Katey in Zambia

My adventures as a Peace Corps HIV/AIDS Project Volunteer in Zambia. *The contents of this blog are my own opinions and do not reflect those of the United States Peace Corps.*

Friday, October 13, 2006

a pumpkin goes on an adventure... and other stories from the bush

So, apparently one cannot hold productive meetings until anyone who would be at these meetings has first come to your home to "welcome" you to their community. In my case, this meant that an 8am meeting finally happened at my headman's house at around 2:45pm at which I was not allowed to conduct any business, but was to introduce myself, my job description and recieve gifts from the people who came to visit me. However, this was 2 days before I cycled the 70km to Liz's site for a festival. Needless to say I didn't have time to cook and eat the pumpkin (along with the rice, and mealy meal, and groundnuts, and tomatoes, etc) that was given to me before I left. However, I was so excited to have a pumpkin that I wrapped it in a chitenje and strapped it to the back of my trusty bicycle and began the ride to Liz's village. I am happy to report that approximately 80% of the pumpkin made it there unharmed and Josh Liz and I were able to enjoy a delicious meal of steamed pumpkin with sugar and cinnamon... oh the highlights of life in the bush.
Among other random things.... on our way to Chipata yesterday Liz and I had quite the transportation adventure... it included: a man who "smashed a pig" with his car; a carribeaner (sp?) holding together a crucial part of a car; a giant hole in an essential part of a car; Liz's life flashing before her eyes; almost losing my eyesight from a shattered windshield (don't worry Mom, I'm aok!); a minibus literally falling apart as it drove down the road; a minibus driving through a cornfield; and finally embarasssing taxi drivers by asking them if they wanted to give us a ride to the toilet so that they would stop harrassing us!
Also: there is a large hill in between Liz's clinic and her house... at the top of the hill she kindly stopped on her bicycle to say, "Katey, just go as fast as you can down the hill and stay in the center of the path, theres a lot of sand." So, trusting her as usual, I followed her advice, only to find my face securely planted in a mound of sand and my body mangled in my bicycle. What Liz really meant was, "stay to the edge of the path through the sand, but then get to the center of the road quickly as most of it has washed out". All josh saw was a cloud of dust, and when he caught up, asked "Hey Katey, you alright?" to which I did not reply, but Liz looked at him and said "Eh, she's fine!".. oh the woes of bicycle riding!
I have my very first project now... I'm helping my community write a borehole grant proposal... which is sweet because then they will possibly have water. While many people point out that I may just be doing it for myself (since my pond gets worse as time goes on and I have to scrape the mud off of my candles in my filter every 12liters or so ... for comparisson, Liz hasn't cleaned her filter candles once since moving to site) I point out that nothing happens in a timely manner here, so I may reap the benefits of a borehole at the end of my service. I just hope it all works out becuase I am able to meet more people in my community this way, and they see that projects get finished! woot!
Lets see here... when I get back to the village I'm building a chicken coop so that Lucy will finally have a home, and I'm going to start a garden to get some variety in my diet. The biggest challenge, however, will be farming the 2 acres of land that have been alloted me in my village... maize, millet, sunflower, and soya HERE I COME! so, if you're into farming... come visit me in the next few months, I'll put you to work!
Sorry there aren't more pictures to show, I forgot my camera in Chipata last time.. there should be more updates just before Thanksgiving!
Miss you all, hope to hear from you soon!


Anonymous Tricia said...

Helloooooo from your mama and me. Love you!!!!

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Tricia said...

I said helllooooooo from your mama and me. We both love you!!!

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Tricia said...

Hello from your daddy and mama and Eric and me. We are all talking to you right now. Love you...

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Sarah Studer said...

Katey! I miss you and think of you often! I'm so glad to hear you are doing well... minus the faceplant in the sand and other transportation woes. Big hug.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Louise Boardman said...

Katey Rose, I have loved your stories and news, finally figured out how to respond via this blog. I'm challenged by technology. Who's Lucy? we have a new stray we've named Lucy...we adopted her for Sam, who needs a dog other than me! I hope your Lucy is sweet and that you do not intend to eat her!

You look so buff! All that biking must be doing the trick!

We think of you often, granny and Papa are soooo proud, as are we.

Uncle Russ is going to give money at Christmas in your honor to the Heifer project. Maybe your village will see another cow!

Love and kisses and a big hug. Know that you are loved, dearly

Aunt Louise

12:21 AM  
Blogger ray said...


hey sounds like the village is just ok. are you following? cant wait to see yall at ist!

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Gillian said...

Hi Katey!
I'm down for farming... I have a lot to learn, but what a great way to learn. Glad you are doing well. I miss you!

4:26 PM  

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