Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Life in Zambia

Where do we begin?

We've already been in Zambia one week; time flies! As we got off the plane in Lusaka at 530 am, we were introduced to the warm, African sunrise and the friendly security at the airport. Shortly after customs, Lisa picked us up and we traveled to our first guest house. By the time we were introduced to our bedroom, already made our decision. Our bags fell to the floor and we fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows. 

We were very tired and the jet lag was catching up to us. It wouldn't have been so bad, if we didn't spend two nights in flight and a ten hour layover in London (to the Tower of London we went).  But by 10ish, we were abruptly awoken, thrown in a van, and brought to the SIM Zambia headquarters. The missionaries here are quite friendly and surprisingly multinational. It is great to see how Christians from all over the world are coming together in ministry. After some training with one of the missionaries, Vijaya (Vee-gee), we were invited to her house for some Singaporean food. What an exciting first day!
Dan at the Tower of London
Brittany at the London Bridge
Us at the SIM office in Lusaka

On our second day in Lusaka (Lu-sa-ka), Lisa brought us to the Scripture Union regional office for a quick meeting with the Director. Then we travelled two hours by bus to Lisa's house in the Mazabuka (Ma-za-boo-ka) district, which is where we will be spending most of our time.
This is where we are staying

After getting acquainted with the Zambian culture, we were on the move again by Thursday, to visit Precious, a Zambian national, in Gwembe (Gwem-bay). As soon as we were welcomed into Precious' home, we began learning Tonga, the language of the Southern Province tribes. We tried the national dish, Nshima (pronounced shee-mah), which was delish! You know how much we love trying international cuisine. Precious even surprised us by having authentic Zambian outfits made for us with the Zambian flag in the print.
Precious's wonderful home. 
Lisa, Precious and Brittany
Supper! Nshima!

On Friday, we went to one of the local primary schools, and taught our first Life Skills class. "What is Freedom?" was the topic, which described how we are free to make life decisions but we must understand that we must face the consequences. The group that received us was 110 boys and girls, from grades 7,8, and 9.

Saturday, we met at a local church men's and women's club, where we gave our testimonies, presented Scripture Union, and discussed the problems which youth in Canada and Zambia face. On Sunday, we were presenting again at church while Precious preached on trusting in God, (a favourite of Dan's).

Lemon tree!
Town of Gwembe

It was difficult to leave Gwembe, as the people were so friendly and the hospitality was spectacular. On Monday morning, we returned to Mazabuka to start working with the local SU office. When we got there, we met with the Peer Educators for Scripture Union and discussed our role in this week's school visits. These young Zambian men and women teach the Life Skills program in the districts' local primary and high schools. They often choose to do this between their completion of high school and the start of post-secondary education. 

Today, we visited the first two schools, and we had a blast! The team split up and taught two classes on what love is and how God loves us. We really felt that the students got the message and that they are excited for more lessons.

I just thought I'd mention that it's our anniversary today so we will go out for a special supper after our bible study tonight.

Finally, just a couple cute stories.

Since we've been here, we've been going for morning runs. Each morning, when we arrive at the track, there are a few kids who join in with us for a run. It makes us smile when we see the same kids waiting for us.

A few days ago in Gwembe, Dan was working out at an outdoor sports field. He found some cinder blocks that could be used as weights. During this exercise, he noticed a group of ten boys spying on him from behind a brick wall. This is normal, as the Zambians are quite curious about us. He disregarded them and continued his workout, until he heard some giggling. As he turned around, there were ten small boys, between the ages of 5 and 9 who were imitating him while he carried out his workout routine. To his surprise, they were even lifting lifting small stones, broken bricks, and any rubble they could find.

Thank you everyone for your love and support. We miss you!

xoxo -Dan and Brittany

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