Added: Jobeth Mckinsey - Date: 18.12.2021 14:45 - Views: 46211 - Clicks: 4000
I am excited to represent Zambia in the global Peace Corps competition, the winners of which will attend and participate in the inaugural Third Goal Mobilization Summit in Washington D. This competition will serve as a major part of our efforts to elevate the Third Goal and infuse best Third Goal practices throughout the volunteer lifecycle.
My dad served in the Peace Corps as an aquaculture volunteer in Papua New Guinea fromstarted a fish farm shortly after returning to the States, and has been growing, harvesting, and selling fish and water plants ever since. He loves it. Me growing up, not so thrilled about fish farming. So of course once I was an adult who could make his own decisions, I left my nice, clean, air-conditioned office job, ed the Peace Corps, and now live without air conditioning in sub-Saharan Africa working as a Rural Aquaculture Promotion RAP volunteer.
Or, in other words, fish farming. Patrick Chansa is a bright year-old who finished secondary school last year, speaks fluent English, and wants to study forestry at the University of Zambia. For the time being though, Patrick is a member of a newly formed fish farming group in Kampampi.
Last Wednesday he took me to visit their new pond site. After reaching town, we turned off the tarmac onto a bush path that twisted through a bucolic forest and then coasted down into a vast grassy dambo valley. The pond was almost finished, smelling like freshly turned mud. The smell of development my personal madeleine. No matter, this just meant I was able to spend more time catching up with Sarah, a former preschool teacher who is, true to vocational stereotypes, exceptionally good-humored and patient as a saint.
Once the gang had all assembled, we headed out to the pond site. The roughly 15 x 15 meter square of swampy land had been slashed tall grass cut short and burned to clear the plot upon request before my arrival. Rubbing some dirt under my fingernails, I got to work explaining the purpose of the pond staking and demonstrating each step of the process. Together we appropriated small tree branches for use as pond stakes, measured out the perimeter of the pond, hammered in stakes, calculated the slope of the dike walls, and linked all of the stakes together using twine.
At one point in the afternoon I managed to throw in the word utonfukumfuku natural springs as I addressed the group, garnering a hearty laugh of appreciation for my pronunciation of this tongue-twisting and slightly obscure bit of deep Bemba. It was a much more effective deployment of local language than when I made the mistake of practicing the most phonetically repetitive word in Bemba in front of the kids who hang out on my front porch. The deep purple water lilies that grow abundantly in the swampy dambo areas, gorgeous flowers which remind me of the farm ponds back home, remain unpicked even as they bloom alongside women washing their clothes and children in the stream.
The flowers cannot be eaten or sold so they are, for all intents and purposes, worthless. The kind that pops out in the kaleidoscope of colors radiating from the chitenges that every woman wears, no two lengths of brightly dyed and boldly patterned fabric alike. The kind that is embedded in the careful workmanship of a brushmaker who spent an hour and a half in my insaka trimming an armful of freshly shorn grass with a homemade knife and patiently binding it together with thin strips of rubber recycled from old bicycle inner tubes.
After I bought the brush, I took a closer look at the handle. By painstakingly weaving the rubber strips under and over the tightly packed grass in a deliberate pattern, the man had added a personalized flourish: a simple de of a flower. In characters or less, of course. May 16 — Had myself a wild night scratching ten MTN cards to put talk time on my phone.
May 19 — Did laundry. Vowed never to wear socks again unless absolutely necessary. May 21 — Had an appointment to go see the chief. Waste of good socks. May 24 — Brought out my Martin Backpacker to play for the kids and they ran for cover. Guess it does bear a passing resemblance to an assault rifle. She took her sweet time. I really, really had to go. May 31 — Asked some kids how they put out fires. Watched in horror as a 6-year-old calmly stamped, barefoot, on the burning grass. No big deal. June 2 — Witnessed an African witchcraft ceremony at dusk with chanting, a witch doctor, and something glowing red.
June 5 — Have worn my Patagonia down jacket for three mornings in a row. Was sweating in a t-shirt by 3pm each day. Welcome to cold season. June 7 — Third flat tire in the past two weeks. June 8 — Hobbes: 1, mouse: dead.
Snapped this from my phone as I was riding home from the market this evening. Wanted to share it as a public reminder to myself never to take this, any of it, for granted. Or in other words, getting to know the neighbors. So every day I set goals for myself to leave the physical and mental security of my castle and go out into the fishbowl to mingle with the people. I take regular walks around the village, stopping in at various households to chat and butcher my Bemba.
So community integration is happening, one interaction at a time. Even if my cat is the only living thing within a six-kilometer radius who I can speak to in Bemba without it laughing in my face. Last Saturday I headed over to the school to watch Nshinda play Kampampi. And when a goal is scored, a flood of wildly cheering women and girls and small children rush the field from all directions and take up a victory lap around the perimeter, singing and running in a big, exuberant, colorful, noisy mass. And for the icing on the cake, there was a celebrity on the sidelines of this inter-district primary school match that day.
I told them my name, announced that I live in Nshinda, and asked them to guess my age. It took about ten minutes of suggesting ages like 8 and 56 with a straight face and eliciting serious nods of agreement before one small boy toward the back piped up with the correct. I could have predicted that. The kids were transfixed by their reflections in my big aviator sunglasses and kept jostling for better vantage points. It boggles the mind.
Also a huge hit is taking pictures snaps of kids and then showing them the images of themselves on the display screen. In fact, their entire days are free time. Something we have in common. Cute always helps. Labor is ridiculously cheap, especially when the laborers are football-crazed little boys.
As they happily reaped the rewards of their labor, four more boys arrived and were told they had to pay their dues before they could in the game. Most mornings I sit on my porch writing in my journal, greeting the bamayos who walk past and holding court with the kids who congregate in front of my hut. The smaller ones arrive in waves and sit in my insaka, or spill out onto the shaded dirt, and the bravest inch onto my patio.
It seems that my language training has given me exactly the right level of comprehension and vocabulary to have an animated conversation with a bold 5-year-old. For another, the well is pretty much exclusively the domain of women and children. So me drawing my own water is relatively not that big of a deal. People live in mud huts with grass roofs in rural Zambia, but this oversimplified description is a bit misleading. My actual house is more like, well, like a house. A few of my neighbors have houses this big, but they also have a dozen people living inside.
For one person, this place is a veritable mansion. Bought in Mansa: wicker chair Made in the village: bench, table, chair Made by me: hanging wire shelves, guitar hanger, wire chitenge hangers. They vary in price depending mostly on quality and a bit on how willing a shopkeeper is to bargain; I buy the cheap nylon prints for K7.
The premium, cream of the crop Congolese chitenges are made from heavy waxed cotton and will run you KK The first room to the right is my kitchen. I installed the running line and hooks for easy storage of pots, pans, vegetables, dishrags, and cooking utensils.
Perishable foods go into two large plastic buckets like the one pictured beneath the table. I draw and carry water using three five-gallon buckets like the red one in the foreground. The custom food prep table is my new baby.
The table was ready in two days, exactly to specification. Wish I could give him a 5-star review on Yelp. On the opposite side of the kitchen is a bookshelf I bought from the Peace Corps provincial house in Mansa before posting. On top are my water filter and washing bucket for easy access while standing, and the shelves hold spices, oils, and other nonperishable foods in sealable containers. The short hallway is separated from the front two rooms by a sliding curtain made from a chitenge that I took to a local tailor, strung across a wire I nailed over the top of the entryway.
I put up maps on one wall of the hallway, with a string stretched across for hanging cards. My overarching goal for home improvement projects was to get everything off the ground. In the hallway I made a pullup bar from wire, a tree branch, and duct tape, hung from the big center rafter. My bedroom is simultaneously the most sparsely furnished and most expensive room in the hut. Mattresses are relatively expensive here in Zambia for the quality you get.
And bed frames, though very reasonably priced for the amount of raw material and labor that goes into making them, still relieve your wallet of a lot of kwacha.Free phone chat line Chabilikila
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