06 October 2011

The day we reconnected with the world.


So, rainy season started.  Which means thunder.  Which means lightning.  Which means anything plugged in has the potential to blow up.  Which means no computer and no internet.

So we’re cut off from all news of the outside world.

Which is ok, except that we’re not too excited about rainy season.  The bugs are bad.  I’ve been stung by something already.  And I think Frances did too, only it doesn’t hurt, so we’re not really sure.  Things are flying everywhere. 

So if I fail to upload blogs and get on facebook, know that I'm not dead, just getting wet.

It’s harder for parents to make the commitment to walk into clinic.  Which means less kids get their immunizations.  Which means more kids get sick.  Which is not good.


We got notice that the power was going to be out today.  Nice and early, a whole 12 hours before they were going to cut it off.  So, our supervisor decided we shouldn’t go to clinic in the dark.

And since we were practically starving for a day off, we agreed.  We drove past the clinic on our way to town and it was empty.  I guess everyone else thought the same way.

We traveled to Luanshya, where we made a stop at the bank to pull out money.  I’m beginning to think that this is the only bank in the country.  We also made a few other stops where Frances and I stayed in the car to guard the iPod. 

Which was playing praise music with machine gun sounds in it.  I don’t really think those two things go together really well.  But it’s not my iPod.

We had a soda in a place called Nsofu.  Which means Elephant in Lamba.  It also had pink toilet paper.  Maybe the coolest place ever.


We ate lunch at a place called Vanilla Bread.  It was mostly delicious.  We got fabulous drinks that they call a Malawishani.  They were completely delicious.  You make them with ginger ale, carbonated lemonade, and bitters.  I don’t really know what bitters are, but I’m sure someone can educate me when I return to America.   They’re such a great non-alcoholic fancy beverage. 

Although, Vanilla Bread had toilet paper that was white with pink butterflies.  Why don't we have cuter toilet paper in America??

After lunch we had a semi-traumatic shopping experience.  Frances and I tagged along as our supervisor went into the pharmacy. 

Then we each bought a chitengue.  They were a big splurge: 20,000 Kwacha.  (only 4 USD)  They’re so versatile, I don’t know why more people around the world don’t use them.  People here use them for everything: they make a great skirt which many women chose to wear over a dress, they can make a great baby carrier tied onto your back, they can be used to lay on an examining table during antenatal clinic, or made into pretty much whatever you want.  We thought they would be a sound investment.  We’ve worn them as skirts and assessed their viability to hold children on our backs. 

After buying our skirts/ baby carriers/ bed covering/ shawls we went to shopright, a grocery store. 

And we shopped.  But not the way I normally shop.  I normally pick up a little basket and walk around to the parts of the store I need, then pay and leave. 

Our supervisor picked up a “trolley,” or shopping cart, that held two baskets.  It actually was brilliantly designed.  But we weaved up and down EACH isle, and our supervisor picked up things like mini klenexes (that can be used for toiletpaper in a pinch) and car battery brushes.  We quickly overflowed her two baskets.  And then kept shopping.

Frances and I don’t need that much food!  But then again, she is making Texas brownies and steaks for us on Sunday.  So maybe she did need that much food.


We drove home from Ndola to a rainy sun setting sky.  It was absolutely beautiful.  It reminded me of God’s absolute beauty.


The good news is, because we brought our storm sticks (umbrellas) with us, we didn’t actually get wet.

Except for when our supervisor decided there were so many bugs on the windshield that she should clean them off with her wipers.  Which only smeared the bugs.  So then she decided to toss water from her water bottle onto the windshield as we were driving 70 Kilometers/hour.  Which only got the two of us soaking wet, and left the smeared bugs.  So then, we pulled over and Henry got out and dumped the rest of the water bottle onto the windshield and motioned for our supervisor to turn on her wipers.  Which got him totally soaked as well.

Frances stayed dry but then she got attacked by a bug, probably just so we would all be even with karma.  

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