the time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Life continues to be interesting...

The past week and a half since I came back from Lusaka have had some wonderful times of rest, but have also been very stressful for various things that are beyond my control and not to my liking! First of all, I'm trying to make some decisions about final treatment for my broken tooth. It looks like I'll have to spend a week on the Copper Belt again, and I'm trying to figure out details and how much trouble I'm willing to go to for this tooth. Secondly, my dog Ceili was apparently bitten by a snake, and her face has swollen up in a very alarming fashion--for awhile her head was about twice its normal size! As there isn't really a vet out here, I got some advice from an experienced nurse who has treated her own dogs, and this morning she is looking a little better. Yesterday she was obviously very uncomfortable and was pacing the backyard, whining, and rubbing her head on everything. How I wished I could explain to her that I'm doing all I can! There is hardly anyone on station right now--five of us single ladies and a family. It's been so nice to have some time to work on projects like card making, knitting, cleaning my house, and reading ahead for next term. It's also been a lot of fun planning our supper get-togethers. I very much enjoy having a chance to cook and bake and play with new recipes during the term break. Being a cook in the bush means that you have to be really creative with ingredients, and take the ever present altitude into account! Last night we had pizza, and I'm thinking there will be some enchiladas in the future... Dry season is starting to arrive--my favorite time of the year! Finally I have a good reason for being a knitter--my work is no longer just a hobby, but protects me from the cold! Mornings and evenings are all times when a shawl and pair of socks are beginning to be appreciated; the really cold months are June and July. I love the deep blue skies, the winds that keep the mornings fresh, and amazing cloud formations that continue to roll across the sky (but don't mean rain!). Soon the burning process will start, and that air will always have a tinge of smoke in it, and little bits of black ash will be everywhere. God is so wonderful--knowing that patterns and rhythms are dear to our human hearts, He set up several distinct rhythms of nature for us to enjoy depending on what part of the world we're in!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

So... Plan E...

Well, there is some good news, and some bad news.

The good news is that I passed my drivers test!

The bad news is that because of their burocracy, I had to come back down to Lusaka after going up to Kitwe for a dentist appointment, and tomorrow I'm praying that I'll be able to finish the process. I'm so ready to be home--we were supposed to reach Sakeji tonight, but it's looking like it won't be till Saturday now. I think God is teaching me some patience through the Zed factor...

My dental appointment today was, shall we say, interesting. My broken tooth was bad--really bad, and when I saw the damage in the mirror my heart quailed a little. Then proceeded an x-ray, and an excruciatingly painful cleaning it out enough to dress so we can see how bad the damage is. My nerve was exposed (figured it must be!), and since she didn't numb me at first so she could see the extent of the damage, I was gripping the arm of the chair pretty hard. The worst part was that I have been so stressed over the last few days, that when I started crying over the pain, I couldn't stop! The dentist was very nice to me and once the aesthetic took over I was fine. Now I'm faced with the choice of saving the tooth at great personal inconvenience and cost, or just having it yanked out. Sometimes living so far out in the bush is a real hassle!

Well, tomorrow I face RTSA again to try and finish my license--it's a good thing that I serve a God of miracles!

Monday, April 9, 2012


Some of you may be familiar with the acronym, 'TIA,' or 'This is Africa.' There are so many things that fall under that category--people selling puppies while weaving hazardously through traffic, people crossing the road at any and all times, watching women in business suits and heels carrying their children on their back with a chetengi--all these things are TIA. The other day I experienced an ultimate in TIA while at the new Levy mall in Lusaka.

First of all, Levy is a TIA itself--it's in a rougher part of town than the other two malls, and when we first went there we went past the Indian fabric store and past the really sketchy looking bus station before arriving at the shinning white Levy center. Slum to posh in just a few meters! We were price checking at Pick n' Pay and a few other shops, and eventually I needed a bathroom break. After using the facilities I was in the process of exiting, when I was flagged over by the cleaning lady. "Ah, madame, you have not flushed!" she said. "Um, yes I did..." I replied in some surprise. "Ah, but no!" she countered, nothing daunted, and proceeded to point into a stall that I had not used. Deciding that arguing with the cleaning lady was not a terribly dignified occupation, I went in, looked, said, "This is definitely not mine, but I'll flush it anyway," and proceeded to do just that. Now, can you imagine being harassed by a cleaning lady in North America? Maybe it would be a good thing--people would be a little less likely to make annoying messes, but seriously? How long does it take to flush a toilet?

These last few days have been a whirl of shopping, and I'm beginning to think that today was two days since it sure feels like it! Tomorrow we are going to Emigration, possibly Road Traffic, maybe the American Embassy, possibly to see a lady about a kitten for Beth, and to pick up our perishables and bulky things (like dog and cat food). I'm getting to the point where I'm getting ready to be home and relaxing; since we left early the day after term ended, I haven't really stopped going yet. Oh well, at least I don't have marking to do!

After sorting through today's purchases I'm putting my feet up for a bit before crashing into bed. Tomorrow should be interesting--it's been a 5 day weekend and I have a feeling things could be a little hairy!

P.S. If you want to see some pictures of the dorm roof project, check out's Tim's blog at timmaryadventure

Friday, April 6, 2012


After the usual two days of very interesting road trip, we're safely in Lusaka with no major hassles. We planned to leave around 5, and we even got all 5 people from Sakeji all loaded up and the lady we were giving a ride in the car shortly after 5, but then we got stuck at the gates at the farm. We first went the shorter way and honked for the guy to come open the gate, but we couldn't rouse him and so we turned around and went to the Ikelenge gate. We had a key that fit the lock, but didn't turn, so we had to just sit there and watch the sunrise while waiting for 6am when it was supposed to be opened. One our workers coming through went and got the key for us, so finally, around 6:15 we were on our way again! We dropped the lady off in Solwezi, and then I attempted for the third time to get my Zambian drivers license.

We had to wait till 2pm since they have a 2 hour lunch break, and when the offices finally opened up again, I went down to the room where I knew the forms were, snagged one, filled it out, and then stood in line in the payment room. After more than an hour there, I reached the window I was told impatiently to go down to the room where I snagged the form from. I dutifully trooped down there, and after 15 minutes or so got my head in the door of that room. I was then send impatiently to wait outside the door of the manager, and after another 5-10 minutes I got in. Well, the long and the short of it is that they guy wasn't interested in giving me any breaks because I'm already a licensed driver, and if I had wanted to get my license there I would have had to spend at least a week coming in every day and jumping through all the hoops. *sigh* I think I'll try again here in Lusaka--it's personal now, and all my stubborn German genes are in fighting mode!

Today we 'slept in' to the grand hour of 7:15, and then started the second leg of our trip down. We had a late lunch here in Lusaka, and then came to the Flight House and unloaded and rested a bit before grabbing some supper. Most things were closed today, so tomorrow is going to be a big shopping day. It's a little frustrating being here on a holiday weekend since so many things will be closed, but since we are taking Beth's dad to the airport on Monday we kind of had no choice. Also, we were hoping to get license in Solwezi, so we had to leave early on Thursday. The upside is that the craft market is going over the long weekend, so we have more time to browse and enjoy.

Well, it's been a long day, and I'm in desperate need of a shower--the roads are already starting to get dusty even though the rains are just stopping. Happy Easter--He is risen indeed!