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)*.
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.