ZamLife Pt. 1
Hello there! This is Carol reporting from Zambia:
I cannot believe that it has been 3 weeks already! Its weird to feel like we have gotten a lot done and simultaneously like we haven't been able to do nearly as much as we'd have liked.
The first couple of days we spent searching for a car. This is a totally different experience than car shopping in the states. There are not really car dealerships and the car places are all behind huge cement walls, so if you didn't know you were there, you're in trouble. But we did finally get a car in about 3 days. I thought driving would be hard (on the left side) but actually it's not that difficult. The biggest driving obstacle is the other drivers - they just cross lanes whenever they feel like it. Tony, however, has really got the driving and directions down good - which is saying a lot since there are no road signs or clear directions anywhere.
One of the biggest adjustments is getting used to time in Africa. I'm not talking about the time zone but the pace of life. Sometimes I feel like people don't know how to tell time because no one is on time. Errands that would take just a few hours in the states could take me a whole day or even two here in Lusaka. By the end of the first week, I was getting antsy to get to the village and start working, but I'm glad we had the whole first week to settle into our new home and way of life! :)
We finally took the road out to Kunchubwe Village during our second week. The road is rough and fun, especially if you like 4-wheeling. Our sister church located next to the orphanage site has been under construction for almost a year. Our second day out to the village, we painted the WHOLE inside and outside of the church. The church is pretty big so it took ALL day and then wouldn't you know it... it had to have a second coat!
This weekend, is the church's grand opening and dedication. We've been working hard to have it ready - we've cleaned paint off windows, removed all the debris form the construction of the church (giant piles of sand and quarry rock and cement) and finally, the finishing touches.
We decided to landscape in front of the church. I thought that would be fairly simple, go to the village, dig the hole and plant 'em. Was I ever wrong! What a job that turned out to be. The ground was so hard it had to be broken up with a pick axe before you could even begin to plant. Thank goodness for Peter and Erin, they took their "handmade" tools and went at it. While we were out there raking (dirt mostly), just about every passerby stopped. One of the most of the amazing things was, so many stopped and would take the rake or wheel barrel from me and started to work. Some stayed 10-15 minutes and others were there for about 30 minutes. This was so encouraging to me because we've always wanted the orphanage to be more than just accepted by the community but that the community would be partakers and owners in the orphanage and its mission.
We also met Peter, who is the caretaker of the church and orphanage property. He's a good man and a hard worker. While we've been working to get the church ready for its big debut, we instructed Peter to start clearing land. This isn't as simple as it is in the states. Here the tools and equipment (I use those terms loosely) are hand made. An axe is a stick that they have attached a end of a hoe too! It's incredible how hard-working they are, they cleared a large amount of the property in 2-3 days with only hand tools. It is amazing what they can do with what they have, I am totally impressed!
Last night, we were on our way to have dinner with Pastor Haelian and Ursula, and I said to Tony, "Look that's a white man running down the road" and then we realized it was Pastor Jonathan! I was just sooooo happy to see him!
Don't worry we've been working on the orphanage too! We're looking into a new building method over the traditional cement block homes. The cement block construction process can be very time-consuming and cause potential issues with laborers, etc. We are excited to look further into using large shipping containers as our potential orphanage homes! Much more to report soon!
Until next time, thank you everyone for your support!