The second picture is of the Lusaka City Market, the 3rd picture is of John Lenge compound where we did the outreach last week, the fourth picture is of Chilala who is wearing Alicia's glasses (and was so excited about them), and the last picture is of a very excited girl from the outreach.February 10, 2010
It’s Wednesday and I am at the House of Moses today. When I woke up this morning it looked like it was going to be another sunny, beautiful day but as the morning progresses it’s getting windier and cloudier. Yesterday was gorgeous-hot, bright blue skies, a nice breeze. It hasn’t rained since Friday or Saturday of last week which is good for the poorer neighborhoods in Lusaka that were starting to flood after all of the rain last week. The House of Moses is buzzing with activity. Rumor has it that some Minister (maybe the Minister of Community Planning, whatever that is) is coming to visit today and may give the organization a huge donation. All of the staff are working hard to clean the house and the yard as well as dressing the kids in matching outfits and doing their hair. I was hoping to do some research on the internet today but it seems that every time I carve time out to do it, the internet has problems. So instead I am going to be creating new record keeping documents for the kids here. The current system involves different bits of information in a million different places, nothing really comprehensive. But before I get going with that, I thought that I would take the time to talk about the week so far. Last Sunday I didn’t do much- just read a lot and played with the kids in the downstairs nursery. I also finished my laundry and cleaned my room. It was a very relaxing day. Sunday I went to church with the Murray’s (the missionary family who live nearby) and then went to their house for lunch afterwards. It was delicious and I got to try some fritters for the first time. Fritters are deep fried balls of dough (like a doughnut) and they were delicious! The rest of Sunday was spent doing a little research on the internet. When I arrived in Zambia, I was given the challenge of helping to figure out how the House of Moses can become a model orphanage for all of Africa. For the two weeks that I have been here, I have been constantly pondering what that means, what it would like, and how we could do that here. I have been searching the internet for a definition of what that would mean-certain standards, models of care, definitions, etc. but so far haven’t really come up with a good idea of what it would mean to be a model orphanage. Either no one has done the research to determine what standard orphanages should try to follow, or the research is inaccessible because there isn’t one definitive study that answers the question. While I think that the House of Moses does a fairly good job as an “orphanage” it is not perfect and could make some improvements. The kids still spend too much time in their cribs, and like any orphanage, individual attention is pretty nonexistent. Every day that I am here and walk into the nurseries, I am encouraged to keep up the search because these kids need it. And they deserve it.
On Monday, I went with the Murray’s to another missionary’s house to watch the Superbowl. I normally don’t care about watching any sport, especially football, but the Superbowl is different-it’s more about eating junk food and hanging out with people than about the actual game (oh, and I really like to watch the Superbowl ads). In the afternoon I returned to the House of Moses and continued to work in the afternoon.
Tuesday I went to the clinic for a Tiny Tim and Friend’s meeting in the morning. I got there using the bus (by myself!) for the first time and got to sit next a very friendly lady who was reading the book, The Alchemist, by Paul Coelho. It took me about 1 ½ hours to get to the clinic. The rest of Tuesday was spent seeing patients (I think that I am getting the hang of the assessments, charting, and plan now) with Ntula and meeting a new potential volunteer named Sabrina. She is a nurse from Michigan so we got chat a little bit during the lunch break. After clinic was over for the day (or should I confess, I skipped out on the last 45 minutes), I went with two other volunteers, Brook and Anna, to the Lusaka City Market and Soweto Market to get some supplies and groceries. On my previous trips to Lusaka we had essentially been strongly discouraged from going to either market due to safety concerns, so I was excited to see what the infamous markets were like. They weren’t anything different than the markets in the rest of the world-people see the color of your skin and want you to buy a lot of stuff from them and sometimes will harass you a bit. I didn’t really feel concerned for my safety, but I don’t think that I would go there alone. It was just a little intimidating. I would have taken pictures but that would have just been asking for me someone to try and steal it!
And now, here we are at Wednesday! I am still healthy, enjoying eating n’shema once or twice a day, and just feel really blessed to be here. Oh, and I also got a little bit of smile out of my boy, Matthew, today! Praise God! I am still trying to keep my eyes and ears open for the things God wants me to see, and the ways that He wants me to be involved here in Lusaka. I hope and pray that the rest of you are doing well! Until next time and in God’s great service…