Community Entry

I’m working with the people in my village to become a successful member of the community and a volunteer.  The village that I live in is Songwe and is on the great east road between Katete and Chipata.  There are about 500 people, 1 school, 3000 cattle,  52 fish ponds (some of witch hold millions of tadpoles, are only about a foot deep, have trees growing in them and are abnormal shapes; but its a start) and an unknown amount of goats.  Its a great village tucked in between hills that supply the village with ample water, great for farming.  I am getting used to the village life; eating food cooked over a fire and bucket baths.  I think I have a bit of a problem with these giant bees that are eating holes in my walls and in the beams of the roof.  I also have just bought rat traps due to a small infestation problem but its not as bad as some of the places I’ve lived in through college at Akron.  I’m sure that I can make this place my home, all I need is some furniture and maybe electricity.

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My work with the village

I’m going to be working with farmers to make fish ponds and integrate them with other farming integration such as animals and plants.  Here are a few pics of me visiting different ponds and working with the farmers during site visit.

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I am going to my village for the next two months on Thursday and I expect that it should be an interesting time and a life changing event.  I hope that i can do all the things that they expect of me, and that I can live up to all expectations of the village and myself (the herder one).  I will be meeting 52 fish farmers in my village over the next few weeks; of witch only a few actually grow fish.  I hope that i can educate them and make the empty ponds full of fish and add diversity to their diet and a little money to make their lives a bit easier.

I will be working on meeting with a school teacher next week about letter exchange with a Miss Clarissa Grims class room at Citizens Academy in Cleveland.  I believe that due to the English language is the second language for the students in Zambia her 4th grade class will have to exchange letter with a class that might be a few grades higher such as 7th or 8th grade.  I plan to meet with one of the language trainers that is also a high school math and science teacher in my Boma, the nearest city of katete.

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Swearing In

Here are some photos from swearing in.  I hope everyone likes my matching chetenge vest and tie I had made with the fabric from Zambia.  I should a great Taylor in the city we had training in the back of a shake shake bar with a big tree. To give you more of an idea of what that looked like it had bars across the bar like a cell in jail.  I enjoyed the whole event.   I not sure if it was a good idea for some people to go up and ask to jump in the ambassador’s pool right after he swore us in, but oh well to each their own.  I guess at the end of the day it was a great time and we were on the front page of Zambia’s national news papers for as day and I look good in a vest for something that cost a little over five US dollars.

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My Family

Over the past nine weeks I’ve been staying with the Pheri’s; my host family.  I truely enjoyed staying with them and my amia showed me how to buy a chicken for dinner.  I was told that it must have big feet and must be heavy.  I guess, in general she doesn’t like to buy live chickens instead she likes to buy chicken pieces.  So this was something she didn’t like to do.  She showed me how to kill it, pluck, cut it up and cook it.  It oh most as good as my grandma’s chicken.  I also can some what say that in nyanja, the language I was learning.

I also was able to spend a great deal of time with the kind and one very small child Seba; a 1 and a half year old that had a few issues discerning sugar from sand.  Now that wouldn’t be a problem but about half of my village was in a sand trap and he would run over and eat sand.  He was a great kid and i hope to stay in contact with them as time goes on.

The family was great, I also learned a great deal about the family structure in Zambia.  There were the grandparents, the aunt and my parents.  There also was a heap of other kids from other relatives but when there is a problem in the family such as a death or health problem the extended family takes care of them as needed.  Its been said that because of people dieing of Aids its put a huge amount of stress on this extended family system, but in some cases I think that it truly does help and most likely has culturally molded the country in ways I can’t imagine.

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My New Home

I’m going to be living in the Eastern Province of Zambia, in a village called Songwe between Chipata and Katete.  Here are a few photos from my first visit to my site to meet a few people from the village.

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what to bring

heres whats on the list of things to bring to Zambia let me know if i should take anything else

PACKING LIST

rain coat, fleece or line jacket, a sweater,3-4 good t shirts,2 year supply of cotton underwear,1 bathing suit, sweat pants (warmth & sleeping),2-3 shorts (athletic) for bike ect, few dress pants,few dress shirts, hat, button shirt and one jacket,2 pairs of good sandals,1 pair of boots,1 pair of sneakers,1 dress shoes, umbrella, head lamp, flash light, sleeping bag, tent, knife, music, mini speakers, games, hair elastics/hat, 2 water bottles, sun glasses, camera & accessories ,  travel alarm clock, money belt, journal , bicylce saddlebags, 8 color photos

kitchen-spices, can opener, basic cook book, ziplock bags,

optional -camel back, bed sheets double size 2 flat, binoculars, sm sewing kit, pictures/ posters/ maps, bandana, solar charger, sports equipment, batteries, film, sleeping pad, art supplies, laptop

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I’m going to Zambia!!!!

I going to be leaving to go to Zambia next month.  I’ll be honest and say that going there is a bit out of my comfort zone as far as where i feel safe and the CDC warning didn’t help my concerns about the country,

(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/zambia.aspx)

Its some interesting reading.

I think that I should be ok all and all once I touch down and get my proverbial sea legs under me in the new place.   The place looks amazing overall and it should be great to go there and volunteer there.  Its just going to be a heck of a thing to pack everything up before I go.

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