Anthem  by Ayn Rand

Book cover: abstract shapes resembling pillars or columns.

Read: October 2017

Rating: Poetic prose; problematic politics. 

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Memoirs of a Geisha  by Arthur Gold

Book cover: a geisha looking solemnly away, her face half out of the shot.

Read: October 2017

Rating: A flashback to my mom reading my sister and I historical fiction on our front porch swing (a homeschool “win” if there ever was one).

How to Eat Pineapple!

It’s pineapple season, y’all! And in Ikelenge, “land of the sweet pineapple,” this means that there’s makondi nankashi (a f***ton of pineapple). Fortunately for me, everyone has been super generous, and I have been gifted a lot of pineapples whenever I do meetings or field visits (also by my host family, because I live on pineapple farm). So, I’m a BIT of an expert on the matter of eating pineapple now, and thought I’d spread my maana (wisdom) and explain the three main methods I’ve observed during community entry.

Method One: The “Copa Cabana”

Step 1: select your pineapple

Step 2: cut the top off of your pineapple

Step 3: grab a spoon

Step 4: dig in and enjoy!


Potential problems: Although Method One has been observed being performed with languid ease, the non-experienced pineapple eater will find that it’s f***ing hard to eat a pineapple with a spoon.

Troubleshooting: Stab the insides of the pineapple repeatedly (works best if done after attempting with spoon only, so as to build up rage). Drain/drink juice so as to get a better look at how jacked up the pineapple now is, as you desperately attempt to rectify the situation. Upon giving up, discretely hide the remains of the pineapple in trash pit upside-down so that it appears to have been fully eaten.

Attempts: 1

Method Two: The “Ice Cream Cone”


Step 1: select your pineapple

Step 2: firmly grasp it in your hand

OPTIONAL STEP: cut off the spikey parts of the leaves to make a better handle

Step 3: cut off the base of your pineapple

Step 4: peel off the sides with your knife while maintaining hold on top

Step 5: slice off bite sized pieces at your leisure

Step 6: dig in and enjoy!

Potential problems: it is possible that, in an attempt to be cool like your village compatriots, you will try to skewer a piece, using the knife as a utensil. With this attempt, you will almost surely slice open your lip, and will receive a whopper of a canker sore several days later. More likely is that you will lose roughly twenty-five percent of your pineapple by being too eager with your slicing, and failing to grab falling pieces as both your hands are full.

Troubleshooting: Accept that you’re a big fat loser, and don’t try to be cool ever again. Another option is to use a duller knife. Discreetly cover the fallen pieces with dirt so that it appears to be fully eaten.

Number of attempts: 12

Method Three: The “Fruit Salad”


Step 1: select your pineapple

Step 2: place your pineapple on a clean surface

Step 3: cut off the the top of your pineapple, following suit with the sides and base until fully peeled

Step 4: cut into cubes

Step 5: place in a dish and serve

Step 6: dig in and enjoy!


Potential problems: Method Three most likely requires the use of several clean dishes, of which you may not feel like cleaning for just one lousy pineapple, and is also the messiest of the methods. Additionally, Method Three is lame, and reminds you of Betty Draper sadly staring out at the 1950’s suburban wasteland, wondering what it’s all for as she prepares the pineapple for some racist garden party.

Troubleshooting: use dirty dishes. Alternatively, don’t wash your dishes after. Use this method as an opportunity to drift into existential melancholy or, if ennui isn’t your thing, try and imagine how Don Draper would describe this moment in an ad pitch for canned pineapples.

Don Draper: This device isn't a spaceship; it's a time machine

Attempts: 5

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FamGram

When I studied abroad my junior year, something that really surprised me was how life goes on at home. I’d prepared for me to do things and change and grow, but in some weird way I’d expected everything to stand still and wait for me to come back, which is obviously not how life works.

In order to acknowledge that other people are, in fact, living elsewhere in the world, and to send some shout-outs to the peeps keeping me updated, here are some pics people have sent me of what they’re doing since I’ve been in Zambia!

My friend Niki from France is traveling across South America, and she met up with my dear from Patty in Cartajena! It's a small world.pattysuarez1669 Thank you for introducing us all.. We are remembering you here!!! Cheers!!!!

My friend Briana bringing up college nostalgia with her stuffed cow.bwinga1 Did you know I still have Elmer? Did you know I named him Elmer? Do you even remember this cow?

A picture my friend Elise took of sunrise on New Zealand's South Island.dbf42utk If you become a nudist just remember sunscreen!

My mom has gotten into scuba diving and recently dove off the coast of Florida!phyllisann5256 Yay! Back in my happy place!! 🙃😎Saw an 8 ft nurse shark and a yellow sting ray.

My longtime friend Claire got her first tattoo recently, and went big with an illustrated narwhal (her favorite animal). claireann03 Also… got my narwhal tattoo! On my inner elbow area! So detailed I love it

Martha went to her first Capital Pride this year and ended up in the parade!martha_notstewart My tye dye shoes for pride! 

My sister has been food foraging, and has been finding all kinds of delicious stuff in nature!carissa512 Today’s foraging adventure: black raspberries, summer apples, yarrow, day lilies, wood sorrel, peppergrass, plantain seeds, common mallow, wild carrot leaves, clover flowers

Mana serving up fresh-caught tilapia realness in a fitting room!manadelcielo 💜💙💚💛❤🎉💫👑

My cat, Sylvester, curled up with his godmother and being cute as ever!carissa512 It’s hard to complain when you have a cat that holds your hand when you read! #pretendingthisisanactualmessagefrommycat

My friend Nina and her boyfriend hosted a 4th of July cookout, which my sister and some hometown friends attended.ntaylor_94 I miss you. Hope you’re safe and doing good. ❤

I'd bought my dad a gift card to a Frederick restaurant (Ayse Mez) and he wanted to let me know that he's now a regular!johnniewhoops85 Jalepeno, feta cheese n watermelon….wtf!!

Status

Future Line-Up

Highlight Reel + Photo Dumps

I’m going to try and post these at the beginning of every month, but posting pictures is a pain and takes up a ton of data, so it probably won’t happen until I’m in the provincial capital. I also haven’t been able to post during community entry just because of data, so photo dumps might not be every month like I originally planned. Sorry!

Book Club 

I wouldn’t say I’ve read a LOT during community entry, but I’ve definitely gotten back into reading (post-college was a huge slump for me).

Just to kind of share how much time I’m wasting, I’m gonna post about each book I’ve read with a super serious, in-depth review, and then follow up the next day with a quote that stood out to me. Think Oprah’s Book Club, but if no one cared!

TED Thursday’s

The first Thursday of every month I’m going to try and post a video that has:

a) inspired and resonated with me,

b) taught me something new and exciting, and/or

c) has been relevant to me during my time in Zambia.

I think it’ll just be a fun way to share what I’ve learned and touch on stuff that I haven’t written full posts about! It might not be the only time I post media, but I thought it would be good to have a set time.

Featured Blogs

Every now and again, I plan on stealing content from other volunteer’s blogs in the hopes of pilfering their views. In an ideal world this would be once a month, but more than likely will just be when I stumble on something rad.

Misc.

I’m gonna try and post non-category stuff from time to time. I’d wanted to write a post about trying to figure out where I stand with my vegetarianism in Zambia, but I couldn’t really figure out what I wanted to say exactly, so I’m putting it off.

 

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