Monday, 7 April 2014

Six Months in Zambia

(written March 16; we've had little internet lately so was posted later)

Today marks exactly six months since we squinted at the Zambian sun for the first time in our sleep-deprived state. Since then, some things that were novel at first have become commonplace, such as:
-the Southern Water loudspeaker truck that drives through the neighbourhood once a month, reminding residents to pay their water bills or face disconnection;
-People balancing heavy loads on their heads;
-eating guavas fresh from the tree every day;
-tucking in the mosquito net every night;
-ants all over the kitchen;
-paid employees: cutting our grass, growing our garden, mopping our floor, and washing our laundry.

I have started a children's Sunday School at our church. Normally the kids (there are only a few any given Sunday) sit through the service, including the sermon, with a little bit of wiggling; ours are especially good at the wiggling part, so when the sermon starts I take them outside, along with any other kids who want to come. I feel like I get enough 'sermon' during the adult Sunday School time before the service; we are studying the whole Bible, chapter by chapter, and are in the middle of Exodus. In fact I have taken to leading this time as well, when our other leader is away. But today a wrench was thrown into my little system: I was asked to give the sermon next week. One of the other leaders jokingly said he will teach the kids...but I have a suspicion that they will end up wiggling around in their chairs instead!

I am enjoying my work at Chodort quite a bit now that I have found my place more. Last Tuesday I found myself installing cove-top (countertops) similar to what I was doing six months ago...some missionaries from the States had their countertops shipped in a container. (We also built and installed the cabinets.) However, there were a few minor differences between a Columbia job and a Chodort job:

At Chodort, the vehicle comes with a driver
-We are given money for lunch
-We have to slow down for cows on the road
-One of the carpenters rides in the back of the truck on top of the load
-We don't have any belt-sander belts so have to borrow a 110 volt sander with a converter from the customer
-We install the cabinets and the tops the same day. I cut countertops to size with a Skil saw and a jigsaw.
-We get paid for our four hours overtime the next day (how I managed to get paid as a volunteer I'm not sure--though the money will help buy more wall plugs, which I donated. Overtime rates are much less at Chodort than Columbia.

Overall, despite some stress, the job went very well and the kitchen looks amazing. We still have to go back with the upper cabinets and some odds and ends, though.

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