“In your own body, don’t all the different cells know what to do? When to grow and when to stop growing? When to form certain substance and when not to—and when they form them, just how much to form, neither more nor less? Each cell is, to a certain extent, an independent chemical factory, but all draw from a common fund of raw materials brought to it by a common transportation system, all deliver wastes into common channels, and all contribute to an overall group consciousness.”

-Isaac Asimov, Foundation’s Edge


“I am not a scrapbooker, not somebody who tried to organize what I will remember. After all, there are a lot of years I want to forget. Nor did I want to shape something after it happened […] It seemed like my interpretation of what happened would get in the way of the actual experience. I wanted to remember things as they were, and not as I created them, by choosing certain photos, or saving certain items, or labeling certain moments.

Of course, I had it all backwards. It turns out that most of what I remember are the things that accidentally did get labeled, or pulled out, or sorted. How is it possible that I can forget the dearest moments of my life? […] I never wanted to forget those things; I never thought I could forget those things. Turns out, forgetting is easy.”

-Laura McBride, We Are Called to Rise

Highlight Reel: August 2018

Cute and flirty: Kind of sad entry, but Ikelenge Crew is gone! Sid completed her two years, and Jacqs is moving on to bigger and better things as the new provincial leader in Central Province. Also, the extension volunteer in our district wrapped up his time as well. So it’s just little old me in Ikelenge now! Why is this cute and flirty? Because I got to spend some quality time with my besties in Solwezi before they left the province for good, and Sid and Jacqs dancing epitomize cute and flirty, respectively 😉

Something I learned from my community: Did you know that if your chickens have stomach and/or intestinal worms, you can cure them by feeding them papaya seeds? Well, now you do! Just give them roughly three to five seeds per day until you start seeing dead worms in their feces. Us westerners have a tendency to crap on traditional medicines (and rightly so with rhino horns), but I find it so fascinating!

Something my community learned from me: At the end of August I attended Camp GLOW 2018, and thank goodness I was not the director this year! Hashtag never again. This year I led sessions on nutrition and substance abuse. The nutrition lesson was so much fun; I led a food group game outside, and afterwards my friend Ashley did a cooking demo for banana bread. In Zambia, everyone is taught three food groups (Go: carbohydrates, Grow: proteins, and Glow: vitamins/minerals) and banana bread has all three of those. Plus, it’s delicious and a good IGA (income generating activity)! The substance abuse activity was less fun and ran pretty long, but I’ve grown very passionate about this issue, and addiction isn’t something that is properly explained or widely understood. Did I already mention I didn’t have to right the grant or direct the camp?

Shower Insights: Remember how I complained about how cold it was in May-June? I’m reaping what I sewed. It is so freaking hot right now. Like, I’ll be in a terrible mood and I’ll have to ask myself “am I actually upset/stressed or am I just over heated?” Then I’ll take a bath and yup! It’s the heat. Instantly feel better. Come on rain!

Hero of the month: Podcasts! For keeping me distracted enough to keep gardening and thus take fewer breaks.

Villain of the Month: The goats that ate the avocado tree I’d lovingly raised from a seed. Twice! They waited for it to regenerate and ate it again. They subsequently got trapped in my duck pen and broke the fence in panic, but I’m less mad about that.