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.*

Monday, January 29, 2007

At Long Last!

Sorry to all of you who have sent me: text messages, letters, posted comments, and sent emails expressing your anger at my not posting for a LONG time!
Here is a rundown of my zam-life since November! Oh, and Happy New Year!
December:
1. There was one bad week in there where I met a snake at my front door at night (which my neighbors killed after I yelled in (surprisingly) comprehendable Tumbuka for them to come and get the snake); my roof leaked (badly); and I was stung by a wasp which made my hand swell to twice its size (I have a scar... ask to see it sometime!).
2. I went on vacation to Malawi for Christmas with some other PCVs and their friends from the states (see... their friends visit!). It was a wonderful vacation! We saw a bunch of different places in Malawi from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay. The most impressive part of Malawi was its development in comparisson to Zambia... the roads were paved (well) and painted! and it seems as though someone introduced a bit more urban planning! Needless to say, I was impressed, but happy to return to the familiar Eastern Province of Zambia and get back to work!
January:
1. I returned to the village and work really has picked up! I have meetings 5 days a week now (a lot of cycling) which is totally worth it knowing that something is getting accomplished! My biggest project right now is collecting information about all of the orphans in the area and starting a community school which will integrate HIV/AIDS education. For this project I am working with a VSO volunteer who lives in town. Its early now but it looks like it will be a success!
2. My house still leaks, there are bats that live under my bed (but the mice are gone!)... and I had a bike accident that would have been much worse had I not been wearing my helmet. These three things are grouped together becuase the end result is an egg with herbs in it burried in the floor inside my house to ward off the witch craft which (according to my headman) has caused my recent bad luck. For now the bats are still there, my wounds are healing, and I will buy more plastic for my roof.... the dogs huddle around my house though becuase they can smell the egg and want to eat it (so i guess that wards off any other pests that my have thought about moving in).
3. Along the lines of my bike accident... without ice, the next best thing is apparently hot compresses. So... in a surprisingly not awkward encounter while i was in a haze of my (minor) head injury a 40 year old woman boiled water, escorted me to my shower shelter, stripped me of my clothes and pressed hot compresses all over my head, back, arms, and legs where i had been bruised and scraped from the bike. It was interesting... but worked a bit! **** Don't worry Mom! The headache has subsided... I am FINE and back on my bike again!****
4. My bicycle, as a result of the accident is finally on its last leg! A crucial cable has now frayed beyond repair (which is why I am now in town on a quest to repair it!). Hopefully PC will finally be able to locate the part becuase I can't go back to the village until I have the part to repair my bike and ride it back! I would welcome the chance to be in town for a while if it didn't mean that I had to cancel multiple meetings (in a land where cancelling meetings means sending a letter through 5-10 people hoping it gets there in time so that people aren't dissappointed with you!) and trainings! Worst of all, I was finally going to start teaching HIV prevention at a school nearby... but the first day has been put off and put off and I clearly won't be there for what was supposed to be the "new first day" tomorrow.
All in all work is going well, life is going well, and clearly the bad things make for better stories! Remember that I haven't written since November, so its hard to remember what went on! On a high note, here's a story about Frida... a toddler in my village:
When bathing one night she pointed to the bottom of her foot (where her skin is lighter) and told her mother: "look, AKatey is right here!" Then, the next day she saw the birthmark on my hand and said to me "look, theres Frida, thats just like me!" So, as my Dad would say... humanity's essential similarities have prevailed and only a little child could point out the obvious... that we are all alike in some way!
Greetings from Zamland!
(Justin: you may send a letter now... I would have done so, but don't have your address!)
Oh, and I'm sorry, no picture updates... there's not much sun in the rainy season, which means not much solar power, which means not much recharge for my batteries, which means no camera!
Be well all!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mama said...

THANK YOU KATEY KING!!!!!

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll get on that whole letter thing Katey. also, my address is 8003 28th Ave NE, Seattle, WA, 98115, USA.

justin

10:11 PM  

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