Friday, September 14, 2012

Grass Fire!

We had a scary moment this afternoon at Ciyanjano. Tyler and I came home from picking Ethel up from school and I was standing in the kitchen making myself a quesadilla. I saw our gardener Gift out of the corner of my running at top speed through the back yard. My first thought was snake. We still have a big cobra on the loose out here. But then I heard the noise. A loud cracking and popping and roaring. I was running for the door when Tricia ran in yelling, "Fire!" I ran out the front door and ran around to the back to help Gift run a garden hose out to the edge of the fire and try to keep it from getting to our huge grass composting piles and from burning up Tricia's drip irrigation system and getting too close to the house. Ten-foot flames fanned by strong shifting winds quickly devoured about 5-6 acres of elephant grass, dried maize and shrubs and trees. All of us guys were running back and forth from the house with buckets and trash bins full of water to fight back the flames. My biggest concern was the wind whipping the fire up the north side of the house and possibly lighting the trees inside the Ripley Center. As the winds shifted the fire burnt itself out in the lower part of the property while we swatted at it with avocado  branches. Finally it crossed out of the fence, jumped the stream and started burning through Tubelange area. Thank God that no-one was hurt and that we only lost a couple of rakes, hoes, and shovel and a few new trees that were too recently planted to handle having all their leaves burnt off. Afterward we were all just sweaty and red-faced, and filthy. I let our guys have the rest of the day off and I had a very cold shower. That's enough excitement for the week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

APC Pastor Retreat

Good times here at Ciyanjano! This last weekend we were able to have most the pastors from ACTION Pastors College out to Ciyanjano for a three day retreat. I did the majority of the cooking and in the mornings it almost felt like I was back at the Little Cheerful slinging hot potatoes, mexican-style scrambled eggs and buttered toast. At dinners I had our local ladies make nshima and some traditional relishes while I grilled sausages for bbq beans and grilled a half dozen chickens. Besides being fed with  tons of food, our pastors were fed with the Word in hours of teaching from our pastor from the U.S. Pete Williamson, and our assistant director and head of the Pastoral Leadership Development ministry at AZ, Tracy Singleton. To round things out we had local pastor and AZ instructor, Wozifera Ngoma teach some sessions as well. A huge highlight for me was having the chance to hear my pastor preach for the first time in a year and half. Overall, I think everything went great and I had so much fun serving the pastors and listening in on some wonderful teaching. Thanks especially to Oikos Fellowship for providing the funds to make this retreat happen!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Glamorous White Lady

Seriously people, those of you who know me (Tricia) back in the States know that I am totally NOT glamorous. And those of you reading our blog once in awhile know that mostly I garden, cook, and take care of my dirty, dirty children while trying to serve the church here in Zambia.

Based on these things, it might surprise you as much as it surprises me to find out that Zambians expect me to be very glamorous. Oftentimes they are completely shocked at my basic skills...

For example:

One of the young Zambian guys that works here at Ciyanjano stood with his jaw dropped when he saw me whistling. He couldn't believe it. I told him that I might be a foreigner but I do have lips!

Driving. When people in Kasupe see me driving instead of Kelly they are just doubled over with giggles. Who is this white lady who drives herself around?? Why doesn't she have a driver? But even worse are the times when people see me walking and ask, where is your vehicle?

Cleaning... oh my goodness this one really gets me. At church the other day the ladies group said we were going to meet Thursday morning to clean the church for the upcoming conference. I said I would be there at 9am to help out. The leader's response was, "You know how to sweep??"

Here in Zambia, unless you are the poorest of the poor, you have a full-time maid. By full-time I mean 6 days a week. It completely boggles the minds of most Zambians that I don't have a full-time maid. I have a very nice lady, Prudence, who cleans for me two mornings a week. But even with her help, I still have plenty of opportunities to clean considering that we live in the dustiest place I've ever seen.

Cooking. The fact that I have learned to make simple Zambian dishes, in over two years of living here is an endless topic of conversation with people. Yes, I really can dice tomato and onions!

Anyway, long story short, I don't know if it is television or movies or what but Zambians seems to have this glamorous picture of white ladies, especially Americans, just sitting around getting their nails done and doing nothing while someone else watches the kids, cleans the house, and drives their fancy-pants behinds around. So, I just want to say "cheers" to all the regular ole white ladies I know who are back in the States cleaning their toilets and wiping booger-covered upper lips, and circling for parking spots at the mall. I love you guys and you are totally glamorous to me!!!!!