Winds of Change — A Zambia Log

I was going to feature a different post from my good friend Maddie’s blog, prefacing it with some comparisons of Northwest Province and Southern Province, but I saw this post and my heart sank and I knew I had to post this instead.

Maybe because I’m still trying to process the horror of Charlottsville, Virginia and what’s happening to my homeland from a continent away. Maybe it’s because, for the first time in my life, I’m questioning if America has a place for me anymore. Maybe it’s because, when a tourist couple approached me on a recent vacation and told me how self-sacrificing it was to live in such “primitive” conditions, I just smiled and didn’t say anything. Maybe it’s that I’ve tried to write several posts about the dire situation of climate change, particularly where I live, and have deleted them all after realizing that most people will stop reading after the first couple sentences when they realize it’s not a funny post or doesn’t have pictures. Maybe it’s all of those things, maybe it’s none of those things, and maybe it’s this and more.

I’m feeling a lot of stuff right now. But I’m reading this and my gut twists and I know for sure that I at least have to share, and maybe get off my ass at some point and finally make that post.

I’m waiting for the weight of my confessions to sink in. I think secretly I was hoping baTaata would burst into a fit of rage directed toward me, or transform into a superhero political activist peasant and fly to kick in the door of some executive offices somewhere.
But for a few paces my eager ears met only the sound of his lanky-legged footsteps on the sandy path. Then he just said calmly: “Yes, Maddie. I think you are very observant. Please, please try to tell them.”

via Winds of Change — A Zambia Log

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The Kawacha: another perspective on cultural adjustments

Black Mamba Dreams and Muzungu Things is a blog by my fellow LIFE 2017 volunteer based in Luapula Province. While Northwest Province borders the Democratic Republic of Congo on its northeast side, Luapula borders on the west. Both provinces have distinct similarities, such as higher than average rainfall and less NGO involvement. Luapula even has pockets of Lunda toward the border!  But, despite these similarities, every province has distinct cultural differences, expounded by the fact that Luapula is a Bemba majority province and Bemba is the language overwhelmingly spoken there. Language innocuously shapes almost every aspect of out lives, and even though Bantu languages are clumped together, they’re very distinct from eachother.

Ok, enough rambling. Here’s Catherine Grace’s thoughts on Bemba in relation to community entry!

Catherine Grace Norris

The Kawacha is a Bemba word meaning the sound of light. With this being an autosynthistic word, it goes to express how the Bemba language, while not always considered a highly sophisticated and written modern language, achieves a deep meaning using its traditional tonal structure. Depending on how it is said it can mean kawacha for money, kawacha for when the street lights come on, or kawacha for when the sun is rising; all determined by the tone of the word. While this comes easily for a native language speaker, I have to rely mainly on the context of the conversation to have any idea what someone is referring to and yet I am often still left doubting if I know what’s going on.
When talking money or indalama, as we call it here, I like to abbreviate and call it kwach. The kwach in its easiest conversion is currently…

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