Why "Bald Eagle to Fish Eagle?" We have traded one nation for another for 4 months and are living in Lusaka, Zambia while Andy completes his seminary mentoring.

The other day, Benjamin and Andrew asked Andy while driving down the road, "Do you know where you're going?" Andy replied, "Yes. This is my home town!" And it's true. Lusaka, Zambia is Andy's home town. Beth grew up here for a couple of years. But it is also very new. Join us on our adventure of discovering Zambia for the next 14 weeks.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Driving in Lusaka

I've been driving in Lusaka (Beth) since about the third week here. The first day was memorable. If you had been riding in the back of the car, this is what you would have experienced:
"Ok, put it into reverse. You are driving on the left. Easy on the potholes. When you turn left (self-talk), you're going to turn into the LEFT lane."
"Mom, why did you just turn on the windshield wipers?"
"That's where the blinker is at home."
"You're driving on the left and you're turning into the left lane."
"Mom, stop turning on the windshield wipers!"
"Watch out, Mom, you're going to..." (Crunch)
"You just drove off the road."
"I know, the roads are narrower here, and they're washed out on the edges--be patient with me."
"Mom, watch out for the.... (Wham, car flies into the air) Ow, you're going to kill us." (The speed bumps are high and camouflaged so that it is hard to see that they are there until right when you're upon them. I didn't do it quite like that again.)
We arrive at the vegetable market, head home and it starts to pour rain.
Benjamin in the back, "Well, at least you know where the windshield wipers are!"

Visitors 2

People have mice in the States.

And we do have geckos in the States too, but not many of them are the size of an adult hand. We had one yesterday using our curtain as a playground. Lizards come to visit periodically--they are more afraid of us than we are of them. We have spiders (more often in our other house) the size of a large yogurt container lid, hairy and flat on the wall. They're as common and as harmless as Daddy-long-legs in the States.

It's the cobras that get the strong reactions--hooded cobras. Our friend who is living in Andy's parents' old house discovered one in the office in a corner. It hooded up as she walked in the door.


Andy's Version of the Story: Drew woke us up this morning with the announcement that there was a mouse in the toilet. Sure enough there was. Beth came up with an idea to capture him in a yoghurt container, I managed to do it, and then tossed him way over the fence into the grave yard. Hopefully he will decide he is a country mouse and not a city mouse after that experience.

Verbatim of the Conversation

Andy and I are sound asleep.

Drew: There's a mouse in the toilet.

Andy: What?

Drew: There's a mouse in the toilet. 

Andy: What did you say?

Beth: There's a mouse in the toilet. M-O-U-S-E. Drew, is he alive?

Drew: Yes, he's swimming around and I have to go!

Andy gets up to look and then comes back into the bedroom and stands, staring at the window.

Beth: Is it really a mouse?

Andy: Yes.

Beth: What are you doing?

Andy: Trying to figure out how to get him out.

Beth: A stick?

Andy: A stick??

Beth: Yes, so that he can climb out.

Andy: You want him to climb out and then run around the house.

Beth: Well...no.

Andy moves the mosquito net aside and sits down on the corner of the bed.

Beth: Lord Jesus, we have a mouse in the toilet. We have NO idea how to get that mouse out. Any ideas would be much appreciated.


Beth: What about dipping him out with a yogurt container?

We did--see first paragraph.

The end.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Our Home

We live in a 600 sq. foot cement block house in the middle of the seminary's student "village." The boys sleep in the master bedroom (so that they have floor space to play) under Star Wars Episode I sheets provided by a loving missionary friend. Andy and I sleep in the smaller bedroom that has a storage room large enough to hold a dresser and a wardrobe. (It doesn't lead to Narnia--Benjamin checked.) We all sleep under mosquito nets that hang over our beds.

When we awaken and go to sleep, we hear deep-throated bird calls, birds that repeat the same resonant note over and over like an alarm clock, birds that sing scales.  We also hear the rattle of pans as people prepare to cook their meals and singing as women scrub clothes under the faucets and sweep the dirt in front of their homes. In the evening, we can hear TVs playing an American TV sitcom or someone playing their guitar with friends singing on the back porch. Lately, as Zambia has progressed through the Africa Cup to the finals, voices erupt out of the dark to cheer a recent goal.

Our dining room/living room:

Our kitchen cupboard:

Our bathroom, suffice it to say, is functional.

And Benjamin wants me to tell you: "I'm tired of the electricity going out."

Monday, 30 January 2012

The Croc Farm

A few days ago, we went to a croc farm. (A croc farm is a place where they grow and keep crocodiles.) There was a bumpy road we had to ride on to get there. We looked at some snakes while we were waiting for the tour. Then we swam in the rain for an hour. At lunchtime, I ate a croc burger. After that, we went on the tour of the croc farm and saw big fat crocs. (Andrew)

A crocodile is...

A crocodile is...

...a very big, very fast animal, who has a mixture of green, gray, orange, and yellow on its scales. Its body is long, round, pointy and very bumpy. They can grow up to six feet long. They eat meat. They are very good swimmers and very strong, but not friendly.  Crocodiles are interesting animals not to be played with. (Benjamin)

The weaver birds at the farm fascinated me. Dozens of flashes of yellow caught and held my attention. The ones shown here built their nests in bushes hanging right above the crocs' heads--can't imagine wanting to raise my babies there. I then discovered weaver birds right outside our front door when we returned home. (Beth)


Sunday, 29 January 2012

Jet Lag--Belatedly Posted

Finally getting over jet lag enough to actually write about it. Most everybody knows what jet lag is--and many, many know what it feels like. I asked members of our family what they think about jet lag.

Benjamin: "Jet lag? Ugh. Wow! Really? It's...well...really...yucky!" (The following pictures were taken during my failed attempt to keep people awake until bed-time on our first day in Zambia.)

Andrew: Drew and I were in the same bed, I guess because we had the same level of sleeplessness. We worked crossword puzzles together--ones in Games magazine. "Baby owl" was the clue. We were stumped. Somehow we fell asleep and then woke up about 2 or 3 in the morning. He rolled over--"Owlet." Sleepily I respond, "What?!" "Owlet. That's the baby owl. You know--in the crossword puzzle." I affirm his insight, roll over and reach for something outside of the mosquito net. "Mommy--don't write it down now!!"

Andy: No comment--he has censored the picture of himself asleep in a chair with his mouth hanging open. 

Beth: I obviously worked crossword puzzles in bed under the mosquito net. I got hungry about 11:00 at night--raided the refrigerator. I woke up about 2 or 3AM, fell back to sleep about 4, slept until about 5 or 6, got up and then wanted to pass out at 3 in the afternoon. I walked through my day with a smile on my face, a dazed look in my eyes and hoped (and prayed) that anything that came out of my mouth would not be regrettable. This lasted for about 8 days and then I fell into routine.