Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tales from the home front…

Well here is blog entry number 3…4…5? I don’t remember any more although I do know that it has been two weeks since I wrote last. Which I didn’t think you would mind because not much happened the week before last, unless you count me getting pink eye for the second time in a week immediately followed by food poisoning newsworthy. All I did during this time was read and lay in bed…The first day was hard and I really missed home, questioning why I was supposed to be here. While I have never doubted that God specifically called me to come to Zambia, I haven’t felt like the rest of the details were as obvious-Things came together really easily when I was planning my trip, but as far as my day to day activities here in Zambia…I feel like there has been less direction and inspiration. I am having a great time but I often find myself asking “Did I really need to come all this way just for this?” or “What is so important about what I am doing that God guided me here?” I also thought that I would be a lot more connected with God because Zambia has been a place where I have traditionally been so encouraged and uplifted, but I am also finding that it takes work here too, just like at home. I wasn’t expecting that and I am adjusting slowly, slowly…

            So after five days in bed, I jumped up ready to be active. I was with the clinic that day and we did an outreach in Kanyama. Kanyama is the poorest compound in Lusaka and also the biggest. It also has a bad track record for flooding and big, deep puddles covering the already poor roads, so after getting lost several times on the way and driving through some really deep puddles I was excited to reach our destination. The excitement was short lived though, because we quickly realized that we had forgotten all of our supplies at the clinic…Oops! But have no fear because the time was spent wisely as Anna, Sabrina, and I got a good lesson on the differences between friend relationships and dating relationships in Zambia. For example, if a guy in Zambia is just friends with a girl, it is not uncommon for him to hold her hand as they cross the street or for the them exchange text messages that say things like, “I miss you. When can I see you again?” So the next logical question is what would a guy do if he liked a girl. Simple, according to Justin and Fernando: You simply stop hugging her, holding her hand, and sending her sweet text messages. Instead your behavior becomes more formal and polite. And that is how the girl will know you like her. Hmmm…Needless to say to Anna, Sabrina, and I were laughing at the contradictory messages these actions send. It took awhile for the supplies to return from the clinic, but once we got started the outreach went fairly quickly. We only tested about 40 children and then went home for the day. Thursday was another clinic day though I don’t actually remember what happened…

Friday was a busy, busy day. In the morning the head nurse, Irene, and I, went to the Bill and Betty Bryant Nursery in Garden. This house holds the toddlers from about 1 ½ years of age though 4 years. I went there to learn more about their routine, structure, needs, and record keeping systems as I continue to modify their existing practices. It was so nice to see some of the kids that I have known and seen for the last two years. Although it is also remarkably sad to see how many remain. I wonder what the future holds for them…I wish that there was more literature available written by orphans so that I could read about their experiences. I know that it is exists, so if anyone can recommend any good books that would be awesome. In the afternoon I went to a coffee shop to meet with Dr. Sue Gibbons. Sue is a psychotherapist and had given a 5 or 6 week class to the caregivers for Christian Alliance for Children Everywhere two years ago when I was visiting. She was generous enough to give me her research, outline, notes, and powerpoint slides! So sweet and helpful…now I really need to get down to business though. I am supposed to give the first presentation in like 3 weeks and I will have to admit that I am lack motivation and discipline to get the work done. It is a lot easier to just read, go to the clinic, or hang out in the nurseries instead of working on a slow internet. Then on Friday night the House of Moses held an overnight prayer meeting in the new Bill and Betty Bryant Nursery that will be finished in a few weeks. I didn’t get to bed until 5 am Saturday morning…

Waking at 8, I got ready and made my way to Dr. Tim’s house for the retreat that was scheduled that day. More kids from the clinic came and had another great day with skits, dancing, puppets, swimming, and talking. This time the discussion was on sexual health and it was a good discussion on the basics. I also got to meet Dr. Tim’s parents who had just arrived from Minnesota. It was Dr. Tim’s parents who started the charity clinic I am working for in Lusaka.

Sunday morning I went to church with Alice and really enjoyed it. The choir was great and it was a very nice blend between Zambian and Western church styles. I look forward to going again. That evening I missed the opportunity to talk with friends back home because the internet was down but was excited go to dinner at Dr. Tim’s house.

Monday I was at the House of Moses, looking through the information that I was given by Sue and then rounded out the day watching the movie “It’s Complicated” for $2.50. Zambia is not always a cheap place, but for movies it top notch!

Tuesday was another clinic day, and was met with the arrival of a new volunteer. She’s really nice and is from New Zealand, so she brings a fun accent to spice things up. The downside is that not there are 3 volunteers all trying to do stuff on each patient, not including the clinical officer’s and pharmacist’s duties. It isn’t necessary to have all of us there doing the same thing so I am hoping that we find a good way to distribute the work that we are all eager to do and still manage to stay busy. We can only do so much with each patient…

Tomorrow is another outreach day in Kanyama. Thursday is another clinic day, and then Friday I am back at the House of Moses.

Other than that, I don’t have much to report. With the exception of the day I talked about at the beginning, I don’t miss home much. People some, but not really much else. I really do like it here. There are definitely things that I dislike and will never get used to, but overall it’s not bad here.

Well, I am super tired and ready for an early bed time…so until next time. I hope that you are all well and having lots of fun!



  1. We are praying for your time in Zambia to be fruitful...however God intended. Unfortunatley,sometimes we don't know his intentions, but at least he always does!!
    Hoping to see you soon!

  2. Hi, it sounds like you are getting used to living there, complete with things you don't like as well as things you do like. I love reading your blogs, its like traveling to Zambia myself.