Mulishani (Hello in Bemba)
So its been almost two weeks since I left beautiful BC to the amazing Zambia, Africa!! It took us four long, exhausting fun days to get here because we spent a night in Dubai and a night in the capital city of Zambia and had to space it out because if we traveled nonstop it would have taken us 35 hours to get here.
The weather is amazing (25-28 degrees), the people are super friendly (they believe in building relationships first before getting down to business), the food is awesome (I’m addicted to nshima!) and the Zambian’s don’t believe in time so things get delayed ALL THE TIME!! I don’t mean minutes, I mean hours!!
I started my work at the Third World Images Project and am involved doing psychosocial counseling with clients who have HIV/AIDS. My site supervisor and myself went literally into the bush to meet 7 of our many clients to check in with them to see how they are doing. They are all infected with HIV/AIDS and are all on medications called ARVs that they need to take daily for their lifetime. It was really sad to see their situation and living conditions because many of these clients have children who are infected as well who were most likely impacted via breast feeding because that is one of the ways children can contract HIV/AIDS.
I will be working with these clients for the next three months and will be able to teach them life skills, conduct focus groups, one to one counseling, and also learn from them what works for them. I have a life skills session planned for this upcoming Wednesday where the clients will teach me how to make a floor mat!!
On a lighter note, I will be away next weekend to go on a safari trip and play with lions and hippos!! We are also going to stop over and admire Victoria Falls (the biggest waterfall in the world by volume and one of the seven natural wonders of the world).
I know its late back home, we are 9 hours ahead of you. It is 9:36am here and I’ve been getting up super early for work. We commute by mini buses that are jam packed and do not leave the filling stations until the buses are full. That’s partly why people stroll in late for their meetings or work or whatever they need to do.
For the most part, I am having an amazing time here and love it here!! I admit I do not enjoy the freezing cold showers in the morning and do not enjoy having the water turning off whenever if feels like. Right now I am waiting for the water to turn on so I can go have a shower For now the electricity has been good to us and has remained consistent for now!! Hope it won’t go off on us at all.
This past weekend was long and amazing where I was soaking in the sun and relaxing to some music. On friday it was a holiday; Africa Freedom Day so the crew and I took it easy on the weekend. I am going to sign off now and will keep you guys posted soon on my upcoming adventures!!
Shalenpino Mukwai!! (Goodbye in Bemba)