Monday, November 15, 2010

Zambia to Tanzania

November 11/12- We left Namwianga today. We had a prayer right before we left and Webster and some of our tutors showed up. Webster stood between Callie and me and just held our hands during the prayer. Hand holding in Zambia shows friendship and it touched Callie and me so much that Webster would purposefully place himself in-between us. As we were driving away, he just waved and blew us kisses. Talk about choking down the tears. We were all such a wreck while leaving. We headed to Livingstone after departing from Nam. In Livingstone, we ate at this fabulous Italian restraint called Olga’s. Some of us had eaten there before and they have some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. Who knew I would have to travel all the way to Africa to have a fantastic pizza? We caught our flight from Zambia to Joburg and all endured a 9 hours layover in the Joburg airport. There was not a whole lot to do but we found ways to entertain ourselves. We then caught our other flight right around 1 am to Nairobi, Kenya and flew out of Kenya at 8 am. We arrived in Tanzania shortly after 10. We flew right over Lake Victoria and I didn’t realize how massive it was! The lake is ginormous. We met the missionaries that we are staying with and had lunch with them. I am staying with the team in Mwanza and we met the Millers today. They graduated from Lipscomb and have 3 children. They are so wonderful and sweet. I have really enjoyed being able to see them work in the community since I have been here. They are fluent in Swahili which is something that we have not been able to see a missionary do since we have been in Africa. They can usually speak bits and pieces but carrying on a whole conversation is another thing. Us girls went to a woman’s prayer meeting in a village for the afternoon. We were able to sing along with them and study the Bible with them. All of the missionaries here are fluent and so Marissa Bailey and Emily Miller both translated for us so that we knew what was going on.

here comes goodbye

November 10- We left the havens for the last time today and it was so hard to say goodbye. Saying goodbye on mission trips is always so hard because the possibility of you even seeing that particular person in this life is very slim. I hated putting Sam down for the last time. He rarely cried whenever I would put him down but of course he decided to cry today. I just could not stop the tears at that point. I hugged one of the aunties, Loveness, and she began to cry. After all of the farewells were said, we piled in the cruiser and then we all began to cry again. It sure did not help when Jason, George, Luke, Benja and Shane all started running after the cruiser. We all lost it. Namwianga had become our home. The people had become our family. I honestly believe that leaving Namwianga was harder than leaving my parents 3 short months ago (sorry Mom and Dad!). Im going to miss Namwianga so much and I hope that I can one day come back and see how everyone and everyone is. That night, we had to say our last goodnight to Webster, our nightguard, who had become like a big brother to us. My whole house had gotten so close to him and I value his friendship so much. I will surely miss him. We had gathered some of our things that we were planning on leaving for him and his family and put them into a bag. When we brought it out to him, he had to walk away and excuse himself to gather himself. Well, that started all of our tear-works yet again. We could not keep ourselves together. Kristen and I gave him our Bibles for him and his wife to read and practice their English (Webster is currently in school). He wanted to pray with us and so we went inside and he prayed for us. All you could hear was his quiet voice and our sniffles. It was such a heartfelt prayer yet so simple. I already miss him and wish that he could come live in America with all of us and continue to be our good friend.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


When did it turn into November? Can someone please tell me this? Is it true that I really leave THIS MONTH? I am not ready for this adventure to end. I fall more and more in love with the children here every day that I am up at the havens. Every time that I hold a child or rock them to sleep, I love Namwianga more. I have started referring to Sam as my son which is not so good seeing as I’m leaving in a week and a half but I think it describes how I feel about him perfectly. I would love it if I could just bring him back with me.
We had our last nursing test today before our final next week. I did not do as well as I was hoping but I still have an A so far in the class and that’s really all that matters, right? I have been trying to convince the directors that we should get graded on how much we interact with the children, culture and by how much Nsima we eat (I think if this was the case, I would love to learn nsima) but so far Ba Shawn, aka Bash, hasn’t responded to the idea that we have placed before him.

For our nursing class, we had to prepare a presentation for ¼ of our grade. My group presented to the havens on dehydration and nutrition. We decided that doing this presentation to the aunties would be the most beneficial since a lot of the kids are dehydrated up there. We also thought it would be important to discuss how children need well balanced meals and what they should feed them out of what they have already.

We had our last clinic devo tonight. I will miss going up there so much and being teaching the bible class. The children are so sweet and really love the Lord. They have passages that they recite and there was a 4 year old who recited a passage about 5 verses long. I was so impressed. They had a prayer for us and formed a greeting line. I couldn’t help but feeling so touched as they prayed for the Lord to bless us and keep us safe as we travelled back. I’m going to miss Namwianga so much and honestly, I think leaving here will be so hard. It’s become my home.

We had a very productive day. We went to the market to buy all of our ingredients and we learned how to cook a traditional Zambian meal which consisted of: eggs, nsima, rape, tomatoes and okra. It was so much fun to sit around and learn from the girls. They had so much fun teaching us how to cook their food. We then had a “Twalumba” party for all of our workers. It was so much fun but also extremely bittersweet because our time here is drawing to an end. We all feel it but yet we are all trying to avoid it because we don’t want it to end.

Halloween Weekend

Friday was so much fun! We had our last nursing class (praise!) and then went up to the havens. It also rained Friday afternoon so we got to enjoy the sound of that on the tin roofs. Friday night we had our tutors over to help us translate skits into that we were doing for chapel on November 3rd. After translating into Tonga, we all shared a meal and then we had a karaoke night! It was so much fun! We all laughed so much and Zach and Shelby rapped to "Thug Story" by Taylor Swift aka TSwizzle. All of the girls in my house karaoked to "Ridin Solo" because we are always walking around the house singing it and working out to it! It was a great moment for the Estes house girls.

There is a place about 7 kilometers behind Eric’s House called The Rock. It is one of Roy Merritts favorite places. The Merritts invited all of us out for a night of fellowship and food. WE had steak, chicken, sausage and other delicious foods. We were under the stars and sang songs for close to an hour. I had George, one of the Eric House boys, sitting in my lap and he ended up falling asleep on me. He was in a rare form- he was actually sweet. Lately he has been acting up and being mean but he was a sweet boy that night.

I went on outreach to a village about 30 kms away called RR (named for the railroad tracks about 20 kms from the actual place). We ate a meal with them and it was so nice because we were able to serve ourselves so we didn’t get heaping piles of nsima. We were blessed with another rain in the afternoon. I love watching the storms roll in here. You can see the lightening miles (or kilometers) away. We have gotten so funny when it rains. We lie in our beds and enjoy the sound on our tin roof and then we get tired of laying around so we all file outside to play in it. Who knows what kind of parasites we could possibly be contracting by playing in the mud.
Since it was Halloween, we went trick-or-treating around in our house. We had a study break and ate oreos and peanut butter! It was the best Halloween in the world. It’s so nice to be able to have things like that from home especially in a stressful time when we are cramming for our exams. Emily had been saving the Oreos for about a month and was waiting for the perfect time to break them out.