A Few More Happy Times in Ndola
Hi Everyone! It’s another slow and rainy Saturday here in Ndola. I’m spending the morning in the office preparing for some of the discussion about the poultry farm that I’ll be having in Lusaka starting tomorrow afternoon. It’s a bittersweet day in that I’m very much looking forward to seeing the progress that’s been made in the preparation for construction of the farm, yet I’m sad to be saying goodbye to the Mulandos and all the amazing Hope staff here in Ndola. Looking back on the last almost three weeks, I’m so happy with all that we’ve been able to accomplish together, and I’m leaving with even more happy memories of Zambia. I’ll spend the rest of my post today sharing a few of these stories!
- While we were closing up the office one day, Margaret was trying to close the blinds, a process that involves yanking over and over again on the cord while one side of the blinds goes down, the other goes up and slowly the whole thing comes down. About two minutes into yanking on the cord in what from an outsider’s perspective looked like a futile effort, Margaret turns around, flashes a huge grin and says, “You like our blinds? They’re vintage.” Haha…it was a very diplomatic term.
- Mama Lillian had been bugging Nkhongono about cutting his hair so that he’d look nice for his first day of school. I asked him what kind of hair cut he would get, and he started explaining the different options. There’s the English cut and the table cut, which involves four lines somewhere (I didn’t completely understand this one) looking like the four legs of a table. When he was explaining, I asked if the cuts require all of the hair to be cut off of one area, and he gives me a puzzled look and says, “No! They leave a little hair. Not like a potato!” It was quite a hilarious comparison, and now I affectionately call his hair a potato cut, which he finds very offensive. 🙂
- On the way into the office, we pass through a small road that has a bar on one side. I had never really paid it much attention, until the other day when I noticed that the restroom of the bar, which charges a fee for use like many of the restrooms here, had written in large block letters over the doorway “VERY CLEAN.” The whole car had a giggle when I pointed it out, especially because Gertrude, one of the office staff here, was adamant that it couldn’t possibly be clean. A couple days later, when we were driving through the same small road, I looked on the other side and saw that the bar restroom had some competition. A small sign read, “Fee-Paying Toilet. THE CLEANEST.” Nothing like a little competition among restrooms. 🙂
- The ladies here, particularly Margaret, Mama Lillian and Mama Maureen, one of the mothers of Hope House, somehow became convinced on my last trip that I am destined to have twins someday. They have taken to preemptively calling me “banampundu,” which means mother of twins in Bemba. It was thus quite a coincidence then that the little girl I spent the most time with at Seeds of Hope, an organization we visited that takes care of HIV-positive children under 6, happened to be a twin. I told Mama Lillian about the coincidence while we were preparing for dinner the other day, and her eyes got really big and she said “See…IT’S COMING!” Haha…it was hilarious and terrifying at the same time. 🙂
Well, this afternoon will be restful so that I can recharge my batteries before the Lusaka trip, and I’ll get to bake a strawberry cake for the Mulandos, who have taken such great care of me over the last three weeks. Then tomorrow morning, it’s off to Lusaka for the final couple days of this trip. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing about it!