Namwianga Mission, Kalomo, Zambia
Where to begin? After about 49 hours of travelling, we finally arrived to Africa! We left our families on Sunday, August 23 and went to camp to start our Mission Anthropology class. We had class all day Monday and then left for Africa on Tuesday. We left Arkansas at 10:30 and drove to Memphis. We flew from Memphis to Atlanta and then Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa. We then stayed the night in the Africa Center which is a hotel a couple of miles from the airport. We then left the next morning Joburg to Livingstone, Zambia. In Livingstone, we saw Victoria Falls which is so beautiful! And HUGE! We then rode a bus from Victoria Falls to Kalomo, Zambia! It was about a 3 hour bus ride on a very bumpy dirt road. We were welcomed by the people that live here on the mission. We then ate some delicious food prepared by Ba Leonard. Ba is used as we use Mr./Mrs. Ba Leonard made us some taco soup, salad, cornbread and cake. It all tasted so wonderful. Our internet was up in working so I got to call my mom via skype. We then unpacked our bags and settled into our new house for the next 3 months. I’m living with 7 other girls and our house is too cute. We have a living room, dining room, kitchen, 4 bedrooms and a study room. We also have 2 full baths which is so nice for 8 girls! Not that we are really worried about being clean but its nice to wash off our dusty feet. All of the roads here are just dirt roads with sand so when wearing chacos, our feet get really dirty but hey, its Africa! As we were unpacking last night, Kristin found a little lizard between her mattresses and box springs. We thought it would be a grand idea to set the little guy free and let him go forth into the world. Well here is the deal. As soon as the little guy took about two steps, our night guards cat (his name is Webster so we nicknamed his cat Dictionary) came and snatched the little guy up! It was absolutely hysterical. We all laughed so much! And we even got it on video! Today, we woke up and had breakfast at 8:30 am. After breakfast, we toured the mission. We got to spend 2 hours at the Havens. The Havens are the orphanages here at Namwianga. There are 3 different ones. The first one is for healthy babies. The second is for healthy walkers. The third is for very sick babies. Some of the babies in this third haven have HIV/AIDS or TB. Not all of them have AIDS or TB but all of them are very sick little babies. I spent about an hour at the second and the third havens. When I walked up to the first haven I was going to give this little boy, Timoth, a high five but he wanted a hug. Of course I just scooped up that precious little boy and played with him. Then 2 little girls became my friend and we went and played on the playground and drew pictures in the ground. PS little kids really like bubble gum (: They are so precious and so full of joy. I then went to the third haven which is also called the hospice. It just breaks my heart but I think I have found where I will be visiting a lot. I made friends with this little boy named Sam and he would just rest his head on my shoulder as I held him. I think I really want to take all of them home with me. Sam would make faces as I took pictures of him! He is such a jokester. After the havens, we made the 20 minute walk back to the hamby house through the African bush. The Hamby house is where we will have class (which starts at 6:30 am!) and where we will eat all our meals. After lunch, we went into town and went to the market. We were able to get money out. Their currency is called kwacha and 100,000 kwacha=about $20. Most of us girls all bought chitanges which are pieces of fabric wrapped into skirts. I bought 5 for 8,000 kwacha each so I got 5 skirts for less than $10 dollars! What a deal! Hah. The culture here is so different. Certain hand motions have VERY different meanings. Like when you wave your hand and you put your fingers to your palm it means, “come here” but if you palm is faced down, it means something very derogatory. After the market, we came back and ate dinner and then went to a church service about an hour away for singing and a devotional. Thankfully, the preacher translated the Tonga into English. The insisted that we get up and sing a couple of songs for them so we did and then they had their boys choir sing a couple for us! They have beautiful voices and they sing very loudly.
I absolutely love my HIZ group. We are already a family and have so much fun together. Before we even left the country, we were up late laughing and joking around. All of the guys in the group have been so great with the kids and have played soccer with them with their free time! Its so cool to see guys not flinch when the Zambian boys hold their hands which is a sign of friendship and is not viewed as strange one bit. All of us girls have just been loving on the babies so much in the havens. I cant wait to go work in the clinic in a couple of days! We went and toured it today and it is set up like a square with a courtyard in the center. They are hoping that in a couple of years it will be built up enough and have the right equipment to be considered a hospital.
“I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me?”- Nichole Nordeman