Monday, December 27, 2010
--Mutale is non-stop giggling and laughing, always looking to be tickled and roughhoused with; Ethel has a deep raspy chuckle that sounds like a smoker's cough!
-- I'm under the impression that Mutale had never eaten at a table before (at Bill and Bette House they sit on the floor)she spends a lot of time at meals looking under the table at everyone's feet and laughing.
-- Mealtimes are always interesting, the girls can each eat about 5 pieces of fruit everyday. Ethel hates chocolate and baked goods but puts away hard candy like it's going out of style. She also won't eat peanut butter or cheese!! They both pick stuff out of their food they won't eat, Ethel picks all the pickles out of her tuna salad. Mutale won't eat it at all and says "Ndifuna nsomba! I don't want fish!" but also says she likes kapenta (tiny whole dried fish). Ethel will eat yogurt, but not with granola in it, Mutale won't eat most dairy products, including milk. They can both eat their weight in noodles though.
-- They both speak and understand Bemba, Nyanja, and English, but pretend to understand nothing we say in any language most of the time. Ethel is pretty quiet, but Mutale mostly runs around shouting "NO!" and "Stop it!".
-- So funny to see them in the bath - Lucas is all skin and bones scrawny, the girls have big round tummies, thick legs.
-- Mutale is about the most stubborn kid I've seen. She'll pout for an hour if she doesn't get her way. Or she'll throw a face scratching, pinching, shrieking tantrum.
-- Are girls just naturally vain about clothes and shoes or what? Ethel loved trying on all her new clothes and shoes. Mutale pouted for an hour over not being able to wear her dress shoes out to the playground. They both love to be dressed up. Mutale loves anything pink. Today she threw an all out tantrum about having to wear jeans.
-- They are seriously afraid of dogs, pigs, horses and all other animals larger than a cat.
-- Mutale is fond of swearing at me in Nyanja - mostly calling me "chimenso" and "chimutu" which means "big eyes" and "big head" respectively.
-- Lucas is already a great brother; he loves the girls so much and as soon as he wakes up from sleeping he jumps right into their bed and wants to snuggle, waking them up and causing all kinds of trouble.
We already love these girls so much it's crazy. They are amazing and beautiful. We are in so deep over our heads on this one (which is just where we like to be, cause then we can more easily see God at work).
Saturday, December 25, 2010
We really struggled with deciding to take the girls out for extended periods of time, mostly because we did not want to to have to drop them back at the orphanages. They were abandoned before and we did not want them to feel like we were just dropping them back at the orphanages in the same way. In the end, we decided that it would give us both a period of adjustment and the girls have actually seemed a little relieved when we've dropped them back off at the homes. They are used to the schedules, friends, food, and caregivers there, so it makes sense that even when we have a good time with them, they feel safe going back to what they know.
When we picked them up for Christmas weekend, the girls were at House of Moses for a Christmas party for the three orphanages that are linked together (House of Moses is for newborn to three years, Bill and Bette House is for 3-5 years, and House of Martha is 5 and up.) They were not too happy to be taken away from the party (even though it was actually over) and Ethel cried most of the way back to our friend's house where we spent Christmas Eve. But they warmed up after awhile and it's been a good weekend. I caught the girls looking at one of our photo albums and they were pointing out Luka, mommy and daddy! Wow. So we've had a totally insane Christmas. It was 85 degrees and humid, we went to a farm with a huge playground and were the only mzungus there besides our teammates the Singletons who joined us for lunch. And we had two new kids for Christmas. What a gift, what a day, I'm BEAT!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I gotta say, I love Livingston in all its seedy, sweaty glory. The drive down to Livingstone is about 6 hours. Now, I can't vouch for it's beauty any other time of the year (it was our first trip down there), but rainy season makes this drive a surreal landscape of greens and blues that simply knocks your socks off. We got a nice little place in Livingstone and spent three night there for $25 a night Including eggs and toast and mangos at breakfast and there was a pool! I really loved Livingstone a lot; it's sultry. Maybe it's just a rainy season thing, but it's wet, muggy and the flora is tropical, beautiful and rampant, the streets are lined with mangos and seedy looking characters, the architecture is totally different, romantic in a oldtime colonial africa kind of way that's hard to explain but rusting tin roofs and various molds and vines overtaking tropical colored walls abound on the side streets. Don't get me wrong, you might get stabbed here at night somewhere but...
Anyway, we also had a chance to see Victoria Falls, which is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It's pretty fabulous. Everyone says you should visit it at different times of the year to get a different perspective since it changes so much due to seasonal water volumes. I think our timing was perfect! A nice amount of water coming over the falls and some sunshine and not too much spray made for nice photos. I guess that during the high point of the year it's like being in a giant cloud, don't even bother taking out your camerea unleless it's in a waterproof housing. Otherimes it's almost completely empty. It's pretty spectacular, don't get me wrong, but have you been to the Grand Canyon? It's amazing, but it's a big hole in the ground and after looking at it for a half an hour, it's time to go back to the hotel pool.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Okay, I just couldn't resist. For the record this is Tricia writing, not Kelly. He would be sad to think folks associated the above Brady Bunch silliness with him so you can all be sure that I am the goofball.
Today was our first day spending pretty much the whole day with the girls. It would be impossible to describe all the weird thoughts and feelings we were all having... and actually it would be impossible to describe what Mutale, Ethel and Lucas were feeling since we can't get a whole lot out of any of them. But for the most part the kids seemed to have a good day. We decorated a little fake Christmas tree I bought and the kids were definitely stoked. And I was stoked too because honestly, I love Christmas lights and it finally started to feel a bit like Christmas today.
Besides play, these girls can also paint very well. And they also EAT. Man, they can really eat. There goes that food budget. And the last thing they can do a lot of is go to the bathroom. Man, with Lucas still not really potty trained I was unprepared for taking kids to the bathroom all the time. Boy oh boy, little kids have to go the bathroom a lot. We are really going to stay on top of that. And we also need to bring spare clothes in the car for each one of them. We are so out of our league!!!! Thank you God that you are going to fill in some of the gaps for us!
PS... we really want to post lots of pictures but we aren't entirely sure about the legality of that. We aren't really allowed to take and use pictures of orphans according to the orphanage. So we may have to wait until the girls have been officially released into our custody. Sorry!!! Needless to say, they are really cute and they can jump quite high.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
In the book of Exodus the Lord sent a plague of locusts as a punishment to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for refusing to release the Israelites from the bonds of slavery. It was rough for the Egyptians and Pharaoh almost relented. But one man's plague is another man's lunch here in Zambia. Personally, I would live on milk and cereal if I could. Too bad a box of Cheerios is $9 and a gallon of milk is in the $5 range. Other recent sticker shock moments: a jar of Hellman's (Best Foods) mayo for $12, a pound of walnuts for $26, a medium cantaloupe for $10. So if we want to stick to our modest missionary budget, we need to eat like the locals do. Usually this means eating lots of fruits and vegetables and eating nshima a few times a week. But being interested in local food and foraging I jumped at the chance to try some grasshoppers when they descended en masse on our plot.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
So the Huckabys have been sick. Lucas had a cold that developed into an earache. After a full run of an antibiotic he was back in action… for about three days. After Lucas got sick, Tricia and I both had a run-in with what seemed like the flu. Fast forward a week and we’re reliving the whole thing. Lucas started with stomach cramps that kept him up all night, followed by a fever, followed by cold symptoms followed by diarrhea and some barfing. Meanwhile Tricia was also sick with nausea, dizziness and exhaustion and now I’m feeling it too. Luckily we’ve ruled out most of the nasty stuff, but a dose of deworming meds is in order. All this to say, we’ve been sick off and on for about 4 weeks and it’s taking its toll on us emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
It’s not that I miss the cold and wet, but being sick just makes you wish you were home. For us that would be curled up on the couch of our parent’s house watching movies and being waited on hand and foot by people who love us. We missed a Thanksgiving party here as well (due to illness) and our internet was inaccessible for about 4 days. Needless to say, we’ve been feeling very disconnected and lonely. It’s these times when a quiet voice tell you, “It’s ok, you can give up and just go home. This is too hard.” But we’ve got work to do and we’re praying for those quiet voices to be overwhelmed by all the good we’re seeing done here – with schools, churches, pastors, and children at risk. So pray for health for the Huckabys – being sick is really getting us down.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Please consider giving towards our house project out at Ciyanjano! We are at 20% of our needed budget to rebuild and repair staff and director housing at our camp. This week we hired an architect to draw the plans for the house we'll be living in. The plan is to build little by little (pang'ono pang'ono) as the money comes in! Click here to give a gift to the project.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Today Kelly and Tricia Huckaby went down to Social Welfare and officially applied to adopt Mutale, estimated age 3, and her sister Ethel, estimated age 5. What?! I know!
Because their birthdays are unknown, for the sake of the paperwork, we were given permission to just give them the birthdays we wanted for them. For whatever reason this detail of our meeting at social welfare was what really hit us. We are well on our way to being parents of three. We are already lovingly referring to them as "the girls." Well, Lucas officially joined this family with a birthday and today we felt like "the girls" did too.
All we can say is: please PRAY!