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. :)