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!
We apologize for not getting the blog up in time yesterday. We were having trouble posting because of internet problems. The one for yesterday has been posted now, and this one is on time.
Today, we started the day early because we went to the church service at St. Andrew’s church, which is affiliated with the United Church of Zambia. The church was filled with the sound of music from the moment we walked in, and it was a mix of hymns, African worship songs, and some hymns that had been made African with drums and other African instruments. Katie gave Tyler the camera, and Tyler spent a lot of the worship service taking pictures of the different people and groups that sang and played songs (which we will post soon, we promise!). During one part, Elizabeth led a women’s choir in a song that they danced to the front of the congregation to perform. After most of the songs had been sung, the congregation welcomed its visitors, and gave us flowers and sang a welcoming song to us. The sermon was very good, and the speaker finished with a powerful prayer, followed by communion. It was a very warm reception, and a beautiful service.
After church, we ate lunch and then headed over to the Sunday market. This was one place we really wanted to see, and the vendors there had many different kinds of goods. Most were very African, and many were handmade by the people selling them. The people there love to barter. Part of the excitement of the market is trying to see how good of a price you can haggle, and we think we did pretty well for our first time haggling in kwatcha. At one point, Katie got trapped haggling for something from a vendor and the rest of the group didn’t know where she was. This wasn’t for very long, though. A blond muzungo isn’t hard to find in an African market. We got our friends and families gifts to bring back to the States, but we won’t let them know what those are until we can give them their gifts! We walked back from the market along the road with Emanuel and Michael and their friend Sidney. We passed one house where someone was coming out of the compound gate, and a little boy, probably four or five years old, saw us and shouted, “Muzungo!” We all laughed and continued back to the house where we spent the rest of the day playing with the kids. All in all, it was a good Sunday.
(For those of you that haven’t read our earlier blogs, “muzungo” is the word here in Zambia for a white person that speaks English.)
Today, we went to two different functions with our host family. Tyler went to a financial seminar with Crispin, and Katie went to a Zambian wedding shower with Nora. At both events, we were the only white people (or Muzungos as the Zambian people call us.) In fact, at the financial seminar one of the photographers came up to Tyler and said, “Muzungo! Smile!”
At the seminar, a Zambian motivational speaker named John Boya led the session, and encouraged people to get control of their finances. He was a very funny speaker, and kept us all entertained. Cris graduated from the program today, and got a certificate in the graduation ceremony.
Katie’s adventure began by being led into a room of hundreds of women dressed in traditional African outfits. Then when it was time to begin we all watched as the Screams and Chants filled the room as the choir sang, the family of the bride and groom brought the bride in. In African the bride has to be cover with a cloth and sit until the groom enters. When the groom enters the Screaming and Chanting begins again and people throw money and block the groom from getting to the bride. Finally, after some dancing for his bride the groom begins to unroll the cloth of his bride from the feet to the head.
Then they are presented to one another and their mothers and mother-in-law and accepted as a family. Then the party eats. Over the microphone, the bride undergoes “wife training” from her elders . They explain how to be a good wife and all of her duties. This bridal shower is called a kitchen party, because everyone brings kitchen appliances. Today the bride received a stove and fridge and many other things you use in the kitchen. It was a very interesting and fun experience!
Below is an example of a Zambian kitchen party.