ZamLife Pt. 2
Carol, here, reporting from Zambia!
Wow, what a busy, busy couple of weeks!
A couple weeks ago Headman Kunchubwe's daughter passed away after going through an operation. We went to the funeral house to pay our respects to Headman Steven and his family. In Zambia, funerals are very different. They estimated about 2,000 people were at the burial and around 100 people were at the funeral house for over a week.
The interesting part about Zambian funerals is while we were sitting there,\ a pickup truck packed to the hilt came driving up. The truck was carrying ALL of the daughter's possessions - mattresses, kitchenware, plates, cups, silverware, all her clothes, everything, even little niknaks. Of course, I was curious and had to ask what they were doing. In Zambian culture, when a wife or husband die, all of their belongings are taken to the "funeral house" and distributed among family members. The reason given is so that the spouse can move on - find another wife and there will be no remembrance of the previous spouse. I was told sometimes they will leave 1 cup and 1 plate for the living spouse!
(Funerals and deaths will completely stop an entire village's work-in-progress in its tracks. We, of course, want to be mindful of culture and tradition. However, it is a bit of a culture shock to see how life is put completely on pause - usually for 2-3 days - for any funeral at any time. --Bethany)
Our pastor from North Carolina has been in Zambia for the past week. We've been helping him with ministry work during his stay. We decided to go with him to Chipata, where Cornerstone also has a church in Cohombe Village. Chipata is about an 8 hour drive from where we live - so we all piled in the car early in the morning to head east. We had not left the house long when a car pulled out and hit us on the passenger side front and rear doors! What a commotion that caused! The streets were already very crowded but I think more people were coming out just to look at us. Traffic backed up, horns were blaring at us, all attention was on us and it was not a great feeling.
This accident was truly an adventure in #ZamLife! First, you don't call the police, all parties must go to "traffic police" and report the accident. Hilariously enough, we had to drive the guy that hit us because his car was not legal. The traffic police office was a little block building with cracks in the walls, a leaking ceiling and loads of 3-ring binders stacked from floor to ceiling. The report had to be hand written and come to find out the guy that hit us was a police officer that worked for them! (You literally can't make this stuff up - Bethany)
The policeman who hit us was driving with no driver license, no taxes paid, no insurance, how lucky can one get? We were finally able to leave there and head towards Chipata. Now, that we are back in Lusaka we spent Tony's birthday in the police station trying to get an accident report for the insurance company. After about 2 hours (we were the only people there y'all) of them flipping through all the books of reports they finally found our report. Now, this is supposed to be the simple part - you simply take the accident report to insurance and file a claim. BUT you have to go to the exact office where you purchased the insurance, which has been quite problematic for us considering we bought our insurance in a MOBILE office (like everyone else does)! We think, one week later, we finally know where to go.
This week, we are meeting with Headman Steven to start interviewing and meeting potential house mothers for the orphanage. We know this can be one of our most challenging tasks because these women will be the cornerstone of the orphanage homes.
Yesterday, we walked the land where the orphanage will be and it fills me with so much hope. Peter is amazing. He continues to clear the land with his make-shift tools. Currently he is chopping down all the small trees and digging the roots up from the ground. He said he would like to have this completed by the end of the week, his hard work never ceases to amaze me.
We're so looking forward to having the next team come over, there is plenty of work to be done!
Until next time God Bless and thanks to everyone who supports and is praying for us!