Every day I work here, I experience so much and finally now that I am back on my feet (somewhat…) I am back to teach you about my second site visit.
For a long while, I dreamed about my dream village. A family with kids who yell my name with smiles as wide. A large house that I turn into my green tropical island. My kitchen and garden give me comfort. And I wouldn’t be afraid to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
While everyone enjoyed their time, I missed out on so much but I did not miss my chance altogether. I went to see my host family and see my house.
Small and mud and incredibly different than what I had pictured but instead I saw possibilities. A home is never a house but a house can always become a home.
My village is named Lunchu B because the large area was seperated into A and B. The Lunchu stream streaked past with haunting stories of crocodiles eating dogs as told by counterpart Ba Violet. Bush paths led everywhere and it is only an hour away from the major city. (With a Shoprite opening in a few months!)
You all need to remember the importance of your words. Words here are important and incredibly important is the gestures. In Zambia, you say what you mean and you stick with it. It is an indirect country but for people who care about you, the feelings are true. The people can be genuine or use you because of your ignorance or uneducated mind.
I was lucky for a village that gave me a committee to take care of me.
No one has abused their Bemba nor did anyone try to swindle me by claiming more money. So far it has been honest. Only one shop has a lady who was always trying to get a profit. But avoiding that shop as much as I can will be easy.
She seems to think my name is Margaret. It was funny always correcting her with a face of not having it. I’m not gonna have my name be Margaret for the next two years. I told them my other nicknames but hopefully when I return in a month, it will get better.
My counterpart is a woman named Ba Violet who was very happy to see me. After some nerves, we talked an I made her laugh. We had a deal. As we are both afraid of snakes, when we see one, she’ll grab the rock and I’ll run.
For it is fine for me to never see it again but she needs to see it dead. I laughed so hard seeing a woman almost my mother’s age and knowing we were going to be great friends. We talked about walking further and how I might need to carry her. She joked saying if her back was right, she’d carry me so we could walk faster.
She made me laugh so many times as was understanding of my condition. I got tired easily and the heat was making leg sweat more and the itching was worse. Most of all, the heat drained me of my strength. She advised an umbrella. I think I will follow that advice and get a nice one for some shade.
I cooked for myself those two days. Over some charcoal, I made sauce from scratch with cheesy pasta and garlic bread. I made so many hard boiled eggs to finish off my food. I had to give my host family so much of my food at the end but it was fine. The next day for dinner I made tomato potato lentil soup which is so delicious. Hearty soups seriously revive me.