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Stories from Zambia

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Hello again! It’s been a productive Saturday at the end of a very long week, and I thought I’d spend today’s blog sharing a few good stories from my time here that I haven’t had the time or space to share yet. I hope you enjoy them!

  • Uncle J and I were watching Sky News (a British news channel) while it was featuring a story about the search for a man who had gone missing in a lake in England. Uncle J scoffs saying, “These people! Making such a fuss about these things. In Zambia, when people go missing, we don’t even pay it any mind!” Haha…I haven’t learned to read Uncle J completely yet, but I’m pretty sure he was joking. 🙂
  • Nkhongono, the youngest son of Mama Lillian and Uncle J, and I go to the backyard to harvest mangoes almost every morning. Every now and then we stop by the guava tree as well to see how they’re coming since they’re my favorites and they’re not quite in season yet. Every time we’ve checked there haven’t been any ripe guavas. Then this morning we went out and Nkhongono picked a HUGE guava that was perfectly ripe, and I was totally bewildered that we’d missed it for all this time. It turned out that Nkhongono had been hiding that branch with other branches from the tree so that he could surprise me with a ripe guava. What a great kid. 🙂
  • On the last day of the clinic we offered to see all of the Hope staff to help ensure that the great team working together to take care of all the children at the school and orphanage continued to be healthy and strong. I noticed that not many of the teachers had come through yet, so I walked over to the school to make sure they knew that we were happy to see them. I walked into the Grade 7 room, which is taught by Teacher Angella, but I only saw Teacher Silvia, who seemed unsure about coming to the clinic. Then she pointed behind me, and I saw Teacher Angella, probably the toughest teacher at the school, cowering behind the door because she was scared of coming to the clinic to take her malaria test. After a good laugh and some slight cajoling, I managed to get them to (timidly) come through.
  • Last Sunday I shared my lunch with Dorothy, the adorable five-year-old daughter of the site manager for Hope Ministries, Pastor Kasongo. She has this adorable and perpetual smile that is unbearably contagious. So we were eating lunch together, and she kept saying “amenshi, amenshi.” I didn’t know what that meant and very cleverly kept saying “I don’t know what that means” in English back to her. Every time I did that she would give me another one of her huge smiles, so I figured she was probably fine and just making conversation in her own way. It turns out that amenshi means water, and she had been parched all through lunch! I felt so terrible! Language barrier: 1. Joann: 0. 🙂
  •  On the second day of the clinic, Teacher Ng’oma came up to the clinic with a little girl from Grade 1, which means it was her very first week of school ever, who had been complaining of feeling very ill. She had thrown up earlier in the day and complained of stomach pains and looked visibly ill and uncomfortable. We had her go through the clinic, and she tested positive for malaria. She got some malaria medication, and one of the older students walked her home so that she could rest for the remainder of the day. On the following day, it was time for the clinic to see all the Grade 1’s so she came through again for a follow-up. The difference was absolutely 180 degrees. She was active, smiling and happy. I even saw her later in the day running around with her friends from Grade 1. The sight really made my day.

I hope you enjoyed these snapshots of my past couple weeks! Thanks again for following the blog! I’ll try to post again tomorrow because I’ll be in the office after the church service. I’m excited for another week in Zambia!

  • Brady | Jan 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Oh joann what a great update! Such wonderful people and I’m very jealous that you get to spend so much time with them! Pass on my love to everyone over there in Zambia and keep up your fantastic work!

  • Nilwona | Jan 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Ditto to what Brady said! I’ve been living vicariously through your posts. 🙂

  • Spark Ventures | Jan 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Hey guys! Thanks for following the blog! I’ll send everyone here your love!

    Haha…Brady, I’m sad to report that the soccer ball you got Nkhongono has fallen victim to that crazy prickly plant that Uncle J has out front.

    Hope you guys continue to enjoy the blog!

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