It's been a while since I've blogged... again. I seem to never have a free moment and if I do I can't see straight from being so tired. I don't want this to be a "complaining" post, but I have been so cranky recently... for me anyway.
I think it has to do with being so exhausted. It seems as though it has just been one thing after another- Daniela was here and I had malaria and the infection, and then immediately after that Pastor Dunn and Pastor Walker were here and I traveled to Ndola. Immediately after that Protasho and Patrick came and we had twice the school and then Anthony came and then I traveled to Livingston and 3 days after Anthony left Katherine came and we hit the ground running again. I have loved and appreciated having all of these people here... and I would do it all again exactly the same way (minus the malaria) but it is tiring doing your regular job and then also adding extra cooking, extra grocery shopping and the stress of keeping the house clean and making sure people who have come all this way are entertained and busy. It's easy to feel a bit overwhelmed.
I think any woman who has ever hosted anyone in their home understands the need to obsessively clean the bathroom and the kitchen and keep food on the table and keep people happy and busy.
Also, I am really missing my family and very much missing companionship. Somehow despite having these people in and out I am feeling more lonely than ever. Maybe it's the instability of it all... Even my freinds here are around me in cycles.... one month they are around the next they start a new job or start school and they are gone. That for me is difficult especially dealing with emotional instability.
I went to start the process of getting my lisence- We were supposed to leave at 9:30 and didnt leave until 11.... that's a whole other story (Zambians, in general, do not move on a very tight schedule). We got to the place and stood in line at counter 1 to ask where to go. She directed us to room something-or-other where we stood in line to ask him what the process was. Just before it was finally my turn to go in the guy "stepped out" with the man that was in there before me (i learned later they are at that point accepting a bribe to get a lisence without a test) so another ten minutes later I went in and sat down and after the formalities and greetings I asked him what the process was for getting a lisence and he tld me I needed copies of my passport and work permit and to apply at room 2.
So I went out and got Corry and Tickey and Katherine and we walked down the street and made copies then walked back and got in the line for the application. As I was sitting I realized everyone was furiously studying the "10 basic rules of driving" and an old man next to me said that you ahve to recite them in your interview or you can't apply so he shared his with me and we crammed while we sat. Finally I went in and my "interviewer" (Its a row of 4 people on one side of the table then the applicants sit across so theres no privacy at all) asked me where I was from and I said the US and he said "Oh! Washington!!" I said "uhhhh.... yea except..... Kentucky." He asked me what I do and I told him I work with orphans and vulnerable children. He said " I am a vulnerable man. Can't you bring me some mealie tomorrow?"
Sidenote** I cannot express to you how utterly TIRED and SICK of hearing those things I am. At first I used to laugh and make an excuse but now I want to punch people. I actually work with people who have nothing, and you are sitting at a desk in a paying job drinking coffee and eating scones. Gross.
So I had to pretend that I wasn't disgusted since he was in charge of giving me a chance at getting the lisence, so I said "Maybe I'll try to tomorrow" He seemed pleased with that and put my name in the book and told me all they'd have to do is transfer the lisence. He didnt ask me to recite any of the code but JUST as we were about to finish he said "Oh, but you have to get a medical exam at the hospital. Go have a doctor fill out this form and then I'll put you in the system." I wanted to scream
So I gathered the minions and we drove to the Universty Teaching Hospital, which I affectionately call "House of Horrers", and walked around for 10 minutes trying to find where we can take this test. Finally a nurse directed us and we went inside the building. we found the doctors door and there was a big white sign.
Yes folks. That's a 4 hour work day. Unfortunately it was 12, so we had to LEAVE the hospital and drive to the mall to get lunch. When we got back it was 14:30 (because, like I said, Zambia needs energizer batteries but runs on a fat guy pushing a broken wheelbarrow brand) but I marched in like I owned the place. I was seen by a nurse who asked me if i could see and then put down on the paper that I have 20/20 vision (not a joke). Then I went to the doctor who asked me If I had medical issues and I said no, so he signed it and gave me a bill for 11 dollars. Noone touched me, noone tested me.........................
When I went to pay the cashier asked me what I do and I said "Orphan care" and then he asked me to buy him a car. This time I said "Yea sure! I'll just use the money that was sent to feed starving children to get you a BMW" He told me he likes silver ones. He did not get my sarcasm.
SO we went back to the car place and got back in line for the same room.... finally i finished with that guy and he directed me to counter 24. I stood in line and struck up a conversation with a guy who asked me about work and everything. He was an older guy with white hair. I thought I was safe. WRONG! He finally asked me for my number. I said no but we were in a gated line and I couldnt get away and he was relentless so I told him I didnt have my phone (Lies, I had two and they were visible in my purse. oops) So I told him a fake number and then he CALLED IT and some zambian man answered. Oops again. Finally I gave him my MTN number and later that day he texted me and asked me to come to the gym with him. I blocked his number. Anyways so you go to that counter and they put the information in the computer and then she directed me to room 3 for my photo. On my way out a guy blocked my way and said he overheard my conversation and wanted my number too. I said No. He stood in my path and kept saying he wanted to come work with the orphans too and so I signaled Corry and Tickey with my eyes but they were talking to Katherine so i just pushed past him and cruised to room 3 leaving everyone in the dust.
After standing in line again, I went in and the woman mumbled something while stareing at her computer. I though she was greeting me so I said fine thannks. She continued with her computer then looked at me and with the NASTIEST face and voice said " I SAID take off your neclace and earings. PAY attention". I was so appaled at being yelled at like a child I didn't even know what to say so i let her take my picture in which I look like i'm about to cry, and then got directed to the payment counter. Someone was accepting a bribe again, so I had to wait twice as long, then I paid and was told to come back the next day to book my driving test. I asked why I couldnt book it today and she said "Come back tomorrow". Awesome. I have yet to go back.
On Tuesday I asked Corry to come with me to get an application from the University fo Zambia for one of our sponsored kids, Nathan. We left, as usual, 2 hours late and by the time we got there it was 15 minutes before 12 and the man had just "stepped out"... He wasn't going to be back until 14. I had had it with anything Zambian government run at that point so we just left.
It's easy to be frustrated. I can honestly say I spend 50 % of my life just WAITING around for things to happen. Waiting for people, waiting for offices, waiting for processes.... waiting. It wastes my time, my money, my fuel...
Enough complaint... that is just to explain the crankiness.... Work- however- is wonderful. The boys are reading like pro's and spelling machines! We have a new boy who just got in the car one morning when Protasho and Patrick got in and he's been coming to school ever since. His name is Mutale Mumba and he's 15. I am slowly milking his life story out of him but in the meantime we are keeping him close to us and out of the streets. We have been doing nothing but running around getting things done, teching, shopping, preparing..... Katherine is really seeing the work and I'm glad. We took Memory for a Cd4 count and the machine was broken... of course... so we had to take her again, but her count is in the thousands which means she is perfectly fine, for which we are VERY thankful (Wisdom's is below 300). We also got 2 bales of clothes yeaterday using the remaining money from Pr. Walker's church, that we will bring to Ndola with us. We opened them and sorted the clothes and we were all convinced there would never be enough for all of them.... in the end- everyone got 2 bottoms, 3 tops, and an extra bag with 2 bottoms and 3 tops for family members... AND we had 6 (SIX) large garbage bags full of leftovers AND another garbage bag of baby clothes that Katherine and Megan will take to a baby orphanage today. It was truly like Jesus feeding the 5000.
That's all I can think of really.... so much has gone on and I'm being terrible about being consistent with this so I know alot is missing.
Just know this. I love my children. I love that they call me mom and get upset if I don't see them for a day. I love that they know I care and that they know they can rely on me fully. I love them and they make me happy and they make ALL this other stuff MORE than worth it for me.