First.Blog.Ever!

Greetings, fellow earthlings!

I figured that it’s about time I wrote my first blog, seeing that we have been enjoying ourselves for at least a few days already. πŸ™‚ Honestly, this blog has been more trouble than it seems worth at times, but then I think of all of you guys and realize that you are all totally worth it! *cheesy grin*

Oh boy, where to begin… Well, the flight over here was long, but luckily we had access to free movies (for Dee Dee, I watched “Saving Mr. Banks” and for my wonderful brother, I watched “The Great Gatsby”)! And yes Maumee, I did try to get some sleep πŸ˜‰ But praise God that we all got to Lusaka safely along with all of our luggage. Kim Busl picked us up in an old (but really awesome!!!) Land Rover which we crammed into for the just over an hour drive. The guys were dropped off first and Tanya and I finally got to our house around midnight.

My stay started with the discovery of a rather large spider (around the size of my palm); however, they are harmless and actually eat the mosquitoes and other bad pests. They are still not fun to find though XP

The first couple of days, we kind of slept in until 11a, but luckily not much had to be done. This morning, we had to be at a 7a staff meeting (:P), but I have yet to make it to a 6a breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, the food is, for the most part, really good! The only thing that I’m worried about is the Nsima (pronounced Shee-ma) – ground up corn prepared with the texture of rather stiff grits – which is eaten with one’s hands along with various relishes. The relishes have a lot of flavor, but the nsima can be rather plain. Its good in small quantities but the quantities here are anything but small. Haha so I guess we won’t be going hungry in Africa πŸ˜‰ Other than that, the rest of the food is delicious and the freshly picked bananas (seeing that this is mostly a banana plantation) are to DIE FOR!! I did try Chibwantu – a drink made from some ground up root and corn. It looks refreshing, like coconut milk, but let me tell you, it does NOT taste anything like coconuts. XP Even with adding cane sugar, which you are supposed to do, the taste is still questionable and the fact that you practically have to chew the stuff is disturbing to say the least. However, it is a traditional Zambian drink and I tried it. Yay me -_-

Today was our first official work day. The work week here goes from Sunday-Thursday to give the students at least one week day to get stuff done before the Sabbath. For now, I’m attempting to revive the RFI newsletter – which is turning in to more work than I initially realized. Luckily, I have a template to look over and bounce ideas off of (hopefully they still have the program on some computer that I can use). So my next few days will be filled with interviews on the various offices and programs offered here at Riverside. I’d greatly appreciate your prayers with that πŸ™‚ Thanks!

The people here are really quite lovely – going out of their way to help you, always greeting you, speaking slower when we fail to understand them (which still happens a lot more than I care to admit *sheepish look*), and setting aside food when we make it to the cafe late. I really hope to learn their language – mostly Tonga with some Bamba – and I’ve already learned like 3 words already (yay!!) but they’re just going to have to continue being patient with me constantly asking them to repeat themselves. Haha

I apologize for this seeming like a rant and most likely containing multiple errors… I guess I was just excited to get my first blog out and let you all in on what has been happening these past few days. There are huge differences between Zambia and the United States, such as wearing a skirt (have you ever hiked or jogged in one??? Not fun! haha), but it has mostly been a fun learning experience. Although I’m not exactly proud of the fact, I am glad to say that most of my typical American stereotypes or ideas of Africa have, for the most part, been blown to smitherines. For instance, they have sprinklers going all day here! What??! And of course, an abundance of food. On the other hand, Zambia is a more cultured portion of Africa, so there are still many, many places that are not as well off and that do struggle to survive. I am sure that you wouldn’t have to drive far to find people living like that. I guess it just makes me realize even more how blessed we are to live in a country like the United States.

One last thing before I sign off for the night: true to its name, Riverside is on the side of a river!!! The Kafue (Kah-phooey) River, to be exact. It is so beautiful to climb up the escarpment here and see the sun shining off the waves πŸ™‚ *peaceful sigh* Although it looks wonderful, I would not go swimming due to the fact that there are hippos and crocs living in it’s depths – and that’s just the stuff you can see! So for now, I will happily stay on the dry land.

That’s enough for now, and I will try to make another blog as soon as I can πŸ˜€ May you have a great rest of your weekend and a blessed week to come!!

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