This is my garden."Green Acres" at its finest! I am like a kid at play when I get in my little garden. I have spent HOURS, removing stones from this small area, and I have not even made a dent! I am especially excited about my watermelon! The tomato bushes are growing (in spite of the stones) I already have a few blooms! I am reminded of the parable where Jesus spoke of the Four Soils...my soil is kinda rocky and I have lost a few plants because when the sun, the VERY HOT SUN, comes out, some of the plants were scorched and they withered because they had no root. How is your soil? Did the birds come along and eat your seed before it was ever consumed by the soil? Is your soil a bit rocky? Do you have thorny soil or do you have good soil so that you can produce a crop? My prayer for you today is that you strive for good soil in every area of you life! Be blessed and know I love each of you.
Now let's press on to God's precious little creatures. Today's specialty? The plague of FROGS! I assume they are trying to find water, but I can assure you, there are no water puddles in my PURSE! Sunday morning I thought Ken was going to have to call 911. Wait, we don't have 911...anyway, I was preparing to go to church; since we walk to church (it's not that far) I don't carry a large purse, I grab a small bag for water, keys and sweat rag (ok that sounds unladylike) my tissue. I reached in my purse for my travel size Kleenex (sweat rag) and Glory Be, a frog the size of Mount Rushmore was sitting right beside my "tissue". So I did the only thing any strong American woman would do, I SCREAMED! Just kidding, I was brave, I pushed my purse over with my foot and prayed he would come out. He smiled at me and "hoppily" went on his way. I did not have time before church to put my catchers mitt on and chase him around the house so he made his "hoppy" way to my kitchen. TODAY, we met face to face in my roasting pan. Ya know there comes a point and time where this gets ...very trying. This was one of those days, the top of my nose started to burn, you know that little pain in your nose right before you cry? I called Ken, but he was outside watering the garden and could not come at that moment. I did not want to lose sight of my new friend again, so I put on my big girl panties, my catchers mitt (actually it was an oven mitt) and I started chasing this frog around the kitchen-now there is a visual for you! My first thought was "Let My People Go" I'm crawling around on the cement floor chasing a frog...but I have to do this, there is no telling what he has been doing in my cabinet the past 48 hours. He may have relieved himself in my silverware drawer, or heaven forbid "had his way with a friend" in my tea pitcher! Good news, I caught the frog, tossed him out the door and continued cooking! Just a day in the life of living in Zambia, never a dull moment.
I was returning from "Golds Gym" and these two young men joined me. My "Golds Gym" is the bush behind me. In my 30 minute walk-out, I get all the strength and cardio I need; my heart rate increases every time I hear a shuffle sound in the grass; and muscles build when I slip on the gravel and have to brace myself from a fall! I have my step aerobics, very high step aerobics when a large skink runs across my path... And all for FREE!
Boy, did I speak too soon!
I should have known it would not stay quiet around here for long. I was sitting outside in my back yard reading; I was reading 1 Peter, and trying to grasp "why" the Christians were being persecuted...all of a sudden I heard this buzzing sound around my ear... the next thing I knew this buzzing sound had FLOWN INTO my ear, yes friends a bug has gone inside my head! As if being blonde is not challenging enough, I have this bug flying around in there! Now, I know this could happen in the U.S., right? Well, I lived there for 50 years and it never happened...just sayin... But what is your automatic response when you feel a bug fly in your ear. Of course, you shove your finger in your ear AND PUSH IT FARTHER! What was I thinking?! So the only thing I knew to do was press on my ear and around my ear and try to kill the bug so it won't crawl any farther... O.k.I think it is dead, now what to do. I called my nurse friend, she said pour some oil in your ear and the bug will rise to the top and you can pull it out with tweezers (doesn't that sound ghastly)! Well, I poured the oil in, waited, no bug. So I repeated the procedure... Still no bug! Great! It really is headed for my brain, and the closest hospital is...well, there isn't one CLOSE. I am in BIG trouble. The good thing is, I don't hear the buzzing anymore! Did it fly out when I wasn't...listening? Lol. I don't feel any pain, that's good! The next day Ken and I have to go "to town" to get groceries, so to somewhat relieve my mind, I went to see the doctor. Oh, glory! Keep in mind I have not been sick since I started coming here in 2007. I have taken children to the clinic, but I was going to see a real Doctor! I stepped into the office, Ken went with me, I was the only patient. Hmmm...is that a good sign? Not usually, but ALL I want him to do is take out his little Doctor light, look in my little ear and say 6 little words...there's no bug in your ear. The Zambian receptionist asked me if I had been there before, I politely said no m'aam and she said fill out this paper. She picked up a sheet of white paper, and penned the words: Name, Address, DOB, Sex...and handed it to me. Oh heavens, in the U.S. you could solve world hunger before you get all the forms filled out! She literally wrote those 4 things down on paper and that was all she needed. Now she takes me back to get my BP (which much to my amazement was normal). Here is the biggy, I saw her retrieve a rectal thermometer from a small cylinder of alcohol, dear Lord in heaven, where does she want to put that thing? In my mind, neither option seemed very appealing, if you know what I am saying! She shook the mercury down, like I remember my mom doing when I was a very small child. I am trying to figure out how I can tactfully say to this sweet nurse "DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT PUTTING THAT IN MY MOUTH". I really am trying to stay calm, and the nurse is very sweet and personable a rather "big boned" woman; without even thinking twice, in one quick movement, she pulls open my shirt lifts my right arm and shoves the thermometer under my arm! Whew! I was incredibly thankful I did not have to deal with that issue!
The power (electricity) was off and had been off most of the morning, the office was rather dark so after getting my vital signs she had me go back to the lobby. Ken and I are still the only ones in the waiting room; she pulls out a stack of magazines from behind the nurses desk. She looks through them and hands me ONE magazine, and says "I think you will like this one". She hands Ken one and says "here this one is about cars, you'll like this one". But wait there's more, as I was perusing through the fashion magazine, I noticed the date on the magazine...it was from 2003!!! The magazine is an antique! Not really, an antique but y'all, really? 10 years old! Anyway, the doctor came in, it's my turn and I am not sure whether to stay or flee! I decided, like the bug "I'm going in"! I sat down in his office, explained my problem and he pulled out his CELL PHONE FLASHLIGHT and looked in my ear and said he did not see a bug. Well, heck, he probably couldn't find a snake with a cell phone light! Cell phones are designed to talk on, NOT LOOK IN ONE'S EAR! Good news is he did not charge me, bad news, I still have no idea if there is a bug in my head somewhere. Now for all of you sweet people who may have horror stories about bugs in your ears...SAVE THEM, I DO NOT EVEN WANT TO KNOW! I have to walk by faith, NOT BY SIGHT.
Dear friends..it seems I have ran a little dry lately...I guess I could call it writers block, maybe I'm a tiny bit homesick. In all honesty, I just don' t have anything terribly exciting to tell you. That could be a good thing, i.e. no snakes! Woot, woot... imagine for one whole year now God has been answering that prayer! Yay God! I usually write about adventures that "I" have experienced, but I think it is time to tell you about the Zambian people that I "do life" with on a daily basis!
I probably won't be able to adequately describe how amazing the men, women and children here are. They "out work", "out pray", "out cook", "out sing" and "out do" me by leaps and bounds in so many areas.
Their unconditional love for one another is like none I have seen. When a family has become homeless there is always room to take in one, two, three (or more if necessary) in their already small hut.
I have seen a child with a small piece of sweet potato (which was probably her breakfast) share with another child who was hungry.
Would you be willing to walk 4 HOURS to preach? I don't think I would be ABLE to speak if I had to walk 4 hours to get to church. Gibson does this every Sunday! Keep in mind, there are no McDonald's or K&W's stop by, on the 4 hour walk back home.
They have unspeakable joy...you will hear the sound of singing and laughter coming from every direction throughout the day, it may be the construction workers, it my be a house mother or a precious child that has gotten their giggle box turned upside down. Owen, our school Headmaster has a contagious laugh that I feel sure can be heard for miles around!
Of course there are evil people everywhere, but what I am finding among many of our local village people is they don't want to hurt one another, but to help. They don't want to blame one another, but to commend, they do not hate each other, but love each other.
They struggle daily to overcome illiteracy, they work long hours to PAY for their children to attend high school. They have to work about 10 weeks to pay for ONE child to attend high school. An average wage is about $3.80 per day, it is a challenge but a challenge they are happy to take on and feel is necessary to combat illiteracy and see their child succeed.
The children here are taught early on that family takes care of family. There is a confidence that their children will provide for them when they are older...that's just the way it is done here.
Hopefully this will give you some insight on the people I "do life" with each day.
I'm confident there are many people right there in the good ole US of A in similar situations, but God has sent me here. I witness these scenario daily. The Bible is full of scripture telling us to help the poor, the widows, the less fortunate- who would God have you help today? You can be the hands and feet of Jesus and make a difference in the life of someone in the US! Be blessed my friends and thank you for helping us remain here as long as God desires.
I still cannot believe I am in Zambia, Africa. Time is flying by. We are already preparing for our next team! We will minister in the villages of Chumbayumba and Makoli. Guess what?! This team has WOMEN!! I am so excited; someone to talk to- females- complete with mood swings and opinions. Maybe I should be careful what I wish for!LOL
The last few weeks have been fairly uneventful…for Zambia that is…
Lions and Tigers and Bears , Oh My! I just got the Zambezi Traveler (free newspaper for tourists) and read there was a lion loose in Livingstone last month…The news was a LITLE LATE wouldn’t ya say?! We follow the “yellow brick road” to Livingstone at least once a week. But with no “local news” how am I supposed to know there is a lion loose?! The lion made its appearance on the outskirts of Livingstone and just so you can relax (on my behalf) until last month it had been 30 years since a wild lion had been reported in the immediate area. The lions name is Dynamite (go figure) and he is quite famous. He was featured in a National Geographic documentary film Lion’s Behaving Badly. He was wearing a GPS collar so they were able to track his travels. He escaped from Hwange National Park. Dynomite was on the loose for 7 days prior to being caught (remember…this is Zambia) he had a little livestock for dinner but thankfully no human lives were lost. I am delighted he has been caught!
We had movie night with the children here at Global and decided to show the American Classic The Wizard of Oz you know, with the whole “Lions” and Tigers and Bears thing I thought it was very fitting. They all enjoyed it; however they laughed in places that as a child I remembered being frightened of. I guess the wicked witch of the West is nothing compared to a Black Mamba. Speaking of Mambas…there was a GREEN MAMBA climbing on the eves of the Guest House trying to get in through the roof. We live VERY close to the guest house. Hypothetically speaking if I had a Krispy Kreme doughnut (which I don’t) I could throw it from my house to the Guest House (which I wouldn’t do, I would eat it) but…we are THAT close in distance! Once again God spared me; I was in town and missed the whole thing! But I was thinking…if they managed to find one green mamaba TRYING to get in, what about the one (s) they did NOT find trying to get in. I need to go to the wizard and get some “courage” or maybe a brain?! lol
I received my first package from the states! I took a picture of the box when it arrived, maybe one day I will be able to get some pics on FB. I took a picture of the box because the box was demolished! I can hardly believe nothing was broken! We are blessed that we have everything we need but if I could have asked for one luxury item to be sent it would be a Tervis (spelling) tumbler with a lid and straw and along with many other things there was one in the box!! I can’t believe I left the US without one! Thanks Jill Rohler!
We had a wonderful Easter here. The church pulpit was decorated with a white sheet and fresh flowers from the bushes and trees around the orphanage. The communion table and pastors table were decorated with tye-dyed sheets of blue and white. It really looked nice in spite of what it sounds like. Lol
As usual I put my best face on for Sunday church. I wore a nice dress, I put make-up on complete with mascara (in this heat) which I rarely do. This sweet young girl (16’ish) walks up to me and says “Auntie Karen, you are looking so old”…hmmm…what do I say to that….I guess she saw the blood drain from my face…and she quickly said, “but you are so beautiful old”…having shared that, how was YOUR Easter?! lol
The two of us have already consumed one whole jar of Jif Creamy Pnut butter. This is more than we usually eat in 6 months at home. We brought it from the U.S. When I am tired of tuna or eggs, I resort to Jif! We still have 2 jars but I sure thought it would last longer than a month.
I am consider myself very diligent where dental hygiene is concerned (I am quite fond of my teeth)! Crystal (my dental hygienist) and Dr. Daubenspeck hooked me up with floss and tooth brushes before I left. Would you believe dental floss is $5.20!! That is insane. But wait, there’s more! It gets even better; Listerine is almost $9.00 for 16oz. You can get a GALLON of Listerine at Wal*mart for $9.00! At that price who can afford good dental hygiene?
I wonder if I can wash my dental floss and use it again… or maybe SELL IT! JUST KIDDING!! Not that desperate!
O.k. this is my final story, Ken and I are trying to have some sort of “landscaping” in our front yard. So far we have designed a beautiful “Dirt and Rock” garden, but I wanted some grass. In Ken’s effort to “make Mama happy” we began the search for grass. I need to interject something (I can never tell a short story). When you go to High School in Africa, you must pay! There is no free public education! It is fairly reasonable for grades 1 – 8 but high school is about $200.00 per year! So children work VERY hard to raise money for their education. Our children at the orphanage have sponsors and their education is taken care of by donations. However, we met a young man last year that sang with the boys group and he is trying to raise money to finish grade 12. So in an effort to help him, Ken has asked if he would find us some grass. He did, he dug it up (plug by plug) and planted it “plug by plug”. Obviously it took several days and I wanted to “help” so one of the sweet girls here said she would like to help me. She started digging in the dirt with her finger, making a hole big enough for the plug of grass. I said “Nonoka, I have an idea I will get us spoons and it will go much faster” she laughed and said “Auntie Karen you can’t use a spoon, that is a sign of laziness”. Seriously? So my fingernails are ruined for life, but hey, I am in Zambia! Whose gonna see them?! Love you all and THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!! Please don’t stop praying!
Gracious, what a week! Wait, it has been TWO weeks! We have had an amazing time here with Team Coggins! We have seen lives changed, we have seen lives saved and we have seen lives lost. It has been a rather emotional week. The team of 6 men came with vigilance to conquer and they did. They were flexible, adaptable and willing to do whatever was needed. They had the joy of witnessing souls saved but the sorrow of seeing a life taken right before their eyes. It was intense and a bit scary but as always God protected them from any harm. Ken and I thoroughly enjoyed hosting them and can’t wait for our next team (we have already told them they are our favorite team this year; but we also had to confess that so far they were our only team this year) lol! As I said, we did see souls saved in the village of Kabuyu. After 2 days of preaching and showing the Jesus Film, it appears about 300 hands went up to after a call for salvation. I realize numbers are not important and because we never know if they fully understand the call, we find ourselves wondering how many really understand what they are raising their hand for, we have no way of being certain it was the first time they have made a public confession. I wish we could speak with all 300 hundred of those precious people one on one, but it would be impossible. What we do know is that if we are obedient and do what God calls us to do… He will do the rest!! They have heard the word - for that we Praise the Lord!
In the U.S. you are “Spring”ing into Easter, we are “Fall”ing into Autumn and I love it! I have never been fond of winter nor have I liked rainy days; let me just say that has changed! I stand outside with my hands lifted up every time I see a cloud (well, not EVERY time) knowing I will soon feel a cool breeze. Oh the joy of cloudy day here in Zambia! Now winter is coming and I rejoice! What a difference the Equator makes! I am sure soon I will be complaining because it is cold…you know how we Americans are!! lol
I had the joy of celebrating my birthday last week; the team took all of the children from Global to Olgas for pizza! It just happened to be my day of birth…I think someone must have PRE-arranged that one! I won’t mention any names but I call him “G”. The children sang Happy Birthday (in English) Olgas gave us ‘ice cream cookie’ (similar to our ice cream cake) only much thinner. It was thoughtful and delicious.
I am happy to announce that my fat jeans are now my fat jeans again and I can now fit into my skinny jeans! I have only been here a month, I am eating very well, but very healthy. No Sonic Happy Hour, no Chick-fil-a, hardly any junk food! Chicken, green beans, salad and tuna…(Oh, and EGGS!) those seem to be the things that taste the best. I did make some very good lasagna while the team was here; I need to add that to my menu!
I have had to spend a few days running back and forth to the local immigration office this past week; which I am finding is not at all unusual. One officer told me I needed one particular document when I returned with that document another officer told me something totally different….grrrr…patience… Ken and I are pretty confident we HAVE all of the necessary documents (they were sent to Lusaka weeks ago) but if we don’t already have a copy we have to go down the street to the one business that makes copies and go BACK to immigration. After two days at immigration I think I am in good shape…for at least 30 days… then I have to do it all again
We are starting the “Girls Club” tomorrow. They are sooo excited. We will have our Bible Study and then gather in the kitchen to “bake” something. They don’t’ have ovens in their homes. They only have the outside kitchen where they cook everything on the brazier. They don’t have the ingredients or necessary cook ware to make cookies, breads etc. I too, am looking forward to my time with them!
We had a good bit of rain last week…not every day…just a lot at one time. The ground was completely saturated and it caused our power lines (poles) to fall. We had no power for almost 2 full days. When the power goes so does our “well pump”. We have a generator that we run for a few hours about every 12 – 18 hours to keep a cool temperature in the freezer (the house mothers have a freezer to store the food for that month). We had no water one day. Let me just say. That won’t happen again! We are going in to town today to buy large containers for water. We had drinking water, but we could not flush, wash dishes or bodies. That was the longest length of time I can remember experiencing no power…which brought on my first “meltdown”. Ken had taken the team to the airport (I am always a little teary when a team leaves) so with having to say good bye to our American friends, Ken was not here, I was hot and sweaty and could not shower, I missed my children and grand children and family, I just decided to cry and pray… God heard each word and lovingly held me through each tear. I am sure there were only one set of footprints that afternoon. He lovingly placed me back on the ground with more strength than I had before. I am sure it was the first of many meltdowns, but someone must have been praying for me and for that I send a huge THANKS!
I am looking forward to my first Easter here. I know it will be quite different. I have not seen anyone dying Easter Eggs, no chocolate bunnies and no special Easter music (or none that I will recognize as Easter music) but I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be. One thing for sure, they will make a joyful noise!! I wish each of you could hear them singing.
I would love to see our grand babies Kaley and Hayes all dressed up for Easter; I know they will be precious! Adam, Colie, Chris, Kerri, Michelle, Nick, Blair and Meri we love and miss you more than you could ever imagine…
May God bless you all and thanks for your prayers! Come see us!
Today will be my last trip into town for a while, we have a team coming and should be QUITE BUSY! I am soo excited. Please put us on your prayer list! Team Coggins from Ga. Will arrive Saturday and we will be in the Village of Kabuyu. Pray that God will tender the hearts of the people and they will hear what He wants them to hear. So much can be lost in translation (sometimes)…but we have seen AMAZING things happen through prayer, and I know you have too! Leza Mubotu, Chincey Choncey (God is good all the time)!!
I am working on my Tonga, ‘de La quienda’! Not sure of the spelling, I have to spell it like it sounds to me (I am still hooked on phonics) but it means I love you! I can say RUN, Zuesa, that is in case I see a black mamba, python or other slithery type creation! Which BTW, I have not! PTL
I am off and running with “The Good News Club” it will be similar to the GNC in the U.S. Palmetto Shores Church has been involved with this for years and with the help of Denise Brand (from the US) I hope to get it off and running here! I spoke with the Head Master at Sons of Thunder Elementary School (SOT) they think it is a great idea. They will speak with the head of SOT Ministries to get their approval. There are 289 students in the school and the Head Master thinks they would ALL want to attend! Although, that is a great problem to have. The one problem with that is…it is just me! I obviously cannot handle 300 children alone. SO PRAY GOD SENDS HELP! I think I would be forced to take one grade at a time, having the “club” 2 times a week. Alternating weeks/grades. Students here go to school in two sessions. 7:00 am to 11:30 and 12:00 to 4:30. Many of them have at least an hour’s walk home after school and some even longer. If I keep them another hour for Bible stories, games etc. they will be starved by the time they walk home. Remember they leave the house by 5:30 – 6:00 a.m. WALK to school and no snack/food until they return home which would be around 3:00 or 3:30 for some of them, if they come to the GNC. So I was thinking MAYBE, I could raise the funds to feed them a light snack. I am calculating the cost now for Mealy Meal (that cooks into “nshema”). I have spoken with our Head Master here, he agrees it would be a great program and feels like the women in the surrounding villages would assist in the cooking. So keep this in your prayers, there are still a lot of details to work out, but Ken and I have a saying “where God guides, God provides”! I don’t think it would be but about $18.00 - $20.00 per week for juice and Mealy Meal for nshema….so if you know of a classroom, Sunday school class etc. that would like to take this on, LET ME KNOW!
This week “at a glance” I think with Dr. Suess’ help I could write a few children’s books this week. We have just had ‘creatures’ everywhere. My first book would be titled “Never Take a Bath With a Scorpion” how about “ Sleeping With a Spider” (that could be a great adult novel, remember Sleeping With the Enemy) and then there is my favorite “Get That Bat Out of the House”…aghhh…Africa, how I love thee. Rarely a dull moment! I wish you could have seen Ken swatting that poor defenseless bat. The poor thing is BLIND, and it took Ken 5 minutes to finally knock him senseless! But my man won and I have no fear of vampires at Twilight.
I wish I had time to share more, but I have a so much to do while I am in town. THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR US, please know that we pray for you too. God places many of you on my heart during the day and I always stop and pray that whatever is going on in your life that He will walk through it with you, carrying you when necessary!
Sending warm hugs!!!
Well, I am in TOWN!! Week two and still loving my new home!! Please visit!
Here is just a little of my second week…Week two was rather uneventful! We actually had a few cool mornings; it was sooo nice! The afternoon warmed right up, but with periodic rain showers offering some relief, it has been much more pleasant…
We had our first Ladies Bible Study on Saturday. The village is located in the valley below our compound. I seemed to have forgotten what the “hike” to get there was like. It is in a different spot this year. Now let me just add, this is not a walk in the park. We are hustling over rocks and through grass as tall as me on a path the width of a Chick-Fil-a sandwich. Ummm that would sure taste good… Ok, focus…the study was lead by a sweet lady named Martha. She is new to Senkobo, I am really enjoying getting to know her. Meetings here are a bit challenging because people don’t arrive on time. I am very familiar with being fashionably late but here in Zambia,I am not really sure what being on time means. The meeting was supposed to start at 2:30. There were 5 of us there at 2:30. At 3:00 two or three more had shown up, so we attempted to begin the meeting with 7 women…at 3:15 (45 minutes later) several more had come and honest-to-goodness, at 3:45 two more showed up while we were taking prayer request and ending the meeting. For most of the meeting we had about 13 women. It was still a successful first meeting!
We are looking forward to going to the village of Kabuyu, to preach and show the Jesus film with the team that is coming March 24! Pray that God moves MIGHTILY through this team and that the hearts of the people in Kabuyu are responsive.
I am afraid it is going to take me some time to be confident in the calculation of the Zambian currency as well as the metric system (especially where cooking is involved). They work with such large numbers here! I was making Jello (they refer to it as Jelly) the directions called for 235 ml of water. Now, that seems like a lot of water! Here a soda costs about 4,500 Kwachas; a dress can be about 250,000 Kwachas and a $10,000.00 automobile costs 50 million Kwachas. I am being a little facetious, and fortunately over the past few years have become familiar enough with their currency that I can shop for groceries! I bought a plastic dish drain for a whopping 37,500 Kwacha – I thought that was a ridiculous price until I calculated the dollar amount to find it was only about $8.00. It is amazing to see the Zambians chatter about hundreds of thousands and tens of millions…when this country is so poor. The good part is I only weigh only 55 kilograms! You are on your own to figure that one out!
I spend a lot more time in the kitchen than usual because almost everything has to be made from “scratch” which I am sure must be a lot healthier! No Eggos or Poptarts, I can make a mean cheese pizza! No taco bell, so my “chaparties” (taco shells) are a far cry from perfection. There are very few “pre-made “dishes we can purchase and no quick drive—throughs! Ken asked me what I was doing for breakfast yesterday; I told him I was going to Bojangles! LOL No sausage biscuits here! I have not even SEEN the likes of a biscuit and I have not found a sausage I really care for yet! Eggs are easy to find, so we eat a lot of eggs, egg sandwiches, egg and grits, egg and egg (egg gumbo) JUST KIDDING! Thought of Forest Gump! We also eat a of LOT chicken. We may have feathers when we meet again! But we are so blessed to have plenty of food; we have not eaten Peanut Butter and Jelly once since we have been here, that is a good sign! We have yet to go hungry, PTL!!
I love my kitchen; I have a large kitchen window above the sink, which overlooks the orphanage grounds. I can see and hear the children playing in the distance, to be so unfortunate they are so incredibly happy. I love each one of them to pieces! The girls have already told me they want to bake cookies again!! : )
I guess I forgot to “sweep my ground” this morning. I was doing the breakfast dishes and our sweet gardener was sweeping the dirt outside the front of our home. I have to admit it does look nice, but I am not accustomed to sweeping the ground yet. I asked why they do it “it is a cultural thing, it looks nicer” I guess like we would mow the grass, they sweep the dirt… but they do it daily. The house mothers here take great pride in the appearance of their home inside and out. Sweeping the ground outside their door does make it look very tidy!
I am still adjusting to so many things being backwards. As you know, they drive on the left side of the road and that alone is a challenge, but they also drive on the right side of the vehicle, I am totally helpless. I have yet to drive a stick shift comfortably, so you should see me trying to drive on the WRONG side of the road, on the WRONG side of the car and shift gears with the WRONG hand.
The power is off right now - no idea why or for how long, it just goes! Speaking of power, I am also learning about 110/220 voltage –convertors and adaptors. We brought a few items from the states that we knew we could not get here. I have not blown anything up…yet!
In the homes here, you switch the light up for off and down for on…the cold and hot water handles are also opposite…at 1:00PM they go ‘military’ on me and it becomes 13 hours (not 1:00). I was just getting used to the time difference. We were 7 hours ahead of you, but last week the US recognized Daylight Savings time and now it is only 6 hours difference…as if being blonde was not a big enough challenge!!
Ken has done an outstanding job on making our house a home. He built a bed frame and headboard for our mattress. We don’t have closets in our home, so he designed a place for me to hang some clothes in our hallway. He made a partition out of grass mats for the living room. We needed a place for his tools, so they are behind the partition unable to be seen! We had our curtains made and Ken hung them- he also hung a full length mirror for me! We found a few nice area rugs for the concrete floors and it just looks so amazingly Africanish! We are settled for now. Unlike most women in the world, I am not a huge fan of “shopping” but we had to shop for EVERYTHING from kitchen staples to power strips. We brought 16 suitcases in all. Each one weighed 50 pounds but is a far cry from a UHAUL. We could only bring the things we could not get over here, of course our clothes (Luzianne tea, grits, ramen noodles- you know… the necessities of life) linens, were a must; but everything else had to be purchased over here. So I think we have made our last big shopping trip out. You think Walmart is bad… there is one “Shop Rite” grocery store here, it is fairly new and EVERYONE shops there…and if you don’t get there early your selection will be limited!
I am still just so excited to be here, we love Global Samaritans Children’s Home and wish you were here too! Love and miss you. Can’t wait for our first team to arrive in 8 days. Please pray for Team Coggins to have a safe trip, to stay well while they are here and to do ALL that God has for them to do while they are here.
Must run for now,
Hello from Zambia!! I have just a second before my battery dies, I have written a long letter and will “paste” it here, please feel free to read…or not, pace yourself it is a weeks worth of activities! God Bless
t me start by saying I miss you guys like crazy! Ken is a great husband, but not a real big talker. Since I don’t speak Tongan, I don’t get to say much…so I have a LOT TO WRITE ABOUT! LOL
This Saturday, the women at the church (Ken and I attend) will begin their weekly meetings. They had stopped meeting a few months ago, the Pastor scolded them (none too gently) this past Sunday and they agreed to “do better”. So at 14 hours (2:00pm) Saturday we will have our first meeting! He has asked that I feel free to share anytime I want. Hmmm…this could be my chance to TALK! (with an interpreter)…hmmm, that will slow me down!!
Our first Mission Team comes the end of March, I am very excited but guess what? It is all men! Very unusual! I have seen teams that were all women, but rarely all men. Again, no one to talk to. Hey I am not here to talk, right? We will take them to villages and do several days of Men’s Bible Study…they also want to take the boys here (at the orphanage) fishing! Action packed time! I will let you know how the fishing goes!
Did I happen to mention it is hot, REAL HOT here? Now, for those of you that know me well, know I am very cold natured so I thought… a little heat? No problem…Oh, MY gosh!! It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Hot flash”! I try to put “make-up” on occasionally and it just does not mix well with perspiration. The temp is about 32 degrees Celsius (90’ish F)…now that would not be a huge problem IF WE HAD AIR-CONDITIONING. I hope we can put AC in 2013’s budget for Come Go With Us! O, My Goodness, I start drinking when I get up and don’t stop till I go to bed…(wait, you know I mean water, right?). I feel dehydrated all the time. I felt so bad for Ken, he was coming home from “town” Saturday and the clutch went out on the Truck…he had to walk home…no phone service and even if he had service, WHO WE GONNA CALL?!!! He was one hot tired man. BTW, he was here 6 weeks without me, he lost almost 20 pounds! I found most of them for him (between my knees and hips). Monday we had to tow the car to the garage. There is no “tow service” here. Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up! The (Global Samaritan Orphanage) GSO’s very old Land Crusier with a 7-8 foot metal pole and rope attached to our very old Land Cruiser riding down the road. Of course we are creeping along at 20 kilometers per hour, I kept thinking “Beverly Hillbillies”. By the time we reached the garage, I was “glistening” from head to toe. My face was so red; it looked like I had been to the gym for a serious workout! I still love it here and would not trade this heat for anything…I am learning how to cope with no AC!
So far so good! Two days before I got here, the headmaster of the school, ran over a -7 foot python! So glad I did not see that one, I can’t even think about it! I am watching every step I take!
I am taking my Doxycyclene everyday! This has been a bad year for mosquitoes, so they say…Did I mention it was hot here in Zambia? We have a mosquito net, but it is so HOT to sleep under, I am almost ready to take my chances with the mosquitoes!
Always a challenge! Nothing taste the same…except chocolate. It is delicious world wide! All the chocolate I brought has MELTED! Lol (so I drank it) JUST KIDDING…I have NOT gone hungry, we have great chicken here…OH OH! I found taco shells, they are called “Chaparties” and I always bring taco seasoning with me, well we are just eating away at our tacos and all of a sudden out of now where a medium size roach goes walking across my plate of Charparties! Amazing how instantly ones appetite can be lost! I might lose a few pounds myself, but I love it here, and wish EVERY ONE of you would visit. Come June- Aug. it is winter!!
Is really quite beautiful! We have a very modest one bedroom, one bath home with concrete floors. Someone before me REALLY liked the color green. Green kitchen, green dining area and green bathroom. We have a nice size living area and thank goodness it is not green, not sure what color it is, but I like it! We have almost finished decorating with an African look (go figure)…I hope to send pics one day!
I have not started working with the children in school yet. I have been here one week today and it has taken me some time to adjust, unpack and get the house in order!
Hopefully soon I will back in the swing of things of will give you full details of what is going on in the “bush of Zambia”.
Hugs to all! Hopefully this coming week won’t be as eventful! As I said, I have only been here a week- I am sure there will be some serious stories to tell when we start ministering in the “bush”!
Please know I would love to hear from each of you…what are your children doing? Who is having babies., getting married, how are the college kids doing in COLLEGE? It is always fun to hear from home and things around the beach. In all seriousness, it is a great trip, please consider coming. I would not want to be anywhere else in the world! God bless you all!!
Where do I begin? First some serious praises to the Lord, I had NO PROBLEMS traveling…those who know me well, know I have a serious phobia in regard to getting lost (I am sure it has a name) there was only one thing that could make me travel alone and that would be the birth of a grand baby (or maybe a wedding) but God drug me and my 2 very heavy “carry ons” through Atlanta and Heathrow and I never even had to ask any questions! I knew right where to go (of course there are signs every 100 yards) lol…but I am a follower and I usually just follow. My flight from Atlanta was delayed an our and 1/2…we got in the air, settled in (about 1 hours time) the Pilot says we need to return to Atlanta, there was luggage on board that was not properly screened…hmmm…thought I might see Jesus sooner than expected, but I fell asleep, did not EVEN WAKE UP for 3 hours, we landed and took off and I slept right through it! Typical me!! lol…Oh you will love this, in London…my Video Screen (for movies etc.) did not work properly and they bumped me to executive seating! Not First class, but I felt like I was in first class…huge seat, no one beside me, leg room galore, yep, God is good all the time! Friends and Family, thank you, thank you! I am thrilled to finally be here, it is a bit sad that I can’t be both places at one time. But I love you all and will stay in touch as often as possible, we will leave in the morning to return to GSO…and internet will be limited! BIG HUGS!!
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