Today is Wed. and Moses and I will be heading to Ndola on Sunday morning. Nyambe has family there who have offered us a place to stay and transportation to court. I will miss all of my friends in the village, but am so ready to come home. Our adoption hearing is scheduled for 8:30 Tues. morning the 30th. If all goes as expected, we will then immediately get a bus to Lusaka to get together all the legal documents we need to get his visa. We have less than 3 weeks to accomplish this so it will be a crazy time. Thanks for all your support and prayers. Have a great Thanksgiving!
The staple food here is nshima, and is usually eaten twice a day. It is made from finely ground corn which is cooked in water until it is thick like mashed potatoes. It is eaten with vegetables. Without nshima, the family faces severe hunger. Most families grow their own maize, harvest and dry it and store it to use throughout the year, grinding it as needed to make the nshima. This years crop has just been planted as it is now the rainy season. The crop will be harvested next March. Unfortunately, because many families cannot afford fertilizer, last years crop was poor and now they are running out of dried maize, and will not have enough to last until harvest time. A 50 kg bag of maize costs 72,000 kwacha which is about $15 and will last a small family for a month. I’ve used some of the money you have donated to buy maize for a few families. It’s hard knowing that this problem is just the tip of the the problem of extreme poverty in Africa and that what I see here is being repeated all over this continent. No one can come here and not be deeply affected by what they see.
It’s caterpillar season! The caterpillars here are enormous and apparently quite a delicacy. Everyone goes out collecting them. They are also an income maker for many people as they collect huge quantities of them and transport them to bigger cities like Lusaka to sell. They are cleaned (meaning the guts are squashed out of them, yuck) and then dried and cooked and served with nshima. Several people have tried to get me to try one but there is no way that is getting passed my lips! I was picking them out of trees on my way home from Chilonga the other day. I had a branch that I was hanging them on like Christmas ornaments. People I passed on the road were laughing at me. “Musungu (white person) are you going to eat those caterpillars!” NOOOO, I’m going to give them away. So funny! I gave them to an old couple in the village along with some tomatoes and greens. So they enjoyed a nice caterpillar dinner that night.
I went with Nyambe to the water source this morning. There was no water in the village and he needed to find the problem. It was fun and challenging as we had to climb up the rocks and waterfalls to reach it. The problem was at the water intake where the pipe was blocked with leaves. Now that it is clear the water is flowing again. Because of the very hot temps here, there is some sort of bacteria in the water that is giving many people very bad stomach pains. They have been advised to either boil their drinking water or add clorine to it. Most people don’t heed the advice though as they have been drinking water straight from the river for generations.
I’ve seen many awesome birds since I’ve been here. Some have long flowing tails that are 3 times the length of their bodies. Some are beautiful colors, red, blue, green,yellow and even purple. I’ve been keeping a log of what I see with dates and locations. The water source is a good place to birdwatch. There is plenty of trees and water and it is secluded.
I came to Chilonga to us the internet today, and to get a cold soda. You know I must be desperate for a cold drink if I’ll walk an hour each way to get one!
Moses is so excited to be going to Ndola. He is counting the days on the calender. His english is getting very good and we are working on his english reading skills. There is a childrens library at the Mango Tree where we borrow books. Right now he is probably reading on a 1st grade level, but he is learning quickly.
Well, that’s all for now. Hope you are all fine.
We went to Kasama which is about 3 hours north of the village. I hired a driver to take us because there are no buses going there. Arrived at about 12 and waited till our scheduled court time of 2 only to be told that the judge would not see us in Kasama. Now we must travel to Ndola, which is about 6 hours from here by bus. Our new court date is Nov 30. The judge says she will grant the adoption then. She has delayed us because she wants me to be in the country for a full 3 months. Moses is excited though because he has never been to Ndola, so for him it is an adventure. We should only be in Ndola for 1day before traveling to Lusaka to do the final paperwork. Hopefully we will be home on Dec 20, in time for Christmas. I was hoping for a big Thanksgiving dinner! Oh well, it’s o.k. because it is the outcome that is important.
It is sooo hot here, I’m actually looking forward to coming back to cold weather! I’m sure that will wear off quickly once I’m home.
Love you and miss you
WHOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! We have our hearing with the High Court on Friday. Your prayers for an approval would be appreciated. We are all so excited that the end of this journey is almost over and a new one about to begin. A new son and a new grandchild! I can’t even tell you all how happy and excited I am.
Everything here is going well. We are fine. Hopefully this time next week we will be in Lusaka getting a new birth certificate for Moses as well as his passport and visa.
I’m in Chilonga right now which is a very small town about an hours walk from the village. On the walk here a man passed me on a bicycle with a goat strapped to the back. As he passed me, the rope holding the goat came loose and the goat fell off of the bike. We helped pick up the goat and strap him back on and the man went on his way. Poor goat was soon to be made into sausages.
It’s the rainy season now. Last night it rained so hard, I thought we might have to build an ark! It’s nice though because the rain cools things down and makes sleeping easier.
That’s all for now. I’ll let you know how things go on Friday.
Love you all and miss you.
Hi Everyone, Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile, but getting on the internet has proven to be very difficult. Anyway, everything here is fine. Moses and I are good. As you may know, the local Magistrate denied our adoption because I had not been living in Zambia for 3 months and has referred the case to the High Court in Kasama which is about 2.5 hours from here. I have filed all the paperwork with the court there and am waiting for the arrival of the High Court judge this Saturday. Hopefully we will hear something by next week. Life here goes on as usual. The people in the village never cease to amaze me. The other day, Moses and I heard a loud bang coming from the road. A tractor trailer had blown a tire and the remnants landed alongside the road. One of the children, about 12 years old went running from home to the road. The truck driver gave him the huge piece of tire tread. It took several children to carry the prize back to the village. When the children came by, Moses talked with them. The boy wanted to sell the rubber to get money for school books! I bought the tire for the equivalent of 10.00 You would think he had won the lottery, he was so happy. Now there is a huge amount of rubber for repairing shoes in the village. Love and miss you all terribly.
As a result of poor internet connectivity in Zambia, this update has been brought to you by Marcus and the letter “Q.”
All is well in Zambia. Sorry I have not been able to give any updates for a while. The internet is very unreliable. Moses is great. Almost always in high spirits. Our house has been completed. It looks wonderful. I will post photos when I get to Lusaka.
Tomorrow is our court date to finalize the adoption. We visited the court magistrate today just to be certain all has been filed and that all our paperwork is in order. We don’t want anymore surprises. Tomorrow’s court appointment has been set at 9am. Please pray that all will go smoothly. This could be the culmination of 4 years worth of fussing. We’ll let you know how it goes.
After this we will be able to go to Lusaka and finish what needs to be accomplished there (birth certificate, passport, etc..). Then….::drumroll::…we come home!
This is all very exciting. We miss and love you all. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
Things are going very well. We will be given a court date on Monday to finalize the adoption. it seems surreal that things are finally happening after all this time. Moses is very happy and excited that soon his name will be Moses Nkhata Price and he will be coming to America! he was so excited to talk to everyone at pop’s birthday party. He is still talking about it. He’s so funny. The other night he was singing and dancing, pretending he was on stage with Marcus’s band. He had Nyambe and me cracking up. We have no water today. There is a huge break in the water line somewhere near the water source on the mountain. Nyambe and some other men are working on it today. Hopefully it will be repaired soon. Yesterday there was a big brush fire behind Nyambe’s house. Fortunately, I came home in time to see it and called the man who is working on our house for help. He came and another neighbor came. We spent the next hour throwing water on it and beating the flames out with branches until it was extinquished. It burned quite a large area before we put it out. Fortunately no homes were damaged. Nyambe just came back. They were able to repair the water line and now it is flowing again! The house is coming along slowly but surely. We hired a man with an ox cart to deliver more sand to mix the concrete for the floor. Hopefully the house will be done early next week. Sorry there areno pictures. They are to slow to load. I could go away and take a nap and they would still be loading when I came back, so you’ll have to wait till I get home. A women died in the village a few days ago. We knew when it happened from the sound of wailing and crying in the night. It was so sad. The load sound of crying went on for 2 days. The night before the funeral, the air was filled with the sound of beautiful singing and drum beating. The funeral was yesterday. It was a sad time for the people here. She was only 49 and leaves behind 3 young children. Moses is going to a Young Pioneer Camp this weekend. It is similar to our Boy Scouts. He is very excited to be going. He looks so cute in his little green and white uniform. Missing you all soooo much. Patti…..I am looking forward to a giant Srarbuck’s iced tea and a pedicure. My feet are ruined from walking on rocks and dirt in sandels. Pop’s…Guess what? I’m hungry! Haha! I want a big breakfast at the Barn, lunch and icecream! Love you and miss you all. Kathy
I know that some of you have visited African villages but for those of you who haven’t, I’d like to give you an idea of what it’s like.
From the road you may not even notice that there is a village as it is mostly hidden in trees and bush. At night, because there is no light pollution, the sky is is lit by more stars than you knew existed. It is like a blanket made entirely of bright points of light. It is one of the most beautiful things you will ever see. In the daytime, you can see the beautiful people…the women dressed in brightly colored shetenges (wrap skirts) and head wraps, so many children with their ever running little noses, so eager to help with the slightest task. Everywhere you go they are there, wanting to sit on your lap or hold your hand, always laughing and smiling , despite the fact that they are among the poorest people on earth. Yet their faith in God never wavers. Being here is a humbling experience. One that never leaves you. The poverty can be startling. Jobs are almost nonexistent, so most people are sustanance farmers. They eat what they can grow. Last year the rainy season was very bad and many crops rotted in the fields. Very bad if this is your main source of food and income. Most Zambians live on less than a dollar a day. Imagine having to care for a family, not only of your own, but often containing the children of your relatives who have died from TB, Aids or Malaria. Many grandmothers who are elderly, caring for their grandchildren and having to walk miles to a plot of ground where they try to grow what food they can. Yet in spite of this they are ever smiling and thankful for what they have. It shames me when I think of the times I have gone into the grocery store and been bothered because they didn’t have the type of bread I liked or were out of 2% milk. A man came to the hut where I am staying and sold me bananas. 27 bananas for 2000 kwacha, the equivalant of 40 cents. That is probably his income for the day.
Now thanks to the hard work of Hope Beyond Borders, there is water being piped throughout the village. This is huge, as they now have clean drinking water and are able to have small gardens by their homes which they can tend more easily and water daily. The problem is keeping the wandering herds of goats from eating everything. One of my daily chores is chasing one particular herd which seems to like Nyambe’s garden. I can’t help but laugh at them though…they are so cute with their babies trailing along behind them.
The staple food which is eaten with most meals is called nshima. It is a doughy food made from finely ground corn, and mixed with oil and water and cooked until thick, the consistancy of play dough. It is mostly a filler for hungry bellies. It is broken off in pieces. rolled into a ball between fingers and flattend, then used as a scoop to eat whatever is being served with it. Usually cabbage, beans, tomatoes and eggs.
The children love school and are always eager to show you what they have done that day or to sing a song they have learned. There is a dress uniform and shoes which the children are supposed to wear, but the teachers and headmaster of the elementary school understand that they come from poor familys who can not always provide these things. However, once a student reaches upper grades, the uniform is required. It breaks my heart to see a child who so wants to learn, being sent home because he or she does not have the proper black shoes or the required shirt or pants. It is hard to understand. Perhaps it is because there are not enough spaces in school for everyone and that is one way of reducing numbers. I don’t know.
Once a week or so, we take the Mango Tree Van into the closest town, Mpika, which reminds me of a town from the old west, with it’s dusty dirt roads and run down store fronts. But there is electricity, so you can get a cold coke and buy a lunch of chicken and chips(french fries). There we buy supplies for the week, vegtables and eggs and fruit from roadside vendors.
The day begins early at 5:30. You get up and light a fire on a small charcoal stove and heat water for cooking and washing. (I’ve gotten quite good at lighting the fire, which is good because it can be very embarrising to have a 7 year old take the matches from you and starting the fire because you are not doing it right!) Then making breakfast, washing dishes and clothes in large tubs, sweeping out the house because the wind blows quite hard this time of year and the house gets very dusty. Most houses have thatched roofs and dirt floors. Nyambe’s house has a tin roof and concrete floor, so it is easier to keep clean. The house which we are having built in the village also has a tin rood and concrete floor. It should be done soon, the floors are being done now and then Moses and I can move in. I’ll be glad when it is done because Nyambe has been so kind. He is living in a tent next to the house so that I can live inside. The people here are so kind and helpful. Yesterday, I was hanging wash, and the pole that was hodling up the washline broke and all my wash fell in the dirt. I had to rewash it and while I was doing that, a young man walking by saw what had happened, came into the yard, dug a hole and set a new pole for me.
There is very little in the way of privacy here. Where ever you are there are children watching your every move and following you where ever you go. They are fascinated by people with white skin as we are a rare sight. They are always toughing me and stroking my hair. I will look up and see children hiding behind a tree, peeking out at me, smiling and waving. This is an amazing place full of love and hope.
The day ends very early, as the sun is now setting at 6:00. It is amazing to be sitting outside in pitch darkness, and have a visitor come walking out of the darkness. I am told the people have “Zam eyes” LOL They are used to walking in the dark so it is no problem. We have many visitors at night. The days work is done and it is time for socializing. By 8:00 it is time for bed to get ready for another early day, when you will be awakened by the sound of birds singing, roosters crowing and goats bleeting. I love it here, but I miss my family and friends and the comforts of home. Yes I am a spoiled American…that I cannot deny.
Hi Everyone, Things are going great so far .The fostering period will be over on September 24th, 2 months earlier than expected. Apparently the adoption board started the fostering on the date of their approval, which was June 24th. Hurray! If everything goes according to plan, we can do the adoption immediately after the 24th. Then on to Lusaka for the final paperwork, birth cert. ,passport and visa. Then as soon as U.S. immigration approval arrives in Lusaka ( which could be sooner or later) we can come home!! Please pray that the immigration approval arrives in Lusaka very soon. Sorry I haven’t posted any photos but the internet is extremely slow when working and loading photos takes forever. Moses is soooo excited to be coming to America. I have told him all about his new family and friends and he is very happy and excited to see you all! He’s especially excited to be going on an airplane.Miss you all and hope to see you soon.