Thursday, December 11, 2003

I think it is about time I put up some pictures of the best kitties ever. I am sure Steph would agree.

Chikulu napping.

Linus knows he is cute!

Culture Shock!!

Tonight I experienced culture shock, only it was more like reverse culture shock. Here in Lusaka there is a grand opening for a strip mall. Not only does this mall have nice stores and a super nice grocery store but it also has a movie theater (comparable to Tinseltown) and a bowling alley!! This is like a dream! So now everyone can stop feeling sorry for since I “live in Africa”. Well we (the Strange’s and I) caught wind that the movie theater was giving free tickets to see the movies. WOW. They were doing this to work out any kinks in their system such as picture adjustment for the screen, sound, etc. Well you can imagine what a frenzy that sent everyone into. So we piled in the truck and headed to the theater in hopes of watching the new Matrix movie. Good gracious alive!!!! You cannot even imagine what an ordeal it was to stand in line for tickets. Now, in Zambia, it is absolutely unheard of to have more than 2 inches of space between you and the others standing in line. You feel so violated because people are literally all on top of you. I must say that I was feeling a bit un-Christian during that experience.
So we finally make it to the front of the line after the pushing and shoving and groping. We tell the ticket person we want tickets for the Matrix and the lady kindly points to the looooong and crowded line next to us and informs us that that is the line for Matrix tickets. After looking back at the neighboring line we quickly decide that we will take the ticket for whatever movie this lady is offering. We got tickets for “Elf” (which by the way I found absolutely hysterical and laughed the whole way through).
We enter the movie theater and wow! We could not believe we were in Zambia. We thought for sure we must have been in South Africa or the states. The theaters have stadium seating and were so nice! We felt like hillbillies going to town. This is where we were experiencing our culture shock. Although as the movie was starting we suddenly realized, yes, we are in Zambia. Watching a movie in Zambia is comparable to watching a football game in the states. Everyone here cheers and claps and boos at the screen. It can be frustrating if you are like me and prefer not to talk during a movie.
Anyway, I had a great time!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The Western Province…..

I think it is about time that I got around to telling about my adventures out west. I left Lusaka in late October and was gone for 3 weeks. The western province of Zambia is much different from where I live. The west is known for the Zambezi River flood plain, which means it is a sandy place! I went out west not only just to go and experience it for myself but also to help out the Davis family with a volunteer team that had come from the states to work with them.

Traveling in Zambia is a bit different from the states. We very slowly and carefully came upon this guy on our way to the Conard's house. We let him have the right of way!

My first stop was Kaoma. Kaoma is where the Conard family lives….Mark and Stacey and their three children Grace, Katie, and Benjamin. All of the Lusaka journeymen were going out to help with the team but Alan and I left early to visit the Conard’s for a few days. The Conard’s have been in Zambia for 3 and a half years. I thoroughly enjoyed staying at their house. Mark is known for his storytelling so he kept us in stitches the whole time. Stacey is so patient and loving in everything she does. The family and child studies major in me kept observing her in how she copes and handles being a mom and wife in often uneasy circumstances. The western province of Zambia is much different from where I live.

Me, Grace (left), and Katie watching "Spirit", one of Katie's favorite movies.

Stacey took me to an AIDS hospice that she visits weekly.

After Kaoma we headed for Kalabo, where the Davis’s live….Darren, Shawna, Micah, Meredith, and Peyton.

To get to Kalabo you must cross the river on a ferry. This ferry can hold three cars at a time.

The way I helped Darren and Shawna out with the volunteer team was by playing with their kids! For three or four days I stayed at the house with the 2 girls while Darren and Shawna took the team out camping in the bush. Me, Meredith, and Peyton had the best time “playing house” for those few days. Our days usually consisted of watching movies, playing Barbie’s, and watching more movies.
When the volunteer team left, Darren took us journeymen fishing on the river. It was a blast! Let it be known that missionaries have THE COOLEST toys! One of Darren’s fun toys was an inflatable boat that we used to go fishing in. Now usually one of this boat’s main purposes is to transport the family to hard to reach places and churches when the river rises but we saw fit to use it on our fishing trip.

Mallory and Darren putting the boat together.

Darren negotiating a deal with these guys to stay around and watch our camp while we go fishing.

We set up our camp on the bank and then proceeded to catch us some fish!

Our main goal was to catch tiger fish. But unfortunately we were not very successful. Although, the bream (like brim) seemed to like us a lot. We caught about 12 bream in our two day trip. Now there is a story or two about the one that got away but I will save those for another day.

Darren helping me get my fish in the boat.

I was going to hold my fish myself for this picture but I was not strong enough, it weighed too much (anybody buy that?).

I am now every country boy's dream....I can clean fish.

Sunrise on the Zambezi.

After fishing on the Zambezi we headed back to Kalabo. We had a couple of days of down time and then we were headed for the Liuwa plain.
To get to Liuwa from kalabo you cross another ferry. This ferry is a bit different. You have to pull yourself accross using a rope.

We went to Liuwa to see the second largest wildebeest migration in the world. It was awesome!

Wildebeest up close. If you look close, the black specks in the background are hundreds of herds of wildebeests.

Liuwa is a massive game reserve that is open….meaning there are no boundaries (fences, gates, etc) to keep the animals in, they are free to live. Not only is Liuwa home to wildebeest but also hyena, zebra, cats, etc.
At Liuwa we slept in tents in the game reserve! I must say that I did not sleep much the first night knowing that all that separated me from a lion was a sheet of nylon! We did have an armed guide with us the entire time but I did not have much faith in him. Even though I was scared of an encounter with a lion, leopard, or cheetah, I was disappointed that we did not get to see one while we were out there.
Camping out in the middle of Liuwa felt like being on the Discovery channel.
After our trip to Liuwa with the Davis family, we headed back to Lusaka. It was sad to leave because I really enjoy hanging out with the Davis’s. Darren and Shawna are a lot of fun and their kids are pretty great too!

For halloween at the Davis's the kids got dressed up and instead of bobbing for apples, we were bobbing for mangos. Here, Chris is attempting his turn while Micah and Peyton cheer him on.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Right now I am currently the happiest redheaded girl in Zambia! Why??? Well, as I sit here writing this I am enjoying the soothing hum coming from my new air conditioner! Yes, that is right, my landlord has seen fit to bestow upon me this blessing. This weekend he sent over his workers and for the last two days they have been working here in my house. As soon as they finished installing it I cranked that baby as high as it would go and nearly froze to death….it was great!
Actually, Joseph, our caretaker came into my house and could not believe how cold it was. He kept saying, “In here it is June (one of the coldest months on Zambia). Out there it is November (one of the hotter months).” He also mentioned several times that Zambians die in 16 degrees Celsius (which is what my air is set on). It is a good thing that the a/c came after Steph left because it would have been the source of many conflicts (she is very Zambian in the fact that she cannot stand to be cold).
So I am now seriously considering moving my bedroom into the living room. I don’t know if I can express to you how nice it was today to lie on the couch while watching a movie and being cuddled up in a blanket listening to the pouring rain outside. I hope for many more days like this to come!

Victoria Falls was great! It was nice to see my friend Amy and catch up with her. I am so thankful that the Father allowed us an opportunity to see one another and the chance to get away for a few days could not have come at a better time! I hope to put up more pictures of our trip soon (I have to look through Alan’s pictures). In this picture maybe you can tell how nasty hot it was by how red my face is (no, that is not a sunburn).

You can see the lovely Victoria Falls in the background. Half of it was dried up but if you look you can see a lot of mist coming from where the water is still flowing strong.

Thanksgiving has come and gone and was a great time of fellowship. I didn’t take any pictures of it so sorry about that. Carrie and Jill left today headed back to Kasama. So now it is just me and the kitties here at the house.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

They say it's your birthday........
I'd like to first start out my wishing my wonderful older sister a happy birthday today!! Happy Birthday, Brandi! I know you are gonna kill me for putting this picture here but it is the only one I have of you. Just remember what's really important is Proverbs 31:30. Thanks for being my big sissy and always being protectful (is that a word?) of me! LYLASDNQ (i know you have to be smiling now)!!!!!
love, your ashey books!

sorry the picture is so dark and blury. this was taken before i figured out how to work my flash.

Well, looks like I am gonna be out of town again for a few days. Fellow journeyman, Alan Parish, and I will be traveling down to Livingstone to meet up with a friend of ours that we met at orientation a year ago. Our friends name is Amy and what a great gal she is! Not only am I looking forward to leaving Lusaka for a few days but I am also looking forward to seeing a familiar face (and fellow red-head). Amy lives in Lesotho and works as the nurse at the Beautiful Gate Orphanage. For more information about Amy and her work in Lesotho you can check out or go to . Ok, quick geograpy lesson....Lesotho (Le-soo-too) is a tiny country completely surrounded by another country, South Africa.
I will arrive back in Lusaka sometime on the 26, just in time for Thanksgiving. When i come back the guesthouse will be overrun with people. For Thanksgiving all the folks in the mission (nearly 100 of us) will come to town to celebrate together. I am looking forward to it because I will have two roomates for a few days. The Kasama journeygirls will be staying at my house. So I look forward to talking with Carrie and Jill and catching up on their lives and ministry in Kasama. It will be great not to be the only girl around.

This picture was taken well over a year ago in Virginia. From left to right you have me, Kim (most people reading this might know her), Abby, and Amy.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Where do I even begin. A lot has happened in the past month and I don’t even know if I can remember it all. I think I could describe the last few weeks with one word…CHANGE. To start, since I last wrote Stephanie has finished her term and returned back home to Virginia. Steph, if you are reading this you can rest assured that the void you left has been felt….mainly by Linus and Chikulu. Just the other day one of them told me, “Ahh, where is Stephan? She has not been seen. And me, I have really been missing her.” (for anyone who is not Stephanie, that quote was supposed to be said in your best Zambian accent.)

Steph stopping to hug Chikulu one last time before we left for the airport. Our guard/gardener/fix-it-man, Joseph, standing proud.

When Steph left I decided to reorganize and change the living room. I was very pleased with the outcome and even the boys could not believe the difference. The boys even decided that we will now always hang out at my house (didn’t we do that already???). I think they were taken in by all of my candles and fresh flowers (their inner girl really appreciated it). Unfortunately my mood to clean and redecorate did not last long enough for me to make it to my bedroom, so it is still a wreck.

before the overhaul........(well, the furniture was originally not arranged like this. but i had already moved everything around before the brilliant thought of grabbing my camera dawned on me)

after the overhaul.

Before Stephanie left the mission had a braii (bbq) for her. Here is one of the last pictures of us taken together before she left….sniff, sniff.

And now for the blackmail…..
Me and Steph had made plans for us concerning her last few days in Zambia. One of those plans was to do facials and girlie things like painting toenails the night before she left. Well…….the boys wanted to see her too and spend time with her too that night. So I made a rule that the only way they could come over would be if they did the girlie things along with us. And as you can tell from the pictures, they did. There is no picture of Alan, but he participated too. He did his nails but drew the line there and refused to do face stuff.

Chris, who was the most enthusiastic of the bunch. Here he is sporting his pond's pore strip. He was so fascinated with the end results.

Mallory being camera shy for some reason. What is so embarrassng about clear pores?

This time last month I was in the western part of Zambia. I fully intend on telling all about it and including pictures. Unfortunately, while I was out there my camera decided to be temperamental and didn’t work. So I am in the process of getting pictures from the boys to show you. I really enjoyed my time out there. I was gone for three weeks and stayed with the Connard family briefly until I went further west to stay with the Davis family.
Also, since I last updated, two important days have passed, November 7 and November 18. The 7th marked my one year in-country anniversary (which is weird to think about) and the 18th was my birthday (which is even weirder). On my birthday many of the ladies in the mission took me out to tea. After tea Paige Thompson (a missionary kid here) and I went to the salon and spent a large portion of the day there. She got red streaks put in her hair (not red like my hair color, but red like red-red). I was not as bold as my companion though. I opted just to have my hair washed and set (blow dry). Later that evening the Dickard's had me over to their house for my birthday meal. It is Nancy Dickard’s tradition that when someone has a birthday she invites them over and prepares whatever meal and dessert they request. For lack of a creative thought I went for the good ole standby—Mexican food. For dessert we had banana splits, yummy! The thing about the banana splits is that most of the ingredients aren’t readily available here so most of it Nancy had to make from scratch (including the ice cream). Thanks a lot Mrs. Nancy for going to so much trouble for me! (and I am sure my mom thanks you too.) Also, thanks a lot to those of you who called or emailed me, I really appreciated it.

Post dinner at the Dickard's. Happy birthday to me!

tea time

Thursday, October 16, 2003

sorry for the lack of info. i am going to the western province of zambia tomorrow (friday) for three weeks so i will not be updating for a few more weeks. but rest assured that i will come back with many stories and pictures. by the way, the biggest news in the last few weeks is that stephanie has finished her term and has gone home to the states. she has been gone a week now. both me and the kitties miss her but we are holding up. and stephanie, if you are reading this....thanks for your emails and sorry for not responding. maybe i'll write you when i am in kaoma in between listening to conard tell stories.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Me and Steph. We had highlighted our hair the night before. Can you tell??

Pouring juice at LICS Bible club.

Chikulu has been on a toilet paper shredding spree. Bad kitty!

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Trip to Kizito Baptist Church
as told by stephanie

We started off at 7:11 on Saturday, September 27th. (Well, we were supposed to start off then, Ashley was moving a little slow, and Womba had to dry some things, so it was more like 7:30) We met James and Cindy Strange, and Ivy Lukosu at the Strange's house. We had two trucks filled up with sleeping bags, tents, food, soccer balls, a little bit of everything. Two hours later, and a few stops (one for last minute cokes and last stop at a flushing toilet) we arrived at Kizito Baptist Church in Kabwe, north of Lusaka. We greeted everyone, and went into the church for some words of welcome. Now this church building is probably not what you are imagining. It was mud walls up to about waist high. Then there was a 2 foot gap to the roof. The roof was sharply slanted and made of thatch. All the beams to hold the roof up were trees and branches. The benches were knee high hardened mud mounds. It was actually a very cool and enjoyable church building.

On our way to Kizito Baptist church in Kabwe.

On our way to Kizito in Kabwe… the beaten path.

A group of girls sitting outside the church.

After the welcomes, Ashley, Womba, and I went outside to teach the children. We got a reed mat and found the one tree in the area with a few leaves, and set the mat up under that. The tree provided shade to about two people :o) Ashley then told the story of Adam and Eve, and the first sin. Womba translated. After some questions and discussion, we got the balls out of the car, and let the kids play. Definitely the highlight for them. We even taught them two songs in English, Jesus Loves Me, and Making Melody. Then we sat back down for another story that I taught this time. I was going to teach about Jesus feeding the 5000, but I started talking about Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, and decided to tell them about Abraham and his son Isaac, whom God asked him to sacrifice. And then God provided a substitute sacrifice, a lamb. Turns out James was teaching on just that same story, the faith of Abraham, that evening! I didn't even know that ahead of time, God was definitely guiding us all this weekend.

Stephanie teaching the children about Abraham and Isaac while Womba translates.

Here you can see one of the ladies preparing cabbage for our meal.

Then it was time for lunch. Nshima, cabbage, and the absolute toughest chicken you have ever eaten. I couldn't even get the meat to come off the bone. You just had to suck on it. That is what we call, bush chicken. After lunch it was my turn to teach the youth and adults on True Love Waits. There were about 6 old men there. And I am talking OLD. Like they were missing teeth. It was a bit initmidating teaching True Love Waits to such a mixed crowd. The reason I also taught it to the adults was so that the leaders of the church would know what kinds of things we should be talking about, and teaching our youth. The True Love Waits message can also applied to married couples, in that they remain faithful to their husband or wife. The teaching went well, and I believe was well received. Ivy translated for me, since Womba was even more intimidated by the old people than I was.


After that teaching we had a bit of time to set up our tents. The three ring circus as we were fondly calling it :o) All the kids were lined up watching us. Making comments like, "Three houses from a bag!" We finally got all three set up, and Ashley, Womba, and I hung out in our tent for a little bit of time away from 50 eyes staring at us. Then we had dinner. Nshima, cabbage, chicken, and fried dried fish. Well, the nshima and cabbage was real good ;o)

James and Cindy Strange putting up one of the tents.

Ivy, Cindy’s interpreter, supervising the tent set-up.

See, I helped set the tents up too!

Steph playing a game of chiato with the kids.

Here I am playing a favorite game of the kids. It consists of me chasing them while trying to tickle them. I think they could play this for hours if I were willing.

After dinner we had another teaching session that James led. The teaching was quite interesting, but literally 3/4 of the church fell asleep! Dead asleep. Even the acting pastor of the church who was sitting up front fell asleep. We finished up a little after nine, took a girl's trip to the squatty-potty, and headed to our tents. Well, we spent a little time looking at all the stars. It is just so amazing that there are so many, when you can only see so few some places. In the tents I snuck a Twix bar and got ready for bed. And at that time, the singing began. They built a huge fire, and the old men gathered grass to sleep around the fire. The church choir sang and sang and sang. How long did they sing, you may ask? They sang until 3 am! That's right, all those people who were so sleepy in church, stayed up until 3 in the morning, singing. I fell asleep sometime in there, sooner than most of our crew I believe. Even worse than the 3 am quiet time, was the 5 am wake up call. Yep, all those old men got up at 5 am and started talking (loudly to each other, I think they must be losing their hearing) and laughing. There were about 3 feet from our tent. It was quite cool that night, and Womba gets up at 5 am and opens the window in our tent. "Womba, what in the world are you doing!?" asks Ashley. Womba said she was making sure she didn't oversleep! Hahaha, not really a good reason. I think Womba was still asleep cause that was the most ridiculous thing when there is all that noise outside the tent.

Womba taking care of her “mwana’s”. During the trip I seemed to have been given the name mwana (baby) or mwanawanga (my baby). Womba calls me this often and Ivy started to pick up on it as well.

Womba fixed me up all nice with a head wrap made from Stephanie’s chitenge. Although, she was tying it just a bit too tight! How do I look?

Anyway, we finally just bite the bullet and get up. All of us except Ashley that is. I guess she decided if she just stayed in her sleeping bag, somehow she would fall back asleep despite all the noise and commotion. We had tea and cookies. Got the balls out so the kids could play, took down the tents, packed up the cars. Even got the bubbles out to play with till those ran out. Finally at 9, we began sunday school. Sunday school is really more like the first preaching, since it is just everyone together. Ivy taught sunday school, and part of the way through people started nodding off again. Now Ivy doesn't take this nonsense. She was speaking in Bemba, but for 10 minutes she 'taught them a lesson'. And that lesson is don't stay up till 3 am when you have church the next day. It is rude, stupid, you can't think straight, and you will miss the whole point of the weekend. It was kinda funny, and I couldn't even understand a word she said! Then James preached. We finished church around 11. Then had lunch. Nshima, beans, chicken. We went to the cars, and Ashley was going to start up the truck to get the air running, but the truck wouldn't start! Luckily, the connections to the battery were just loose, so it didn't take too much work to fix those.

It took us 2 hours to make it back home.