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.