Let me start by describing the photos... The first is myself and two other volunteers before a soccer match against the trainers in September...
The second photo is of Jon Q (Johnny Quest as we call him) at the same soccer event being silly.
The third and fourth pics are of Joseph, these were taken at another volunteers site when we made chicken... yes, those are the insides of the chicken that Joe is about to put into his mouth... no he doesn't actually do it. The one next to it is him making the fire rise from the Earth with the village kids around him. lol
So, Oct 1st I was posted at my site in Mukang'ala, Zambia. My hut is 8x16ft with a veranda of equal size! The first three months at site are "community entry" and we are not to really "work" until it is over on Dec 18th so I decided to do as much house repair as possible.I completely rain proofed my ceiling with plastic. This made my room so dark that I literally had to hatchet, hammer and push two bricks out of my walls to allow for more light. Before I did this there was only one window in my hut and it faced the North so I never got any light but this fixed the problem! I also had my housing committee concrete the inside of my bedroom. I have done some serious work in my gym. I mentioned some of that on Facebook... I now have a pull-up bar, dip rack, wrist roller, and I use 20L jugs of water for curls and lunges lol. I also have a concrete floor space for jump rope, abs, dot drills and what ever else I think of while working out! I have been having a lot of fun doing these things. I have not however gotten around to my garden yet. But because of the lack of veggies in my village, they may come when I am done with provincial meetings, which I am at right now. I also had my village put a door on my chimbushi (toilet).
For everyone waiting on photo's, I want to apologize for not having them up yet. I sent a compact flash card home with 1300 pics and someone stole it :( But this time I am sending them home on a CD so hopefully it makes it. Once my mom posts the pics on the website I purchased, I will give yall the details of it! So, very soon.
Biking: I have done A LOT of biking since being posted. I was just over 800km on Nov 1st and now I am well over 1,000km. I love it though. It is a lot of fun and great exercise. I bike to either the Mwinilunga boma or Ikelenge boma for veggies every weekend. Then, on Monday's I bike 13km to get service on my phone so I can check all the football scores lol. The road workers have been working to fix my road. From Ikelenge to Mwinilunga, they have been putting down a hard-pan gravel to fix what used to be super sandy dirt. Although I much appreciate their efforts, I was a little upset when I heard that the rainy season is going to make them leave for another area before they finish my road. That sucks because there are a few parts now that are even worse then what they were before.
Rain: Rain here is WAY WORSE then it is in FL during hurricane season. It literally rains 5 out of the 7 days a week, at minimum. It started raining in early to mid October and won't stop (from what I hear) until late March - early April. So I am not too excited about that. But the rain does have its benefits... I get to read all day long because Zambians don't go out in the rain. I have read a great number of books, as well have many of the other PCV's in my province. I guess it is just a great way to kill time.
The Fergusons: Ross, Mel and their three boys asked me to come up to their house (on the Nchila Game Reserve) to hang out and get to know them a little more! Michelle and Erin are PCV's that live really close to them and were also at their house when I arrived. After introductions and talking for a while, Mel made a Mexican pizza, 2 meat lovers pizzas and an awesome salad for lunch. After lunch, we had afternoon tea and desert, ice cream with chocolate syrup. They have electricity so they can have these things. The boys and I played a volleyball match and it seriously made me miss playing on the beach back home. But I can't even describe how great it felt to play again. I will be making many trips up there to play with Tim, their oldest, because he wants to get into the game. After volleyball was dinner. Mel made Potato's, beans and salad while Ross cooked the steaks. After dinner we watched a movie and had desert, a wafer chocolate pie/cake... It was incredible. I slept in their cottage and was the first to wake up in the morning. After taking a shower (yes, HOT) I went into the house and Mel and Michelle were just waking up. For breakfast we had pancakes and sausage with a homemade strawberry syrup. I couldn't believe that I ate these meals myself. It was all sooooooo good. Mel is also trying to start a business selling dried pineapple and before I left, I bought K70,000 worth. lol.
Cooking: I myself have been trying to cook different things and have actually come quite good at making different breads. I have now made banana, pumpkin, regular bread and flat breads! Because I don't have an oven, I use a double boiling technique. Literally, I boil a large pot of water and set the smaller pot with bread inside the larger pot. I have also made no-bake cookies for the kids in my village as well as for myself. When I go to Ikelenge I make sure to always buy meat from the butcher shop and have been working on different marinades for the steaks and hamburgers that I make. But meat is very expensive, so I don't get to do that too much. Besides the lack of fruit and few choices in veggies, I would say that my nutritional intake is actually quite good.
My adventures while heading to provincials was funny and kinda scary. I literally had no money when I started to head towards to the Mwinilunga boma on Sunday. I was planning on withdrawing money from the ATM in the boma, staying at the Catholic Mission and then catching a bus in the A.M. (our actual travel day) to Solwezi. However, when I tried taking money out of the ONLY ATM within 300km, it was clean out of money. I also didn't not have enough time on my phone to send a SINGLE TEXT. I was seriously S.O.L.
But then, luck returned to me when I saw Hunter and Siobhan still waiting to hitch out. Hunter apparently had the same problem as I did and Siobhan didn't have enough money to cover Hunter, and now I was added demise to this awesome party. Ha. So our only option was to hike into Solwezi a night early and hope for the best. Well, we got a hitch and arrived in Solwezi safely. I was able to pull out my money at the bank there and then we got to stay in the Provincial house that night. Luck was on my side that day... Or was it?