Friday, November 27, 2009

Rainy Season

Hello all!

It is now officially rainy season in North West Province. It has rained every day for the last few weeks, but still usually only an hour or so during the day and some more at night. This means that work as far as education has slowed down (kids are off of school in December) but picked up as far as gardening. My work lately has been really slow, but I am excited to help conduct another nursery school teacher training in a neighboring area in mid-December. It is a good time to do trainings since ideally the teachers will be ready to teach by the time term one rolls around in January.

I have also been fortunate in meeting lots of people from all walks of life recently. I have been working more with the Zambian Department of Fisheries because my host father is building a fish pond with the help of another PCV, I have also met game lodge owners, lumberjacks from Spain, and all sorts of other random characters. It keeps life interesting, that is for sure.

One interesting thing I have been able to do is go fishing with my host mother and brother, Dear. I spent the entire day speaking to them in Luvale, since their English is limited. We used a mosquito net (my host mother insisted it was an old one and that they have one on their bed) but other people were using spears (boys, with little success) or woven baskets. I even caught several fish with my bare hands! We ended up catching maybe 80 fish, the largest being about 3 inches long. My host mother was disappointed at the catch, but I thought it was a nice day anyway.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stevie is a God

So Stevie wrote two songs for In Service Training, and she posted them on her blog, but I want to post them here as well. She is a genius.

Go Slow
[Go Slow, don’t move too fast Just enough to keep the kids coming to sweep the classGo slow, don’t move too fastNext term might see some teachin’ so sit back and relax]

Now let me tell you all a little tale
Of life under the sun for one quite pale
The mission in front was impossible
To make teachers willing not just capable


At first I hoped to be just a fly on the wall
But soon there was nothing to see at all
The first week of term was for cleaning the class
And all the complaints were just a pain in the ass
No rural hardship so we fight for the cause
And then with the what what, sports and nataz
The strike was decided the only way
No learning to do so pupils stayed at bay


Yet I still have three months to fill with time
So I thought I’d tell you about in this here rhyme
With the schools all deserted and empty
I found many other things tempting
There is the important job of entertainin’
Always a hit- what’s that mazungu makin’
I became master of the brazier cake
Cause mufu birthday’s were serious to take


Chasing after the DEBS took many a day
Happy to find a new one’s on the way
See our DEBS happened to be a big fat jerk
And seemed to hate me just as much as my work
Never turned down a single invitation
Resulting in hours of church and salvation
I made friends with the small one block boma
On days with power we cried HALLEJAH


The strike finally ceased with 3 weeks to go
Hit the ground runnin’ on with the show
My ZIC’s quite a rockstar, she is one sassy lady
We were bikin to schools in my zone daily
Managed to fit some TGM’s in
Did lots of work with a program called SHN
I am used when it comes to life village side
Just ok with selling my soul… for a free ride


House d├ęcor included some painting
And when I get home there’ll be kitty waiting
Let’s hope that the go slow is truly finished
Otherwise my to read list will be diminished
Not sure how much real teaching there will be to see
When all of these kids out runnin’ free
But I’ll still be there tryin’ to fight the good fight
One step at a time, proving education’s a right

Chorus…just a bit of culture exchange

Southern Cross
Verse 1
Cast out on a shipset on land all a blaze
unknown how life has come this way
everyday set the course destination unsure
and the patience of waiting and waiting, not knowing if it matters at all


When the sun melts away
And one by one the stars appear
Then I gaze at the Southern Cross
And the world melts away
All the worries and the doubts
And I know that this is right

Verse 2
Some days start so strong
endless movement forward
this could be the real start of things
yet somehow turn away
everything falls apart
and I'm sinking and spinning and trying
just to keep floating at all


When the sun melts away
And one by one the stars appear
Then I gaze at the Southern Cross
And the world melts away
All the worries and the doubts
And I know that this is right

How much can you change without taking what is there
And How much take you give without knowing if they care
And How much can you take without loosing while you came
There's value in unseen efforts
The beauty's in the choice of time

Verse 3
All it takes is one day
one sweet moment of bliss
then the shore somehow comes into view
on it goes spend your days
slowly gliding along
without seeing, or asking,
not knowing how this became home at all
When the sun melts away
And one by one the stars appear
Then I gaze at the Southern Cross
And the world melts away
All the worries and the doubts
And I know that this here right
When the sun melts away
And one by one the stars appear
Then I gaze at the Southern Cross
And the world melts away
All the worries and the doubts
And I know that this is right yes
I know that this, this is right

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New library books waiting to be categorized
Sweet little girl with missing front teeth at the high school graduation

Akuli Musana (It is hot!)

Hey Everyone!

I am in Lusaka on my way to a music festival, and I have FREE internet! So let me update you all.

First of all the big news is that there is a new intake of fish farmers and health volunteers, so Mufumbwe has grown by 4 more volunteers. I have already biked to one of the sites, my new nearest neighbors which are about 27-30km from my house. They all seemed to be getting settled alright, and we are really excited to have new faces.

I have been working on my garden a lot, my fence is all put up and I am working on perma culture techniques, so I am learning as I go. I have already planted onions, marygolds, and hot peppers. When I get back to site I hope to plant oregano, cilantro, basil, rosemary (thanks Aunt Nancy!) carrots, lettuce, celery, green peppers, and tomatoes. I have never gardened before so if even one thing grows I will be really happy! I generally work on it between 5-7am because it has been really brutally hot out lately, and I have to fetch water from my borehole to water the plants.

Hot season is in full swing here. We did get our first rains a week ago, but since it has continued to be very very hot. Most locals get up around 4 or 5am and head to their fields, come back around 10am and do work around the house. Then work starts up again around 3pm when it starts to get a little cooler. The mornings are wonderfully cool, but it is difficult to get to sleep at night because it is so hot. The rains are supposed to start at the end of the month, which will be a welcome relief.

The library in my zone, thanks to the previous volunteer's hard work, just recieved over 4,000 books from America. So I have been busy busy going through them all, reminicing, and categorizing. We had to categorize, shelf, stamp, pocket, record, and label all the books, so I am sure I will be busy with that for quite awhile now.

The schools in my zone along with the Ministry of Education (MOE) have been rock stars this term. One school is building 2 teachers houses, and 2 new classroom blocks (one by the MOE and one community funded.) Another school just put a roof on their long standing roofless classroom blocks that was community built (imagine, 3 classrooms and two offices not being used because there is no roof,) they got two new teachers, which doubles their staff, which is a much needed addition. They had 200+ kids and only two teachers, one of which was the principal so he wasn't really supposed to teach. They are also getting another classroom block built by the MOE. So my area is really developing quickly. Let's hope the projects are followed through to fruition.

Otherwise I have studying Luvale, hanging out with friends, sewing, reading, napping, visiting schools, having meetings, and other things like that to keep busy. I might be starting two more nursery schools soon, but I am not sure if they are serious or not.

I think that is about all for now. Check out picture on facebook.

Amazing Shop Names

I will keep an on going list of all the amazing shop names I see here in Zambia

That Place-Kabwe
Boom Shaka-outside Kabwe
Stranded Millionare-Mufumbwe
Just in Case Butchery-outside Lusaka
Mysterious Hardware-Lusaka
If Not, Why Not?-Kasempa

Then the variations of Shop Rite:
Shop Left-Between Solwezi and Kasempa
PoshRite- Kasempa Turnoff
Write Shop
Rite Shope-outside Lusaka

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Quick Update

Hey all!

I am back in Solwezi for a couple days for a resiliancy training and to welcome Lynn as our new PCVL (Peace Corps Volunteer Leader I think.) The big news is that a Shop Rite opened in Solwezi, which has pretty much revolutionized our lives here! I mean...cream cheese!?!?! Amazing!

I just had second site visit come to my place (unfortunately I missed Likumbi Lya Mize for it) and the new kids are a blast. We are almost doubling the amount of volunteers in North Western Province (we will be 27 total) and Mufumbwe will have TEN volunteers, which is absolute insanity for such a small district. So my new family includes Bob and Marie, Laura, Adam, and Ashley. We are all really excited to get to know them and the rest of the new people.

Otherwise I am still loving life in the village. I went to buy charcoal yesterday at the traditional healer's place and she started getting demon visions or something and ran around her compound yelling. It was definitely interesting after being around Americans for two weeks to be back in the village. I love it though, I got a very warm welcome from my family and my garden fence and toilet are FINISHED. Hurray!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pictures! (more on facebook)

A cool billboard in Lusaka
Ricardo, Kamizhi (Brittany) and Kevin hoeing our permaculture garden!