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Neyi munakukeng’a kwikala kajila kami…

… you gotta get with my friends!

In the interest of proving that I’m not, in fact, faking my Peace Corps service for an art project, I figured it would be a good idea to post some pics of the people I interact with on a daily basis.

My Language Class

George

What he did: international relations major, grocer

Fun fact: George was supposed to be an economic development volunteer in Mali, but then ended up in Zambia after the program was pulled.

Anniki

What she did: microbiology major, forest firefighter

Fun fact: Anniki biked the Pacific Crest Trail (from Wild!) from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.

A Golden

What he does: language instructor for Peace Corps! Also a farmer in an amazing conservation farm that, unfortunately, has been seized by eminent domain to build an airport :/

Fun fact: A Golden speaks seven languages and is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.

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(left to right) Me, A Golden, Annikki, and George

My Host Family

A Pamela

What she does: kicks butt all day every day! If you ask her, she says she does nothing but she: sweeps our courtyard, carries water for the whole family, cooks, farms/gardens, takes care of her kids, runs a store an hour walk from the house, and feeds the plethora of livestock on the compound.

Fun fact: She is supposed to be my host mom, but she’s only 25, so we’re just siblings.

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A Pamela slaying at cultural day

A Emmanuel

What he does: farms maize (corn), soya, cattle, pumpkin, groundnuts (peanuts), and owns two stores

Fun fact: While he doesn’t speak Lunda, he tries really hard to use it whenever possible, and makes fun of me when I cave and greet people in Bemba on the street.

A Emmanuel and I

A Dorothy

What she does: grade 12 at the girls’ school in Chipembi, little sister of of A Pamela.

Fun fact: She’s an amazing singer!

A Mary

What she does: grade 12 at the girls’ school in Chipembi

Fun fact: She’s a terrible liar, as proven when I taught her and Dorothy how to play BS

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Dorothy (left) and Mary (right)

A Beauty

What she does: grade 4 (?) in primary school.

Fun fact: Whenever I say hi she giggles and runs off, so an enigma. Sometimes throws corn cobs at my butt.

[need to get photo of Beauty from George]

A Stanley

What he does: rolls a barrel up and down the hill in our compound, dances to music, throws temper tantrums.

Fun fact: probably my best friend out of Zambians I’ve met, because kids are so easy to make friends with! You like rolling barrels up a hill? Cool, let’s roll barrels up the hill. If you are tall enough to pick him up to grab pods off seeds, you’re in.

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A poorly timed picture of our neighbor Patrick (left) and Stan (right)

Chamuka Dogs

Spot (aka Whiny Wendy)

What she does: bullies the other dogs into giving her their food, whines a lot.

Fun fact: Wendy had puppies! She had a litter of 6 but we’re down to 4 😦

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Wendy and her litter

Spot (aka Spot)

What she does: knows that she’s the cutest one and milks it as much as possible

Fun fact: She also had puppies! All three still kicking it!

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What a bae ❤

Spot (aka Skinny)

What she does: fails to grab scabs in time, somehow has tons of energy

Fun fact: She survived a snake bite, or some other form of poisonous assured death! We thought she was a goner but she is still running around!

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Skinny with her face all janked up

Really Cool Peeps I Also Happen to Have Photos Of

Maddie

What she did/does: Getting her masters in food studies, worked at a co-op!

Fun fact(s): Is an amazing storyteller, studied acrobatics in Australia (what???), geniunely awesome in every way.

Maddie loves to make goofy faces in pictures.

Maddie and I one day into Zambia

Sam

What he did: Engineering major, forest firefighter (strange number of forest firefighters in my life now).

Fun fact: He thinks that Sauron is the true hero of Lord of the Rings and thinks Gollum gave the ring a bad rap.

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Sam on a bike ride, also blinking.

Everyone Else 

They’re cool too, but I don’t take pictures very often and am already tired of writing fun facts

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Status

I’m Alive

Hey y’all, so I’ve been slightly plagued with phone issues since I’ve been here, so that is why I haven’t made any posts since flying out! In light of that, I’ve decided to just do one info dump, and then later I’ll do some individual stuff.

First off, I’ve spent the last month(s?) in Chipembi, which is located in Central Province, very close to Lusaka. LIFE volunteers have their pre-service training (PST) here because there’s a good agricultural college in town. I’m learning Lunda, a language which is clustered pretty much entirely in the northwest corner of Northwest Province, but is more widely spoken in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In light of that, learning Lunda has been more challenging than other language groups, because almost no one speaks Lunda in Central Province. There are two other LIFE volunteers learning Lunda, and we all live in the same (awesome) homestay due to lack of Lunda speakers, just to give you an idea.

So, where will I be posted in May? The northwest corner of Northwest Province, near Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (this was a test to see if you were paying attention). More specifically, I’ll be working in Chinyazhi and Lundungu, which is about 5k from Ikelenge. I realize that this is not clarifying at all for people not in Zambia, so picture a peninsula with Angola to the west, and the DRC to the right, and I am in that peninsula. This is one of many (three) parallels between me and The Poisonwood Bible, the other two being that I’m coming in to work with gardening and agriculture, and that I have seen a (albeit very dead) green mamba)*.

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So, what’s so cool about Lundaland? Well, Ikelenge is the countries pineapple capital, so that’s pretty dope. Also, I have had extremely positive experiences getting lost in both Ikelenge and Mwinilunga, two BOMAs in the Lunda part of Northwest (BOMA is a term from British occupation, essentially a government center or large town. I’m not 100% sure if Ikelenge is technically a BOMA or not, because it’s really tiny, but it’s the closest town to me). And the volunteers already serving in NW seem to be pretty cool, so I’m excited. PC Zambia is somewhat unique in that we have provincial houses, with 4 days allocated each month to spend in them, so I feel like volunteers within provinces see each other pretty frequently.

I’m currently on the back end of site visit, and will try to post a couple more specific stuff when I get back to Chipembi!

*I also have seen a dead black mamba, which disappointingly doesn’t look very much like Uma Thurman. BUT, there is a snake that’s commonly mistaken for mambas that DOES kind of look like Uma Thurman, so keep that in mind.