Hi friends :)
Can you believe that all three months of January are already done with! I have spoken to several people. In general, people seem expectant for what 2020 holds. Also, it looks as if in many people’s lives, there are significant changes that have happened or are pending in 2020. I can concur that 2020 had already brought a lot of change! Most people now know that I have now officially moved from South Africa to Zambia. I arrived in Zambia on the 27th of January and in Mongu on the 29th. This morning marks the start of my third week in January. Here are a couple of snippets of what the transition had been like.
Everything went so well with the travels! I flew Monday evening at 19:00. I had a window seat and sat next to a man named Hans. He is a vet from Mauritius. He recommends that if anyone is going to Mauritius, they should visit ‘Le Morne’ on the southern side of the island. I was then picked up by Immanuel, the driver for the backpackers I stayed at. I stayed at Natwange, the backpackers for two evenings. It was lovely. I highly recommend it!
I left the backpackers on Wednesday morning at 5:00 to catch the 6:00 bus to Mongu. I am so grateful to the person who dropped me off! I would have never been able to navigate the bus station without his help. It is big and busy. It was a 600km and 9-hour journey to Mongu. For most of the time I had no one sitting next to me, however, for the last 200km, Joshua, a man from Mongu, sat next to me. We chatted, but I didn’t learn any Lozi. My mind wasn’t up to it. With all the new going on, I couldn’t cope with a new language too!
I took videos as a way to capture the trip. However, my internet is very slow. I don't know if it is related to the many hours of load shedding/ power outages, or my network provider. However, I have spent over six hours trying to upload a video (I have three 40 second videos that I wanted to include). In fact, it took me an hour to upload six images. So this update won't have a video's. Sorry! I hope I can make a plan for the future. Here are a few pictures that I did take along the road/at the backpackers. Do you see how beautiful the landscape is? And also. the flower is a type of hibiscus (I think), that I have never seen before (click on the side of the images to scroll through them).
I don’t have pictures of the base yet (I still need to walk around with a camera), however here are images of what the house I will be staying in looks like. Currently, I am living alone, but a married couple will be joining me from March. The house has an open plan kitchen/living area that leads out to the balcony with an AMAZING view. It has two bedrooms and one bathroom (click on the side of the images to scroll through them)
And here are pictures of what it looks like after I spent the whole of yesterday unpacking and making it feel like home. There was a basket with some throws, sheets and curtains that I utilised. The table cloth is a folded curtain which is great because now it matches the kitchen curtain. (click on the side of the images to scroll through them)
Talking about the kitchen, I arrived to a power outage! And when there is no power, there is no water. Some electric tower fell somewhere, but yesterday it was fixed. Fortunately, the project has a generator which ran in the evening, morning and early afternoon. There are about 6-8 hours of loads shedding for three out of four days. However, the kitchen has a gas stove, and everyone here is in the habit of keeping water in the bath (for cleaning and flushing the toilet) and keeping water in a bucket or 5-litre containers. So it doesn’t affect anything that much. Late edit, the plan was to upload this on Friday morning, but then I had slow data combined with load shedding, and my laptop died. I had to wait until this afternoon to upload. Hello patience!
Also, it had rained everyday since I got here. Everything is beautifully green!. There was a drought in 2019 which resulted in food shortage. I have been told that in April people should be able to harvest crops for 2020. That is a huge blessing
Things to get used to
The picture shows me with a (dead) representation of my new enemy as well as my new best friend. ODOURLESS bug spray. Life changing stuff! I must admit. The insects blow my mind. All of the windows and doors have a covering to stop insects (especially mosquitoes) from getting in. Yet they do! Usually, I am against killing insects (we should all learn to live together in harmony), but that when out the window, when the insects came in the window. There were TWO spiders over my bed last night
Now, at this stage, I rather enjoy living alone so I was NOT up for house sharing. But if I killed them with spray, they would fall over my bed. I moved my bed away and sprayed them. As soon as I sprayed them, they ran across the roof and stood over my bed waiting to die there. They had figured out the ultimate revenge – they knew I didn’t want to share a bed with spider corpses. Fortunately, I saw their plan and I could move my bed again. Seems like insect hunting is going to be a new part of my evening routine.
It is very sandy here (think of your last holiday in Durban). So I need to learn to keep sand out of the house. Also, the sand had a black mineral in that STICKS to your feet. I washed my feet six times yesterday and I spent a further half an hour cleaning my feet before bed last night. I could only give myself 90% on the result (100% was the goal). My self-pedicure skills are going to improve drastically!
I still don’t have a complete picture of everything – that should happen soon. If there is anything I can pray for you, PLEASE let me know. In the meanwhile, for me, you can pray for:
The process of adapting
That I will learn the language and cultural mannerisms easily
That I will be able to clearly discern how God wishes to use me.
All in all, it is going well. Adapting has never been easy for me, so I am gentle with myself. That includes journaling to process everything and crying when I need to release tension. I am thankful that the house feels homely. I am thankful for the balcony where I can have my quiet times. I am thankful that everyone is friendly and welcoming. I am thankful that I packed tea and a teacup. I am thankful for ALL the messages from home, it reminds me that I am not alone. God is so good!
I should be orientated to my job today or tomorrow. I hope that I can start full force on Monday. I will take photos and videos as I go along. Also, please let me know if there is something you want to know more about.
I will update you on my job and what that base looks like soon! Until next time... :)