“Uli che?” (pronounced oolee chay) is the first bit of Zambian slang I have learned; it means “What’s up?” The usual response is “Nizi” (pronounced neezee); it means “I’m cool.”
Uli che you ask? Sometimes nizi sometimes not so nizi! Everybody is asking how we are doing. Muli bwanji? (You are how?) And everybody is asking us, how are you really? So I am going to write a little bit about how we are, really.
Today I woke up to my almost 3-year-old yelling at 6am. It is what it is (this is something Kelly and I have been saying a lot lately). My comfort every morning is a couple brief morning cuddles with Lucas and my walk to the kitchen where I pull out our giant ziplock bag full of Starbucks Via packets. (Thank you Starbucks friends!!!) We bought a water kettle instead of a coffee pot. You press a button and as long as you have power your kettle gives you boiling hot water in just minutes. This quick and efficient item is my new favorite thing along with the yummy cup of coffee that follows. (I take it with a bit of sweetened condensed milk).
I decided to make granola because a couple days ago I finally came across rolled oats in a store. You can find “Jungle Oats” all over the place which are quick oats but for some reason “Tiger Oats” which are regular old rolled oats are very difficult to find. So I made a big batch of granola and stuck it into my tiny stove which takes a long time to heat up and then quickly burns things. I read Lucas a story and got distracted just long enough for my granola to go from not done to charcoal. Opened up the door for some fresh air and flies and bees poured in attracted to the sweet burned honey smell.
Today I called a friend who lives down the road and asked if her Saturday maid could come by our place for the afternoon to hand-wash a couple loads of laundry for me for 10,000 kwatcha. This is a decent wage in Zambia for the afternoon and is only about 2 USD. I know, right?! Anyway, we have to hand-wash our laundry because the washing machine we bought from Game was broken and we think maybe not new. Now we have to wait 2 weeks or more for a new one to come in. My hands are dry and cracking and I am happy to have the help with the laundry.
This sweet young lady named Loveness who I suspect barely speaks a word of English came to the house and worked very hard washing a couple loads of laundry and hanging them on our line. I was cooking dinner in the kitchen and looking out the window as I watched the three laundry lines sway right over from the weight of the laundry (pulling the large concrete block that was supposed to weigh down the pole with it). All of the laundry down in the dirt. At the very same time I hear a picture fall off the wall in the other room because it is very difficult to hang things on the cinderblock walls.
Uli che? This is what’s up with the Huckabys… just dealing with all the little things every day. There is no one thing that is a major problem (except maybe our vehicle situation which is another long story) but it is all the little things that annoy and build up. Just feeling like you never quite know what the heck is going on.
So really, nizi, I’m cool. Everything is fine and none of this is unexpected. But at the same time, everything is a little topsy-turvy and we are still getting used to our new surroundings. But what I can say is that God is so good. I know that he has good plans, whatever they hold. This transition is difficult, but we have already made many wonderful and understanding friends both Americans and Zambians. People here are so willing to help if they can. Our new Zambian landlords and our new neighbors have been so welcoming. We are so grateful. Our teammates have been keeping an eye on us.
Please pray that we would have more patience with each other as we deal with these small stressors every day. And please pray that we would make time with Jesus in prayer and in the Bible our first priority every day, not getting caught up with our to-do list, so that we would put on the full armor of God. God bless you!!! Tricia