Thursday, November 11, 2010

If you're white and you know it clap your hands.

Well it looks like I should be getting my car soon! We met with the guy who is going to South Africa to get it for me this morning, and he is saying it will be between 8 and 10 thousand. I should have it (if the money from various checks clear  in the next week) within two weeks. It was funny, before he left he told me to be thinking about what colour I wanted etc. I had not even thought about it! Honestly it could be pea green with pink stripes and I'd be happy, I just want it to have locks on the door and be able to drive. 

This week,  Maureens neice fell on some difficult times. They (her, and her two children) came to live here with Maureen until she can find a place to stay. Maureen's space is very small, and she already has a family of four living in one room with one bed. With this addition, a room big enough for 1-2 people would now be  holding 7. I went over today and told her to send Mwansa and Blessings (her neice's daughter) over to sleep in my bed with me from now on until they have somwhere to go. Pray that the sister gets her own place soon because this guest house is small and very hot with the metal roofs and we just keep adding and adding. I do not mind sharing, not one bit but it will change the dynamics of heat, space, privacy etc for a while.

On top of that, I haven't been feeling 100% the past day or two. Today was the day we visit Kabanana so I we went to the house of 4 of the kids and the mom had prepared us a meal.  It was pumpkin leaves (chibwabwa) with tomatoes, nshima, another relish and fish. Like a fish with eyeballs and scales and bones and a face and fins... lookin' at me. Megan and I took the tails so as to avoid faces and eyeballs and teeth.... she only had two real plates so Megan and I got those and the rest were eating off of broken plates/bowl things. Maureen asked her to lead a Bible study for us since she fed us physically she should feed us spiritually (thought this was a good concept to hold on to, for hospitality refrence). I had been thinking how different it was. We were two white faces in a room full of brown. We ate unfamiliar foods and heard unfamiliar languages and jokes. We had unfamiliar traditions and different lives all sitting together in that room. As soon as the Bibles opened I could not think of any differences between us. I couldn't put my finger on anything that separated us all that much. We're not Zambian people or American people or rich people or poor people... We are His people.
After that, we went to see the Tembo's breifly and I am happy to say they all looked much healthier, filled in and happy. The boys were even outside with freinds! As we left their mother said "God bless you... we love you." Megan said "We love you, too." And that was all I needed to hear. It can be discouraging to give to people and instead of saying thank you they ask for more. This seems to happen more often than not, but at the same time- we aren't in it for the thank you's and it's a good thing because if we were we'd all have packed up and shipped out by now. We don't need to give eachother much more than love, because that's the greatest gift that was given to us.
Despite my stomach issues, I ate almost all of the lunch prepared for us. I am still feeling ok I just am praying that I stay ok especially with 8 people living in this house now, and 3 in my bed. (watch for our pics on facebook... we are having fun girl time :) )

School is going really well and the kids are doing WORLDS better than they were when we started. It honestly shocks me when I think about it... They have now learned cursive (they could barely write print when we began), they can spell, read and write English, we've done a ton of science learning the bones and muscles and digestion etc, and mastered long division and multiplication with triple digits (they could only add when we started.) It's encouraging, and tiring, and trying and i learn a lot about patience every day.
We looked at another house in Kabanana that we might get so that would be great if we did. It's in terrible condition, but the man basically said if we wanted to fix it up we could just fix it and that would be "rent". I really want to be more into that work and as soon as we have the house and my car I can go into that 100%.

On another level, it's been difficult here making friends. The men often have the wrong motives, and the girls see those motives and then don't really like my company for that reason. In the church it's better but it's way more effort than in the states. My money, my skin, my hair, my clothes, my shoes... everything all works against me. I've never had to go to great effort to tell people I am just like them, same issues same fears same wants and hopes.... I just want them to talk to me freely but there's this invisible barrier.  

It just gets tiring being stared at and looked at and noticed all the time, and it's embarrassing for my freinds and even Maureen and Fanny to have people looking and watching all the time. It doesn't matter who I am with, male, female- but especially towards the compounds and even sometimes just walking down the street here I just want to scream STOP! STOP STARING AT MEEEEEE. You don't realize how nice it is to blend in with your surroundings until you are like a snowman on a california beach in the middle of august. No one knows what to make of you- why you're there... you don't fit.

This seems like a lot of complaining, reading back on it, but I am very happy. I have had more great news this week concerning getting the car etc. and I am very grateful for what I have, and the opportunities I have here. Today as we were leaving Kabanana one of the girls, Barbara, who I haven't seen foor a week took my hand and whispered... " i missed you..". I wanted to just stay and hang out with her. I wanted to tell her that he loving me and wanting me around meant the world to me.
Later when i walked back to the back of the house Richard came bounding up and jumped into my arms and Enock, Perjuite and Maureen were there, and all the kids. As I turned the corner holding Richard they said "there's our missing peice!" to think that I was the one that was "missing" when they were all visiting made me feel really good. They were talking about how I was becoming "Zambian" and soon I'd be cooking fish and nshima for myself every night (I wouldn't bet the farm....) They have really made me feel like I am not different from them, and its refreshing and means more to me than they'll ever know.
His mercies are new every morning, I am going to snuggle up next to Blessings and Mwansa (I love that I can say I am sleeping next to blessings tonight.) and wake up tomorrow excited and determined and full of joy. I am ready to do. Whatever it is, I am ready to do.


  1. I got to see the pictures. It looks like you all were really having a great time. I'll be sure to pray for you concerning the making friends, the car situation, and as well your own physical concerns. I'll be getting together with Lisa later tonight so you should be getting some spicy things in a few weeks. It sounds like God is doing a lot with you there already. I can't wait to come over and help, hopefully sooner than later.

  2. Oh, I hate that "stared at" feeling! Once we were walking around a market in the Philippines with literally a dozen people following us to see what we bought and how we shopped. I just wanted to buy my flip flops in peace with nobody grabbing at my children to see what white babies are like. It was so relaxing when we returned to the US to go to the store and blend in! I hope you grow accustomed to it better than I did!