on Wendy Margolese (Zambia), 09/Dec/2010 12:59, 34 days ago
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We have 2 hours for lunch, every day we stop by the bakery and pick up some roll, sometimes they make these donuts with cream inside. They are oily but delicious and Joi orders fish pies (which is like a beef patty with fish in it! I haven’ t had a chance to try them yet. Then we walk up to the market..check the womens’ stalls see if there are any new vegetables to be had.. today we found corn on the cob.. we bought 1 for each of us and we’ll see if they are any good. Last week we had fresh green beans, we ate them last night and they were great. Everyday on the way back from the market I can’t believe it takes us 2 hours to do our route.. it’s actually amazing that I used to eat my lunch at my desk in 15 to 20 minutes at most and now it takes me 2 hours to get my few little tasks done.Most people have been sending me email asking what the community is like and what the people are like.. This isn’t easy to answer. The community is small and close knit.. and I’m still an outsider to them. I am welcome here and most people are extremely polite and friendly after being introduced by a common friend. The people who I have gotten close to are my fellow volunteers, not necessarily from VSO but from other organizations. I have gotten to know a few white native Zambians; it’s funny before I got here I fantasized about making close friends with the natives.. and for me that meant black Zambians’. The truth is it’s difficult to suss out who wants to be your friend and who is looking for a handout... The native who really took an interest in getting to know me wanted me to become a Jehovah ’s Witness! (Everyone goes to Church, be it on Saturday for the 7 day Aventis or Sunday) They love to sing and dance.. and in the morning you see 30 people in a pick up truck on the way to work, singing in perfect harmony. For the most part they are simple god fearing people, although most people aren’t able to feed their families everyday there is almost no violence or theft here in Siavonga.. We have a house boy who does the laundry, sweeps and irons all of our clothes. (there are small bugs that lay eggs in your clothes while they are drying on the line) so everyone irons their clothes to ensure those eggs have died because if not they get under your skin and hatch under your skin!) He is so kind and sweet, what teenage boy do you know that would be happy to do that kind of work.. he is really happy with his job and is appreciative of everything.  I think i’ll be lucky to make 1 or 2 black Zambian friends who are really friends. As it stands now I don’t have any.. I want to be clear it’s not that every white person is rich and every black one is poor. The white Zambian’s I’ve met however are comfortable.. they are lodge owners; and it’s been a family business for generations in some cases. They are wonderful and welcoming and very generous! There are Black Zambian’s who are comfortable as well, they are typically pastors, and some shop owners. I hope long term I’ll be able to meet some native Zambian’s who I can get to know better and be friends with.