a journal entry: 11-13 april 2009

easter is almost here, and you’ll wanna stick around for the hilarious cultural fun we had in the village! a lot of things happen in these journal entries, and a few require a bit of background that i haven’t written about before.

i got ringworm! me, kim and brittany went to the mission in kalomo, stay overnight, drink good coffee and volunteer in the orphanage. and i suspect one of the very cute kids there gave me ringworm. i can’t be 100% certain, but i’m 98% sure that’s where it came from.

during my time as a peace corps volunteer, i became good penpals with josh’s mom, mrs. patty vetter. we all call her mrs. pv. and the amazingness of mrs. pv really shines in these journal entries!

and while i know that it isn’t 11-13 april, i wanted to share these journal entries with you since it is easter this weekend!

11 april 2009

back in the village! regina took me back on thursday morning. my house was finished! well, most of the way. still waiting on one window, but the cement is done and i put up plastic yesterday. been painting a bit. i painted one wall in my bedroom, but i’m gonna run out so i just stuck to the one. maybe i’ll lime the others. i’m not sure if that would work or not. i want it to look nice for the family since they are the ones getting the house, not another volunteer.

my chalkboard project is also coming along. i’m gonna paint the black today i think. i hope i have enough paint. i only bough a liter. it was expensive. and i’m still trying to save money. i really need to try and start a budget. one that doesn’t include 8 million trips to livingstone. anyway, i digress.

my house is looking nice. and as it turns out, they did knock down a whole wall when they were putting in the windows. but they managed to put it all back together. so i was right! i knew that my house would fall apart!!! (i was just expecting to come back to a pile of rubble.)

the kids killed a small snake in my cikuta [kitchen] this morning. it’s getting to be that time of year again. cold season is here and the snakes are trying to warm up. as long as they aren’t in MY house, i’ll be ok.

i gave sitemba ringworm on his head. but luckily, they found the cream and his seems to be going away a lot faster than mine. but then again, i’m not really all that good about putting on the cream ALL the time.

easter

tomorrow i’ve having an easter egg hunt with the kids. i boiled 45 eggs with jacqueline yesterday. today, we are coloring them. tomorrow we will try to have an easter egg hunt. we’ll see how it goes. they all thought it was hilarious when i explained it to them!

saw a kid flying a kite made out of a plastic bag the other day on the way back to the village. just a few days after i talked to mom about it. i had never seen it here before, she was asking if i want her to bring kites, i laughed at her. then 3 days later, i see kids flying kites. crazy!

mrs. pv

i don’t think i talked about this yet, but mrs pv sent me a box! well, for me, kim, kapree and deb! it was packed full with food, candy, lotion, chapstick and the easter egg coloring kit (which gave me the idea to bring an american easter to my village). she is WAY too sweet. and like i told josh, she just wanted a daughter! so all of us girls decided we would gladly be her honorary peace corps daughters.

she also sent funfetti cupcakes with the frosting, sprinkles and even the paper cupcake holders!! i made them right away and we had them when we were all at the house for a meeting. i saved a bunch for josh and chris [josh’s brother] to have when i went down to livingstone the next day. unfortunately, the frosting melted ALL over the place, including my book bag. but they still tasted the same. needless to say, mrs pv is the nicest lady that i have ever become pen pals with!

13 april 2009

the easter egg hunt was really fun! i made the kids all stay in my house while me and jacqueline hid the eggs. i decided it was best to hide only ONE egg per kid, so we hid the eggs that they decorated like people the day before.

the kids were all so excited when they ran out of my house to go and hut. they all started running around like crazy people. sonia found the first one, then they all seemed to get the idea and they all found one at about the same time! except patricia, winnie and jeannie. so i helped them all find one.

i took pictures too. and because this was a typical american easter, joy was screaming and crying in ALL of the pictures!

then we all ate eggs. who knew 39,000 kwacha worth of eggs and a coloring kit from america could give such a good time! and since eric is home from school break, i got a family picture of everyone!

snakes

later that day, winnie came and told me, in tonga, that there was a snake at her house. it was in the roof! creepy! i watched them try and knock it out with rocks. then i got on my bike to go up to the mission and i came across a snake in the path eating a frog. or trying to. it was kinda funny to watch since the frog was trying to jump around to get away.

i drank a coke at ms kamuti’s shop and was bothered by some drunk guy. but ms betty [who works at the shop] told him to leave (which is something you don’t see everyday!).

biking home the long way, i stopped at david’s place and chated with him for a while. they (all the kids adopted by ms peyton [the woman who founded the school]) are having a memorial service for her at the end of the month. apparently, kaonde, the first president of zambia, is coming. and even the us ambassador to zambia. it’s going to be way bigger than i thought, so i should really try and get there!

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An American Easter in Zambia…

This Easter I decided that I wanted to share the American Easter tradition, of an egg hunt and candy from the Easter Bunny, with my Zambian family. I never realized how obnoxious the idea that a bunny would come in the middle of the nite, leave candy in a basket, and then have an Easter egg hunt until I started to share my idea with my sister. She was laughing at me. Just the thought that I was going to hide eggs in the bush was beyond them. And I have to say, I agree with them. Where did the tradition come from? Why do we hide perfectly good hard boiled eggs in the grass and wait for a bunny to come to our house and give us candy? No, really. Why?
Anyway, I decided to go along with the American tradition, since 2/3rds of Peace Corps is cross-culture! Jacqueline, my 14 year old sister, helped me boil the eggs on Good Friday. I had to ask for a bigger pot because I was boiling 45 eggs and my biggest pot could only hold half of that! On Saturday, we dyed the eggs. I thought for sure that I would end up with a very colorfully dyed reed mat but we had no major spills. Each kid got a cup of dye and they got to put the egg in the cup but didn’t get to take it out, I figured that was way too much instruction for my limited Chitonga skills. We were successful in dying and now we got to decorate the faces of the eggs. The dye kit also came with fun hats to decorate the eggs, which the kids loved even more! Their egg looked like a person, and they had never even thought that was possible. By Saturday nite, the kids were ready to eat eggs and I had to yell at them several times that we were hunting and eating eggs tomorrow! Not today!
Easter Sunday! The kids were at my house super early, ready to play! I woke up at 6.30 in the morning to Joy, my littlest brother who is a year and a half, calling my name to get up. I woke up, made my coffee, and went to get the family when I was ready. Everyone (all 15 of them!) came over to my house dressed up for this American Easter celebration. I decided since hiding 45 eggs in my front yard would be a diaster, (for the obvious reasons, but especially since my dog has a bad habit of eating eggs) I decided to hid 8 eggs, one for each kid to find. Jacqueline and I hid the eggs while Eric, my oldest brother, locked the kids in my house so no one could peek. They were trying to peek out the windows and get a glimpse of where we may be hiding their treats! When Jacqueline and I were finished a few minutes later, we released the masses! They all came barreling out of my house and were ready to find their breakfast (oh I mean egg!)! It was just like an Easter egg hunt back home. Mass chaos: crying when the little ones couldn’t find one, and fighting over an egg found at the same time. It was nice to see that no matter where you are in the world, kids are the same! I helped the last few girls find their eggs and we were ready for breakfast. We boiled and colored enough eggs for everyone to have 3 hard boiled eggs. And I think the first in Easter egg history happened, the kids actually ate the eggs! And loved it!!!!!
It was one of my favorite Easter celebrations that I can remember! It is amazing what 39,000 kwacha’s worth of eggs and an Easter dying kit sent from Patty can do in Zambia! Thanks Patty!