My day usually goes something like this.......
Rain season....Farming begins....
I wake with the Rising sun.
Zambia life is dependent upon the use of natural light and manual labor. Each Zambian Province has it's own individual ways to bring in the money and security. Southern Provinces have a significant relationship with their farming systems with the help of cattle. I live on a compound with a Fabulous Tongan Family, the Masilani's. The majority of ones work is done in the morning. Milking the Cattle, washing dishes from previous night, sweeping yard and house, plowing and planting in near by Fields, hauling of drinking water from bush pump (2KM away from my house), weeding of gardens and Fields with hoes, and for yours truly tea drinking breakfast, cooking and maybe a little reading.
What types of foods do you cook LO?
Well anything that the locals grow that i can buy. Such as Rape, Cabbage, Onions, Eggplant(if I'm lucky) tomatoes, beans, Maize and Nsima. Nsima is a grounded up product of the local Maize that than is cooked into a thick paste that is balled up into your hand and used as a utensil for your relish of choice. the staple food of Zambia Maize. Not much Nutrition. i am lucky to be able to afford Chickens, Soya Pieces, Eggs and other forms of protein and Vitamins.
My days are usually dependent upon what meetings i have planned, Field work needed to be done, how my body is feeling, is it raining cats and dogs, do i want to travel and how far (usually at least 6km by foot because i broke my bike), and what day of the week is it. For instance the productivity of a Tuesday is much different than a weekend, mostly because of church going and resting done by the locals. Can i organize groups today or should i simply go household to household. most days i spend time with my Best Friend in the Village Lillian Masilani and we gossip, dance with other local women and cook.
Mosquito city these days. the rains bring glorious things to this Dry and hot Southern Province but also bring havoc Flooding and Malaria! sitting around fires laughing and talking are some of my favorite past times. I speak the Local language of CITonga and spend a great deal of energy and focus on learning as much as possible.
I am the First Peace Corps Volunteer in my area, Kabumbwe , Choma District. Meaning, that i feel my job is to slowly sensitize my village and the surrounding villages of what Peace Corps Works do in Zambia and about American Culture. My program is LIFE, linking income food and the environment. I was trained in many AgroForestry techniques and Income generating idea. Meaning I Am still the little Gypsy-Hippie planting trees spreading love and learning how to teach by asking lots of questions and working as a member of my community and not a foreigner trying to push development. My community is excepting me and my different ways of living with open arms and laughter. I found through Dancing i can make people fall in love with the idea of having an American in their community that wants to learn just as much as they do.
Plans for near Future?
I am Focusing on Environmental Education at the local Basic School because my community has a pre existing Agroforestry program, provided by a near by Forestry Agent BA Kaluba. I love working with children, so my futures are focused mostly on their improved education. I also have a Bee Keeping project that is building great momentum as well. What i really want to do is to start a Dance group that would educate about AIDS/HIV through Dance, Drama and laughter.
Also, many of the Women have been asking me to start a Net Ball, Sowing, Dancing Group. Many possibilities, I just need to get the ball rolling.
Wish me luck.