Hey All! I can’t believe that it has been so long since I blogged last. Yikes. It’s crazy how time goes by. I have been here now for two months and am still going strong. I have acclimated to the weather, food, people, and even the buses. The hour long bus rides (each way of course) aren’t so bad any more. In fact, it’s a great time to think, pray, people watch and do Sudoku. I have been doing a lot of Sudoku lately and am getting better at it. And many Zambians are used to seeing me on the buses and streets so I am not getting as many people yelling at me as I pass them. In fact, I probably only got called Mzungu 5 times today and maybe only 5 times the previous two days. When I first got here, it wouldn’t be unusual to hear comments that like 10 or 15 times a day.
The clinic has been a bit of a struggle lately-there have been two new people who have started: a new clinical officer (like a physician’s assistant) and a new nurse practitioner. When you add this to the already existing clinical officer and 3 volunteers, it adds up to a lot of people to see just a few patients. Adding to that has been some very slow clinical days and a lot of outreach cancellations. This has led to more downtime than anticipated which isn’t so good for the other volunteers who are only working at the clinic two or three days a week. I am lucky to have the House of Moses to keep me occupied.
Two weeks ago I had the chance to visit Livingstone and Victoria Falls again. I went with one of the other volunteers, Rebecca who is from New Zealand. She is a medical student spending 6 weeks in Zambia trying to get some good clinical experiences before returning home. We took an overnight bus after clinic one day and arrived in Livingstone just before 3 in the morning. We went straight to our hostel and fell fast asleep. The first day we went and did the gorge swing (like bungee jumping except at the bottom of the descent you swing sideways instead of bouncing up and down), saw the falls and then went on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi river. This is something I have done on every trip to the falls (this was my third time) and it’s my favorite thing to do. That evening we had a delicious dinner at the hostel and just relaxed. Saturday morning we had breakfast on Livingstone Island which sits in the middle of the Zambezi River and even got to swim on the edge of the falls. It was quite exhilarating and refreshing. That afternoon we went on a game drive and got up close and personal with a solitary male elephant. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, swimming, and eating great Western style food. Sunday we returned to Lusaka on the bus.
In other news, Sandra has arrived from America. Sandra is one of the founders of the orphanage where I stay and she comes every year to manage the teams who visit from America and to implement new projects and such for the orphanage. This time she brought with her a friend. Rebecca is 18 years old and from New Jersey. She will be here for 6 weeks and will be working with some kids from the House of Martha (for the older children) on reading comprehension. So far life has changed a lot in the last week with the new additions to the house, but it has been great to start talking about the changes and new projects that are coming this year.
Well, I hope that you are all well with everyone back home!
Here is the link to some photos that I have posted on facebook. Enjoy!