What a long strange trip!!!

the following post is one i wrote and published on 6 may 2010, just a few weeks after leaving zambia. it is a great post about how i was feeling in that moment, especially about leaving joy in the village. enjoy the read!

So I’m back in America-land. I have officially become a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. But let me wrap up my time in Zambia before I forget all the awesome things that happened.

I had a great last few months in the village. I got to spend lots of time with the kids, see my friends and say good bye, and took LOTS of pictures!

I’ve been gone for 3 weeks now and it still feels like I should be going back. The Sitembas became my family and it is weird to think that I might not see them again. So I don’t. I’ll make it back there one day, I need to see my baby Joy.

I miss him the most. We grew up together in Zambia. He was just 6 months old when I arrived. During community entry (what Peace Corps calls the first 3 months in your village) I would sit in my family’s cikuta (kitchen) while the girls prepared dinner. I was still new so I was glad to have someone to talk to and even glad to help with the cooking! My bamaama would be busy trying to finish up chores around the house, cook, bathe all the children and herself if the sun was still shining. And as soon as she saw me sit down in the cikuta she would bring Joy over and leave him with me because she had things to do. Joy would never cry like every other Zambian baby. You have to understand something first. There aren’t many white people in the villages in Zambia. So when the kids see a white person, they think it is a ghost and promptly run away screaming at the top of their lungs. You could understand my excitement when I finally found a baby who I could hold without the reaction being yells of terror. Joy and I became fast friends.

He always has had those big eyes. Even as a baby he would just stare at me, wondering. Brittany says he is an artist, has the emo-sh. Kim came to help me move from the village to double check that I didn’t have Joy hidden in my suitcase. I would take him to America in a heartbeat but I can’t be stealing children from Africa, like certain other celebrities. Plus he has an entire family there that I can’t take him away from. And he wouldn’t like America. He wouldn’t have siblings to take care of him and play with all day. He would freeze in the South Dakota weather. I have to remind myself of these things because I miss him all the time and just want someone to hang out with and remind me of Zambia. A child is not an appropriate remembrance of Zambia.

I’m glad I left him there. I’m glad I left him there. I’m glad I left him there.

So now the big question. What is next for Ms. Christa? Well I’ll tell you.

Right now I’m in London for a WAGGGS conference. Then it is back to the States. Apply for an employment visa to INDIA and I’m off to intern at Sangam!!! It is the same place as I was working at before but this time I will be acting as the Community Relations Intern. I will be working with the Community Volunteer Programme. I’m really excited about it because it is going to be a great transition into actually working everyday with regular hours AND I get to build on what I was doing for the last year in Southern Province in Zambia. So for yet another year, I won’t have a ‘real’ job and I’m using all of my savings to go. But I know it is going to be worth it! Now hopefully I can get my visa.

I’m going to get pictures posted and more video clips on youtube when I get back to the States on Saturday. So check back!

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