Chitenges, Chicken, and Children

What a wonderfully, full, exciting day of new experiences and changes we have had. We started out the morning with pictures, prayers, and goodbyes with the Esther School staff and an hour-long bus ride from Nyangwena to Lusaka. Riding along the Great East we observed different aspects of life as a Zambian. Passing small markets on the side of the road, watching the mountains rise and fall, breathing in the fresh Zambian air, were all wonderful reminders of God’s great glory and majesty.

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We arrived at the House of Moses to unload our suitcases, meet some of the staff, get a glimpse of the babies, and then head over to the Bill and Bette Bryant children’s home and school to hear from Ms. Mumba, associated with the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR), about Zambian culture. She taught us about everything from greetings to dress code and from gifts to rites of passage. As we listened, modeled, and took in all of these new ideas, customs, and culture we realized that some of our actions from this past week were largely influenced by our American culture. Our eyes have been opened to being more aware of how to respectfully interact with Zambians.

Around 12:30 we got ready to head over to the market for some lunch and shopping. We had some grilled chicken, brats, French fries, and ice cream for lunch. Those who had never been to a market before were a bit apprehensive about bartering and making purchases, but after grabbing some food we had about 45 minutes to buy some goodies. Bartering was great for some, not as great for others, but we all returned to the bus with chitenges (wraps for women to wear as skirts or make a baby sling), blankets, wooden carvings, scarves, headbands, and more.

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After the market we returned to the House of Moses for an orientation with Jessica, also associated with SAIPAR. She informed us about the history of Zambia. It was very insightful and we learned more about how this country and culture were formed. We think it will be very helpful as we continue interacting with Zambians during our time here.

Our orientation finished and we enjoyed some free time before dinner. Some of us went up to the baby room to hold babies for a while, others played in the toddler room, and others hung out and chilled for a while. After our free time we had wonderful spaghetti for dinner prepared for us by the house mamas. While finishing up dinner we were welcomed in song by Peter, one of the evening watchmen. We wrapped up the night with some refreshing showers and time getting to know Sandra, one of the founders of Christian Alliance for Children in Zambia.

Post by Allison, photos by Joy

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