05 October 2011

The day we learned Lamb’s real name.


The day we learned Lamb’s real name.

Ouch! The raindrops here are huge! –As it hits Frances in the eye.
“I think it’s funny that I look british” –Me “And I look black?” -Frances
Who spells Poolie “Pule”?


Frances ran.  I woke up at 7:30, read a bit of Matthew, and got ready for the day.  I managed to make coffee, wash dishes, and start breakfast all before Frances got out of the shower.

I felt so domestic.

[breakfast: cornbread and yogurt and coffee]

Yes, that's cinnamon in my coffee and yes my yogurt has carrot chunks in it.  Welcome to Africa!

We decided it didn’t feel like we got a day off this week because we worked Saturday and went to church most of the day on Sunday.  We really just need a day off so we can do some school work and breathe.  

We got to ride to work in the red truck.  The trucks are our favorite form of transportation.

We shook lots of hands when we showed up to clinic.  I don't remember who we shook hands with though.  I wish I remembered.  Then we spent time in the pharmacy helping count pills because nothing here starts on time.

We started clinic promptly at 11. (it was supposed to begin at 9 only no one was ready, there were no vaccines so they had to go and get some vaccines and gas from Luanshya)

We traversed treacherous land to get to our next clinic site.  Land that looked like we would drive straight off the road and into a lake/ pond/ mosquito breeding pool. 

This time we crossed the highway to the other side.  We crossed several places that looked like they would be alligator territory if it was rainy season.  But it’s not supposed to be rainy season for another 4 weeks at least.

[these looked a lot more frightening through our cracked windshield traveling at 40 MPH]

Today's outreach was a lot like all the other days we had outreach and children's clinic.  We've gotten so we can almost run it ourselves.  Except we can't pronounce  names...

I found a kid with TOMS today.  Unfortunately, I saw a lot more bare feet than I saw TOMS.  I made sure to snap a picture.   His shoes were a lot cooler than mine though.  They had rubber soles and rubber around the outside.  They looked dirty but they didn’t have holes in them like my shoes did.  I'm super glad the TOMS they give out to children are more sturdy than the TOMS they sell in America.  


We watched people put a straw roof on a house.  I got a picture using my super zoom so the people that were putting the roof on probably didn’t know I was taking the picture.


I also took a picture of a well.  The people get water from wells but then they put the water in really dirty looking bottles.  And I decided they probably don’t have showers in their huts.  And probably no electricity either.



After lunching we got introduced to more of the culture.

Poolie (or Pule as we now know it’s spelled) thought it would be a good idea.  It was a very traumatic introduction that involved several jokes in Bimba, where they clearly said “Americans” and laughed.  They think it’s the most hilarious thing that we cannot spell in their language. 

Frances and I aren’t sure we think it’s funny.

We have learned that “Mulishani” means “How are you?” and that the correct response is “Weno” which means fine.  But today we learned that it’s “Bweno.”  Why did we not know there was a B before?

We also learned that Lamb’s name is actually Alam.  Almost like the American name Alan, but with an m.  And the way they pronounce things here it sounds like “A lamb.”  His last name, or surname, that people go by is Musonda.  He’s Mr. Musonda. (“Moose-on-the”)  Now I have another M word to remember.  (Along with Mulishani and Muzungu and Marlinso)

Pule decided it was important that we learn one phrase a day, but since we’re so far behind, we should start learning two phrases each day.  Our phrases of today:

Nindo ilekalipa. “Nindo e-lay-cali-pa.” What’s the problem?


Muli (or Ali) ne myaka inga.  “Allie ne me-yacka ing-a.”  How old is the child?

I don’t know why we learned to ask “What’s the problem.”  It’s not like we’ll understand the response if it’s not in English.  I think “Please write your name here.” And “Please write your village name here” would be much more useful as it would cut out us having to spell in their language. 

After learning our new words, we went to the registration room to put our new words to use.  Maria was in there.  She made some Americans jokes about the way we were pronouncing things and then she asked us very seriously if we were both American.  Last week she asked us if we were from the same tribe.

Apparently we look very different.  Maria told me I looked British.  Really?  What makes me look Brittish?

Then she joked that Mr. Musonda (formerly called Lamb) looked American.  He’s got a bit lighter skin than most of the Zambians have.  He looks like he could be American except that he’s really skinney because he only eats one meal a day. 

We talked about how most malnutrition in Africa is “under nutrition” and most malnutrition in America is obesity.  There are problems with both, but very different.


Now it’s raining and thundering and we can’t plug in anything because it might blow up.  Which includes the internet and our laptops.  We’re not sure if it includes the lights. 

So we’re sitting in the dark just in case, trying to finish blogging before our computers die.

We walked in the rain and a drop hit Frances in the eye.  It was very dramatic.  Or, at least, she made it seam that way.  

It’s not supposed to rain like this until late November, apparently this is very rare.  But we’re ok.  Just chillin in the dark trying not to use any electricity.  And staying away from outlets.  And maybe not showering.

[rainy sunset]

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