Saturday, January 15, 2011

September Highlights

In September I began my second year as a Zambian.  After spending an eventful month in America, I returned to Zambia only to be welcomed by an AWESOME volunteer team.

This picture was taken right after they added their “hands” to the wall.

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One of my greatest delights upon returning to the school was to find a brand new cement floor.  I can’t even begin to tell you the joy I felt when I walked into the school and saw dirt replaced with cement.  Hallelujah!!!

Members of the September team sweeping the new floor:

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Speaking of Hallelujahs…these little gems brought all sorts of them:

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This group was here from Zimbabwe and they were delightful.  They never stopped praising Jesus the whole time they were with us.  I spent the night with them at the Volunteer House.  At four in the morning I woke up to all sorts of commotion and thought the neighbors were in some sort of a fight.  I listened more intently and realized that I wasn’t hearing fighting but a bunch of, “Amens”, “Hallelujahs”, and “Praise Jesus’”.  My Zimbabwean friends were up in the wee hours of the morning speaking in tongues, praying to Jesus.  Wow! The dedication of these people astounds me.  It made me want to be more committed to what I believe.

Thanks to Debbie, the kids all got pictures of themselves.

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And thanks to my sis, they all got sweets.

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My boys just chillin’ with me in the school.  Love these kids.

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Before school started again, we had another “Parent Day”, otherwise known as parent teacher conferences. 

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This is the second one we’ve had and it went so well.  We had even more families show up and I got individual pictures of each family.  Many of the parents speak little to no English and expressed concern (through a translator) of their inability to help the children with their homework.  It surprised me that even their first graders knew how to read and write better than they did.  It once again solidified the necessity for the school and the education of these children.

The next few pictures deserve a bit of an explanation.  One day the kids came to school talking about a dead body that they had found.  Apparently, the dead body had black boots on its feet and eyes and everything. Of course I didn’t believe them and teased the kids about their dead bodies and witches that fly around (which they firmly believe and only the dogs can see them at night) and all the other stuff that they talk to me about. So the kids continue to talk about it and I catch bits and pieces when they happen to speak in English.

Finally, after a few days of dead body talk I decide to make the kids prove it to me.  First I sent Farhai off to fetch the dead body but thankfully George stopped him before he actually did.  After school that day I had my trusty guides take me to the “dead body”.

Andyson and Farhai leading the way:

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I was a bit nervous because there’s a whole lot of witch craft that goes on here in Zambia and wasn’t sure what to expect with all that I’d heard thus far. I brought my camera so I could get proof. We walked along a path for a while and then started walking through the bush. Farhai points to a tree off in the distance and says, “It’s there at that tree”. For sure there’s lots and lots of trees so I’m not sure what he’s talking about but we keep trekking along. I’m still sort of anxious about the whole thing, walking around in the bush looking for dead bodies. We finally came to the spot and sure enough there on the ground in the middle of the trees was a human skull. It was black on the bottom because it had been burned and there was something in the eye. Who knows how long that body has been decomposing but I hope the rest of the skeleton is resting in peace. Only in Africa!

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After our little adventure, I walked with the kids back to their homes. 

Along the way we encountered…

a charcoal mound (this is where they make the charcoal we use for cooking)…

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a random beehive…

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“the mines” where the kids live and some of their parents work…

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the dam, that the kids have promised me they will never swim in…

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a disheartened child upon seeing a white person…

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Farhai’s mom in the middle of a bible study…

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the other members of the bible study…

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the outside of Farhai’s home with his new puppies…

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my dear sister Miriam…

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more of my students on a task to find some vegetables…

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the farm where they found the vegetables…

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the shop where I buy my sweets and fritas…

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and these little cuties walking home with the Chinese cabbage we would eat for dinner.

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It was quite the eventful day.

Now on to a few more tidbits for September.  I was called to be the Young Women’s president and I love it.  I’m still teaching seminary and also loving it.

Here’s a pic of my two most faithful students, Christine and Emmanuel.  They bring me much joy.

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Here’s what my street (in town) looks like.  The Jacaranda trees are in full blown and there’s purple everywhere.  Beautiful!!!

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And finally, Jacquie got engaged!  I’m so happy for her and Lord.  I had Jacquie’s family over for dinner so we could discuss plans for the wedding.  I love her family.  They’re forever making me laugh.

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3 comments:

Lady Fox said...

I'm bummed I didn't get to meet up with you on your America trip. Next time though for sure. Looks like Africa is always supplying you wiht good friends and some wonderful adventures.

Heidi said...

Fabulous post! I love all the little details and fun memories. And the picture of the child crying because of the white persons just reminds me of what a different life you are living. Live it up.

Brenna said...

Oh Heather, I can't help but think of you all the time. I am so thankful that you are doing this amazing work. I am so grateful that you share it with us. I miss you, and your scotcharoos... and your gazillion questions. Don't know if you've heard, but I'm having another girl in April! I can't wait for you to meet my girls. The will love their auntie Hedrad.

Just know that you are in our prayers, and that we are so proud of you. I can't wait for you to come home, and for me to actually be in Utah when you are - so that we can finally hug.

I hope you enjoy your last year in Africa, and treasure as much of it as possible. Keep sharing, and we will keep growing with you.
Love love,
Bren