What a great night sleep!! Its been a while and I discovered what made the difference....a fan! Imagine...working power all night!! Yeah, you all get used to that -- but its not a 'given' here! We always sleep with 'noise' at home and here in total silence.. (and add to that the creatures partying above my head all night...shivering at that thought!)...so last night here in Chingola at Sharon's house...it was bliss. It rained most of the night and I woke very early this morning with very loud thunder. Suprisingly it turned out to be a beautiful day!
When we all got up Tanis was already gone to purchase some things she needed for the mission vehicles. She called and said to have everyone ready and that we'd head out to Kitwe right aways. We got on our way pretty quickly...about a 30 minute drive. I actually really like the drives.Always an experience. It amazes me how very quickly outside a modernized city you are back to the grass villages. Children walking the streets. Selling vegetables and goods on the road. There was a family sitting weaving baskets that they use for little dog houses, very cute! Tan said they sell for about $2-3 USD. Crazy. Then we stopped at a stop sign and I was snapping pics out my opened window as children came by selling vegetables...until they all stopped at our window demanding money. Even though the oldest was only 13-14 it was pretty intimidating. Tanis had my window up pretty quickly and all doors locked. 5 of them stood there faces peering into my window for a few minutes. Finally they left. Sad. There really is a strong lack of discipline in the families here in the villages. I would have thought the opposite. Tanis said children are just raised. They are never told no and they have no idea what "obedience" means or the concept of it. She says she has seen young children hit their mother in the face and they do nothing. You steal and lie to survive. Sex is not discouraged. 14 year olds get pregnant often. Its just what you do. Women are treated very poorly. Wow the things we have discussed today its ... unbelievable really. Its a mans world in Zambia it seems. Women work. Hard. They work in the fields all day. They have children. Many. 6 children is considered standard. They start young. You never see the men with the women. The women stick together with babies attached to their backs. The men cheat frequently and Tanis said their wives say "they are men, there is nothing you can do". Obviously there are Christian families that have a whole different standard. I'm talking about the villages. The bush. I'm constantly saying "whats in this for the women?" I have no answer yet.
We were on our way to LifeSong school. We arrived at about 10:45am. I couldn't wait. I walked up and introduced myself to a man who quickly introduced me to a woman. A teacher. I got the formal Zambian greeting and she encouraged everyone else I met to do the same. Lots of kisses. I just smiled and went along with it all. It was recess break for the children. There seemed to be hundreds!! There are over 200 orphan children at this school. Free Christian education and 2 meals a day. Clothing often provided as well. There were two moments of emotion for me. One when I first was introduced to the K5 teacher...all the children thought I was pretty important and so they started coming towards me jumping and waving their arms. They didn't stop until the teacher said to. I just stood taking pictures and smiling at their warm welcome. I was led through the school. Its screamed 'beautiful' to me. I can't explain it. The teachers and staff were beaming. The children were beaming. Everything was neat and clean. The staff in the kitchen were cooking huge pots of thick soup with tons of veggies. Women and men were peeling fresh carrots and potatoes. I walked through many classrooms. Special needs class. Preschool class. A barbor shop where men were shaving little boys' heads (was tempted to send C and Z in there! :). Then the best part was going to the 4th grade class. This is the oldest class as the school is 4 years old and these children were the beginning. Probably 20 students. The teacher led me to the front of the class and said "Say hello to Miss Janice" the class stood. And all of a sudden they literally burst into song. A song well rehearsed "welcome dear visitor to Lifesong..." it must have went on for 2 minutes that I felt time almost stood still. I cried. They were singing in parts, boys with girls. It sounded just like African Childrens Choir. I was speechless. I stood at the end, and said 'thank you, what a warm welcome" they all smiled and got back to work. It was so beautiful. Then we were led through the school's gardens. Eggplant, carrots, potatoes, corn, peppers, pumpkin leaves. It was packed.
We left there and headed to a studio of a photographer that only shoots his photos in Zambia. Kind of cool. Some GORGEOUS shots, Tanis bought one and so did Tamako. We may next trip. :)
Then we went out to my first restaurant this trip. "Mona Lisa's". A real deal Italian restaurant. It was amazing food. We had garlic bread and pizza. It was wonderful!
We came back to Sharon's where the boys and I had a brief nap. We all then got ready to go swimming. Ok...not really. Tanis and C and Z did. Ok...there is a reason. The pool....is .... very...Green. Seriously green. Like opaque green. Like there-may-be-snakes-at-the-bottom-green. Sharon said 'no no...its just the rain water clashing with the chemicals in the pool. So I decided I'd go for it. When I post pics you'll see ... its extremely green. We had a lot of fun swimming with the boys.
We had some visitors for a bit for 'tea' outside. Then we had a very nice supper thanks to Sharon. I will say my pain is significantly better today. Am thankful for that.
Tonight the boys watched a cartoon for a bit. I should be done book #3 tonight. Crazy. Haven't read a novel in years and I've read 3 books now in 4 days! I have one more to go that I may save for the plane. :)
Tomorrow morning we leave for Lusaka. Thats a 5 hour drive. Oh big news... we did laundry tonight!! That was my first load of laundry done...I thankfully packed well and was fine. Oh and our laundry was done with a washer! And dryer!! Yes thats worthy of noting since I've seen Tanis' maid wash clothes by hand last week in the bath tub.
I'm really excited about Lusaka. We are headed to a 'resort' tomorrow night with .... internet service! High speed!! Hopefully we'll get to video chat with Dean and the kids. And ... Sunday. The market . I am really looking forward to that. And Monday. The mixed feelings of Monday. Saying good bye to C and Z and going back to my family. This trip has some strange strange emotions. I think I'm about to experience that at a whole new level come Monday. I have become very attached to the boys. And...at this point, more importantly...them to me.
Good night all.
A special goodnight to the 5 peoples who have my heart...on the other side of the world.