Friday, August 26, 2011

so busy relaxing i forgot to blog!

I have really been enjoying my holiday time this term break. It has been very laid back and relaxing. I have had the time (and energy) to get a lot of little things done that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile but haven’t been able to find the time. Lots of sewing and reading has been caught up on as well as gardening and other ‘pass times’.

The one, I’ll call it “black spot” on my holidays so far was the week I spent in Lunda lessons. Although the lessons were somewhat productive and I actually managed to learn some Lunda grammar and a few phrases; who wants to be taking classes on their holiday! Add to that that I’m “linguistically challenged” (languages do NOT come easily to me) and I was pretty miserable that week; that and the bumping around in the car for an hour each day on the way to and from Kalene. However, I keep telling myself that it was a good grounding and now I just need to keep practicing so that eventually, one Sunday I’ll go into church here and actually understand the sermon without a translator or I’ll be able to talk to my gardener in Lunda so he knows that weeding does not involve ripping out everything in the garden, just the weeds!

Speaking of gardens, I’m quite proud of how my little one is coming along. I even remember to water it a few times a week. This is mainly because I’m afraid of what my students would do if they found out that I let the pea plants that they planted die while they were away. (we studied plants last term). They will be so excited to see how much their little plants have grown…. Ok, I admit I’m kind of excited about it too. :)

Even more exciting then that though was when the container boxes arrived yesterday! Lina got her’s first so I went over to her house and oohhed and aaahhed as she opened hers. Then I went home and opened mine. For me it’s like Christmas and birthdays all wrapped up in dirty cardboard boxes. Pieces of home and love sent over in the form of t.p,, p.b and homemade preserves (among other things). Each missionary has their own method for the opening/sorting etc of boxes. Mine is: divide and conquer! I open all the boxes sorting/spreading the stuff all over the floor as I go; much like Christmas. Then once the excitement has died down do I start finding places to put everything. As this is not quite as exciting it can take me a few days to complete. Others are more “organized” in their approach and open and box and put the items all away before moving on to the next box. Although I see the “benefits” to this (mainly having space to move in the house) I just don’t find it exciting enough. It reminds me too much of my days in retail which I would rather forget.

Before I forget, I want to send out a huge “THANK YOU” to everyone who participated and donated to the getting these boxes to me. I don’t know how to thank you enough! Ok, a quick ‘favourites’ list and then I must get back to putting things away.

Favourite item: I think I’m gonna have to go with the wild mushroom mix, haven’t tried it yet but am so excited about it as I haven’t had mushrooms in ages!

Most useful item: well that’s gonna be a toss up between the printer and the bright yellow rain jacket; both will be used a LOT this term

Funniest item: the “singing” flag…not sure who put that in (I’m thinking one of my family members) but Lina and I had a good laugh. :)

Most ‘home-like’ item: mom’s preserves. Looking forward to that taste of home!

Well, that’s it for now. Must get the house back in order as next week I’m back in my classroom sorting that all out. Only a week and a bit left till the kids come back… I think I’m actually beginning to miss them…

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Birthday wanderings

I discovered last year that I share my birthdate with Pam Ronald, the nurse (among other jobs) here at Sakeji. So yesterday we had a joint birthday party at tea time with the Brass Tacks team and the skeletal staff left on station (the Ronalds and Lina). it was nice and low-key, just the way i like it. :) After the small party, Lina and I borrowed the school's truck and headed over to Kalene. Our mission was a shopping one; the market at (near) Kalene has different chitenge (material) than the one more local to Sakeji as the Kalene material usually comes from the Congo and the Ikelenge material comes up from Lusaka. Before we began our shopping we stopped on the side of the road for a little picnic. This caused great entertainment for the locals. Some of the women were actually (what I would consider) quite rude, standing right beside our truck, staring, laughing and pointing while we ate. They then had the audicity to sit and wait for a ride (which they didn't get, partly b/c we weren't going the direction they thought and partly b/c we were too annoyed). We looked in the various shops, checking out the materials and other goods. We were a little discouraged at first but then found what we were looking for. Success! :) Our next stop was supposed to be a quick stop at the dentist to make appointments for later; but who wants to visit the dentist on their birthday, so we skipped that stop.
We decided rather spontaneously to go see the Rapids, a spot my family often went camping at on term breaks while we were here. After a long 'off-roading'-type drive we arrived at the campsite and I was bombarded with happy memories. I was quite shocked to see the changes to the river, I knew when they put the power plant in they had diverted the river, but i guess i hadn't expected it would be so different. My brother Chris may be happy to know that the slightly dangerous, 'higher' rapids that left him with scars, is now no more. The river was quite low as it is the middle of the dry season, but there were still children sliding down the wet rocks as we did in 'days gone by'. It was so nice and peaceful there adn although we didn't have swimming gear, Lina and I waded a bit through the water, enjoying the cool water chilling our feet white the sun beat down tanning our ours and necks. We sat for awhile watching some dragonflies dart about. I named this one vibrant red one, Lushomo, after one of my over-active students. The thing wouldn't stop moving! Finally it settled long enough for some pictures. After a time we figured we should get back to 'reality' and headed for home.
We were both pretty tired (Lina's still fighting off bronchitis and i havn't been sleeping well) so we had a nap before supper. we then went up to join the kids (Ronalds and Kennedy's (brass tacks team)) for some games. I actually missed most of the games time as my wonderful brother called to wish me a happy birthday. After that a few of us 'younger' adults stayed up to watch a movie and enjoy some cholate-strawberry parfaits. the strawberries were from my own garden which made them that much yummier!
and that was my birthday. it may not seem glamourous and exciting, but it was a great day and i enjoyed every minute of it. :)