So the past 12 days of my life have consisted of some very exciting things!
On Tuesday (14th), we went to the havens after class and played with the children. We didn’t really have anything exciting happen but just enjoyed living the life here in Zambia.
On Wednesday (15th), our boys led chapel and did such a great job! Trey spoke about how if we don’t give God 100% of who we are, He wont be able to use us to our full extent. He used an illustration with a glove and showed how if we don’t put our fingers inside the glove, the glove is useless. That’s how we are with God. If we don’t allow God to permeate our whole being, we will not be useful in spreading His gospel. That afternoon, we had a lady come in and speak about the traditional marriage practices in Zambia. The girl usually didn’t know that she was getting married until the day of her wedding- the parents of the husband met with her parents and arranged everything. She did not meet her husband until the day he and his dad came to pick her up from her home to take her to their village! Crazy! That would never work in the States. This lady said that there was never divorce because the couple trusted their parents and knew that they had preapproved this marriage. They also learned to love each other so it developed into a stronger marriage.
Thursday (16th)- I worked up at the clinic between classes and lunch and got to see a man come in with a 6 inch laceration to his upper left arm. He has been in a fight and was stabbed and his attackers had flown from the scene. Whenever there is a crime like this in Zambia, the victim has to go to the police station and fill out a report before they can seek medical attention. Because of this rule, the man that came in had actually been attacked about 15 hours before hand before he ever came in to get stitched up. In many cases, this can cause many problems because of the onset of infection that is likely to happen. Thankfully, an infection had not really started but because it was now an "old" wound, it would had to be sewn up differently. We made sure to clean it out really well (after we gave him a couple of shots of lidocaine) and made sure all the dirt was out. It was a deep wound but it had not gone very far into the muscle so Dr. Black and the PA students sewed up the muscle and then preceded to sew up his skin. It was really neat to watch the procedure. The Africans can take pain like no one that I have ever seen. We Americans wince at a headache and immediately take some Tylenol to solve the problem. The Africans have to deal with their pain because they have no other choice. The women here don’t get any medicine before giving birth and don’t even make a single noise throughout labor. And only about 30 minutes after giving birth, they are already up and moving around the room! It is insane to be able to witness their strength.
Saturday (18th)- We went to visit this German missionary named Klaus Muller. He attended ACU and now he runs a farm and teaches people how to manage their farmland while also preaching the gospel. While first being a missionary and teaching men how to preach, he would get so frustrated at teaching these men how to change the world and then them still not being able to provide for their families. Klaus finally came up with the idea of teaching men how to spread Gods word while still being able to feed their family back at home. The school is 3 years long and cost just a little over $1000 for the 3 years. They pay off their tuition by growing crops on their plot of land that Klaus gives them. After harvesting their crops, they take them to the market and sale them. All the money that they make off their yields goes directly to their tuition and any money that they make after that, they get to keep. It is really an interesting school. We got to tour the fields and see all of the crops. They also teach how to care for animals so there were some sheep running around. Klaus spoke about how the worst thing for a poverty stricken country is to get outside food aid. At first when I heard this, I thought that that was a very harsh thing to say. I didn’t understand how it was bad to give someone suffering from starvation food. His point was that when outside food aid comes, people stop working in their own fields and become reliant upon the outside aid. That is what has happened in Africa. Most Africans have stopped working in their own fields for their own food because they know that they can get it from someone for free and that costs them no time and labor. the principality of working for food and being independent is gone in most places.
Sunday (19th)- We went to church and our guys led the service. Kelsey preached that day but I didn’t get to hear his message because I helped with children's church. Before the message was given, we all got to hold some of the haven babies. I got to hold Sam and Bright saw me and came and sat in my lap! Those little boys have me wrapped right around their little fingers! I love them so much! We also went to a bridal shower for the Merritt's (one of the missionaries) adopted daughter, Jennifer. She is getting married in October and we will get to go to her wedding!
Monday (20th)- Monday wasn’t really that eventful because my whole house got sick and we couldn’t go to the havens. It seems like everyone is taking turns getting sick around here. I did a lot of studying for our midterm that was on Wednesday, though. I also went over to the girls dorm and hung out with some Zambian girls. They gave me a Tonga name and its Luyando which means love.
Tuesday (21st)- I went up to the clinic for the first half of the day. I got to give another shot to a child. I also saw a guy get checked up on that I saw last week. He had a 6 inch laceration on his right arm. My house did not sleep much on Tuesday because we had our missionary anthropology midterm so I got about 4 hours of sleep but it was fun staying up and studying with everyone and us waking up so tired the next but we have decided that when everyone is in the same boat (whether its being sick or not sleeping) its so much more fun. We made a game about how many times everyone got sick and therefore we could laugh about the whole ordeal.
Wednesday (22nd)- We went up to The Merritt's house (they are some of the missionaries here) and they had an older lady come and speak to us about mission work in Zambia. It is said that she is one of the oldest Christians in Zambia. It was really neat to hear her speak about the times of the first Christians and how they impacted Zambia. In her family alone, there are close to 200 Christians!!
Thursday (23rd)- I went up to the clinic and I just helped with the patients that came in. I didn’t go back in the afternoon because I went up to the havens to play with the children. My little boy Sam has rickets which is caused by a vitamin d deficiency so I took him outside to play on the playground for a little bit. I then came back home and was typing out some emails and kept hearing these extremely loud thuds on the roof. At first I didn’t think anything of it because the tin roof makes a lot of noise and then we gets these huge wind storms that also make noise. These thuds kept getting louder and I was the only one on my side of the house so I ran to the other side and they thought it was me making the sounds. Finally, Callie and I walk outside to see some little African boys peeking their heads around the corner of this shed in the field across from our house. They had been throwing LEMONS onto our roof and our boys had put them up to it! Needless to say, we ran after them but by they had already had a good head start on us so we didn’t catch them. Then at dinner, all of our guys denied everything. It made for some fun jokes though! Thursday night, my roommate Emily and I both got really sick. We felt miserable and the bad thing was that we were leaving in the morning for Livingstone which is a 2 hour drive away! When we finally went to sleep, it was after 1 am and we had to wake up early to get everything ready to leave. Ba Janice gave us some medicine so by the time we actually got to Livingstone, we felt much better!
Friday (24th)- We got into Livingstone and a group of us went to go Bungee Jump! It was the most intense/exhilarating/frightening thing that I have ever done! Its a 111 meter drop till you don’t have any more slack in the cord! And then you are bobbing upside down, hanging by your ankles, over the Zambezi River and there are tons of rocks below. After the bungee jump, I also did what was called the Swing. Emily and I did it together and its where instead of diving off like in bungee jumping, you step off the platform. The drop was way more intense than with the bungee jumping but it was so much fun to have someone there with me this time! I also did a zip line across the Zambezi River! It was so much fun and was relaxing after having just done the prior two things. I also walked over into Zimbabwe for a tad bit! The place between Zambia and the bridge where we jumped is called "No Mans Land" and it is not owned by either country! We were talking about how it America that would never happen because we are too territorial of our land and don’t want any to not be able to be used. This past weekend we stayed at this cute little camping ground. All the tents had 2 beds in them and also had a lamp! It was really nice but it got so cold in the mornings! We would wake up shivering. Right now Africa is just coming out of their winter months so its still chilly here at night and early morning. We are heading into the summer months though where we will want those chilly moments and none will be found.
Saturday (25th)- We went on a couple of safaris! We first went on one in Botswana (so I got another stamp added to my passport!) where we were in pop-up safari cars! It was so cool! I had never been on a safari and I absloutely loved it! We saw tons of elephants, hippos, impalas, a few giraffes and a couple of crocodiles! At one point we were within 15 feet of about 10 elephants!!! They are HUGE! They were also baby ones that were adorable. We then went on a water safari that afternoon. We all piled onto the boat and floated by several crocs and got so close to hippos!
Sunday (26th)- We woke up early and went to Livingstone Church of Christ. They were so welcoming to us and were so happy to have us with them. The service lasted about 3 hours and at the end they wanted us to sing some songs. We got up and sang 3 songs in Tonga and they loved it. Its so neat how people get so happy when they hear you sing praise to God in their language. The Zambians are so happy to see that we are trying to relate to them.