The 10 things I knew starting out..
on Wendy Margolese (Zambia), 31/Mar/2011 08:35, 34 days ago
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At the very beginning of being here.. these were the things I had learnt.. and now here are my reflections on them.1.    1. All that will be eaten are carbs here.. I will be a vegetarian for the next 6 mths.. with a few cans of tuna and some eggs thrown in for good measure.– in January we had a butchery (thank you Anari) open up in Siavonga.. it is far away so I was only able to go by cab.. but I went every month or so and stocked up so I did eat pork chops, steak and chicken regularly in the last few months I was here. The other thing that I didn’t realize was how many tomatoes I would eat while here.. it’s one of the only veggies that you can get in large amounts for cheap and they are delicious. The volunteer before me had planted basil (thank you Ben) and I was able to get garlic from Lusaka.. so I made bruschetta and pasta with olive oil garlic, tomatoes and basil very often..2.     2.The work I have to do at Siavonga Nutrition will not last me 6 months.. but there are a lot of agencies who can use help.. one of them being Celim.. it’s out of Italy and they are doing amazing micro-finance work. – this was very true.. I worked for Lake safari and then for the district council of Siavonga because there was not enough for me to do at SNG.3.     3. It’s hot and I will have the best suntan of my life while living here.. – also very true. I don’t think I’ll ever burn again.4.     4.I will miss my husband more than worlds can express.. and although I can still have fun it’s always at the back of my mind. – as time went on it did get easier but after I got past the halfway mark all I kept thinking about was I was halfway to seeing my hubby again.5.     5.I will forever have diarrhea and I’ll just get used to it. – My system never got 100% used to the food and drink here.. I was either constipated or had diarrhea the entire time I was here but at least I didn’t get Malaria6.     6.I will forever be changed by this experience and will have made new friends for life. This is very true.. Although there are few who made the list.. the ones on the list are super important to me and I will keep in touch with them forever.7.     7.I will never be afraid of bugs again.. so far we have spiders, ants, flying maggots (which are a delicacy here.. very nice lightly fried) centipedes, a hybrid spider/moth, geckos and of course mosquitoes. Also true I’m not afraid of any bugs at all.. I am however still afraid of chicken’s beaks and feet.8.     8.I will not see hot water for 6 months but it doesn’t matter because it’s really hot and we don’t need it! There were a few mornings when it had rained the night before that warm/hot water would have been welcome but on the whole I really didn’t miss it at all.9.    9. A cell phone is key to a good social life.. everyone sends texts all the time, it’s cheaper than talking.- Although texting a lot cheaper a lot of people here still call because there are many who don’t read.. so I got used to calling and txting.10.   10.Zambia is beautiful in her own way.. There are some very beautiful parts and some not so nice parts but in everything there is a little bit of beauty (that sounds so cheesy but it’s really true). I can’t express how true this is.. I will miss waking up to seeing Lake Kariba in her splendour.. to beautiful 6:30pm sunsets.. to the rolling hills from Lusaka to Siavonga and to all the changing greenery.. from 1 month to the next the landscape changes completely.. the naturegrows and changes so quickly around here because of the heat. Fruit and veg come in and out of season in a matter of weeks and you have to get it while it’s here. It’s amazing. My favourites were mushrooms, luigi which is a root that tastes kind of like potato, and rape.