We got a tour of the village from Gertrude, one of the women who lives in Mwandi and works at the hospital here. She showed us the main street with all the shops and the buildings in the village where the people live. Most of the homes here are made from wood, mud, and thatch. We got to see the where the chief lives and the riverfront where the boats are stored and people set off to fish. Right across the river is Namibia, and we may go there eventually, but we are not sure about that yet. After the tour of the village, we met with the reverend and ate lunch and got ready for our next adventure of the day.
Our next adventure was going to an even more rural area. In this area, we were buying goats for the home health association started by the people in that area. We got to see multiple areas and play with cute little children as Brian ,the clinic and home health leader, and Eda picked out the goats and haggled the prices down. The goats are going to mate and be given back to the community as a way as raising money for the community. The idea is the the community is picking themselves up and are slowly becoming sustainable. It was so cool to be apart of that and get to meet all the new people in the villages. We even learned a little lozi , which is the local language.
After an 11 hour bus ride, and Tyler almost having to “go” in a water bottle, we made it to Mwandi! Mwandi is a very rural village in southern Zambia, located along the Zambezi river. Where we are staying, we have an excellent view of the river, where hippos graze and fishermen fish out of little boats like gondolas. Frolicking around are cows, dogs, and other assorted animals.
There is a lot more sand here than we were used to in Lusaka, and we are not kidding when we say it is rural. Eda and Keith are the hospital administrators here, and they have given us a very warm welcome. We almost didn’t get off the bus at the right stop because we stopped at a dirt parking lot in front of a small store, and we thought this couldn’t be the right stop. Eda soon came and got us off the bus and assured us that we had the right place. She gave us a ride to the mission center where we ate a very nice dinner and talked about the hospital and other projects for the village. We are at the mission center tonight, and we start working tomorrow. We would definitely appreciate all the prayers we can get, and we will tell you more about what we are doing once we get started!
Well today was an eventful day to say the least.
We went to a genuine Zambian wedding today, and once again, we were the only muzungus there. In Zambia, the guest only come for the reception. So when we arrived at the wedding our general was given the position of guest of honor so we got to sit at the head table. Then the festivities started by the swordsman coming to guard the bride and groom, since it was a military wedding. Then the wedding party danced into the room and proceeded to dance for a while. The MC was very charismatic and much different than anything we have in the states. He pretty much proposed to the bride before she came out with the groom and was cracking jokes all night long. Finally, the bride and groom came down the aisle dancing. After speeches from the fathers and the guest of honor, we began eating traditional Zambian cuisine. After the dinner, there was a dancer who came all the way from the Congo. She was a little girl who dance with a giant knife all the way to the cake. It was basically a sword. Seriously, it was huge.
After cutting the cake with a sword, (An actual sword, not the knife. This is a military tradition) there was a toast from the best man. This required champagne, which the groomsmen opened at the front of the dance floor. One cork actually sprang out into the audience and shot Katie in the arm! So yes, Katie can say she got shot today. By the Zambian Air Force. Soon after Katie’s near-death experience was the flower toss. The MC asked for all the single ladies to come to the dance floor so the bride could throw the bouquet. Katie went up after some debating, and the MC said if she caught it, she was coming home with him. She did… Catch the bouquet, we mean.
We took plenty of pictures and even helped open the dance floor. We will post those pictures tomorrow. All in all, we had a great time.
Sorry for the delay, we just got our internet back.
Anyway, God has changed our project but we are very excited! We actually get not one , but TWO projects now. So after a long two weeks of waiting we have our assignments. On Sunday, we will leave the comfortable city of Lusaka to the grass hut village of Mondi to work in a very rural hospital. We are the only hospital in the area so it should be very interesting. They say if you are quiet you can see hippos grazing and drinking water from the hospital. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing yet …
After three weeks working in the hospital , we will ride the bus 5 hours to come back to work in the city with two outreaches for orphaned children with HIV. We will be working in two different outreaches for a month.
We are learning that God’s plans are often different and always much better than our plans! We are so excited for these new adventures and for what God has in-store. Also we are praying that our new location has internet so everyone can keep up with our journey.
Today, we visited a couple of Christian children’s homes in the Lusaka area. We went to the Bill and Bette house and the House of Moses. The Bill and Bette house was for kids from the ages of 2 to 4. At both houses, the gates to the compound were painted. This one was painted red, and had the name and decorations painted on the doors. We had to walk through the red gates to get into the compound. When we walked in, all the kids ran to us and wanted us to pick them up and hold them. We both went through kids fast, picking up and holding one after another. The people there gave us a tour of the place and we got to see the beds, the schoolhouse and the rest of the facility. It was hard to walk around sometimes because the kids would pull on our pant legs and hold their hands up to us wanting someone to hold them.
The House of Moses was similar to the Bill and Bette house only it housed babies from newborns to 1. We had to remove our shoes and sanitize ourselves to enter. As soon as we entered , most of the one year olds started reaching for us. When two started crying we picked them up. Much like the Bill and Bette house the babies would all cry to get your attention. The baby Katie held cried and cried when she put him down. He cried so much that all the other babies in the nursery started crying. It’s wonderful that these homes exist. It’s just so sad that the babies are starved for attention. We felt really blessed to see the orphanages and loved playing with the babies!