Death on the Wall

This is what we are dealing with every day. These dudes are HUGE. This one is the size of my hand, even though you can't tell from this picture. Just had to let everyone see for themselves!

posted under | 6 Comments

7 pens, 10 hair ties, 2 machetes.

Today we went into Choma! It’s about a 45 minute drive in Khaki Jackie (our Land Cruiser) with all of us squished sideways in the back. Our first stop was the post office to buy stamps and mail some postcards. After that we went to a little museum about the local arts and crafts. They had a great gift shop where I got quite a few souvenirs and gifts! I am so pumped to give everyone their gifts when I get back. I’m used to kind of the same souvenirs (t-shirts, scarves, magnets, etc.) so I basically love everything I see here! For lunch, B Weave went across the street and ordered each of us half a chicken with fries, plus she bought fresh oranges, cookies, and ketchup! The museum had a big picnic table out front on the lawn so we all sat around it and had our lunch. It was fantastic. I think about every 30 minutes or so, B Weave will ask, “Have I said how much I just LOVE this group?!”

Our group eating our little picnic

The market in Choma was HUGE! It’s tons of little booths set up all in a big chunk so it’s kind of hard to find your way around. Kaylee, Lacey, and I stayed together and decided we really wanted chitenges, bracelets, world cup shirts, and machetes. Every now and then we’d find a booth with chitenges so we all ended up buying a few. We had absolutely no luck with bracelets or world cup shirts. Bummer! We had also had no luck negotiating our purchases. Kaylee was determined no to pay any more money. When we walked out of the market we saw a ton of machetes. So Kaylee and I each picked one up and asked the guy how much. He was selling them for 15,000 kwacha (about $3.50). We both pulled out some pens and asked if we could trade. The guy started talking to his buddies in Tongan and they all started laughing. He grabbed 3 or 4 pens from us and asked for our hair ties. Then he said, “Okay, you can go.” SUCCESS!!Precious little kids. The market is way in the background.

The drive home was much less exciting than the way there. We were all tired and hot from walking in the market. We did stop on the way back at a really nice “fast food” place. They had cold Coke and POPCORN! You know I was happy.Me and Ian were pretty excited about our popcorn!

When we got “home” (which is what we’re all already calling our little house!), Kaylee, Meghann, and I ran for a little bit... not too much since we’re having another Zumba night later! I think we’re supposed to have spaghetti for dinner tonight and we are all excited about that! The internet has been doing a better job ever since last night, but it’s still in and out. Thanks to everyone for reading my blog and leaving me some love!

posted under | 1 Comments

How many babies can you hold at once?

This morning while Dr. Weaver and Dr. Tullos were teaching a class, the rest of us got things out of the HIZ container and sorted out the language tub. We aren't able to start therapy until Monday so we pretty much had the morning off. Most of us read, wrote our blog posts in a Word document since we didn't have internet, played cards, or napped. Poor Kaylee was sick all day! Everyone pray that she gets better soon.

This is Linny. She is the most chill baby in the world.

This afternoon we were able to go over to the Haven and play with the babies! Two of the dorms were still napping so we all headed to the house with the HIV and TB babies. Some of them needed to be fed and the rest of them just wanted someone to hold them. The aunties were rotating them through bathing and changing so I held about 3 of them while I was there. The last one was a precious boy named Sam. He's the one in my Facebook profile picture! He played with me for a little bit and laughed and laughed. He got pretty tired after that so he just layed his head on my chest and sat peacefully. It was so hard putting him down and saying goodbye!

Catherine and Jaime feeding two babies.

Lace and I went over to the toddler dorm and as soon as we walked in the door, two boys ran into our arms. Bright, a major trouble maker, jumped to Lacey and Weston, a big boy with a sweet smile, jumped to me. We went and sat outside on their front porch while they were all given sippy cups. After watching us for about fifteen minutes, the other kiddos started to warm up to us. Soon all of them wanted some love! Lacey felt a little sick so she had to leave which left me alone with about 20 toddlers! I had about 3 in my lap, two playing with my hair, two playing with each hand, and 3 trying to get me to throw a football with them. It was madness. Really fun, but total madness. Soon I had to leave and after I shut the gate and was walking away, I heard Bright and Weston yell my name. I turn and they were climbing over the wall to run to me for one last hug! How precious. Me and Weston!

This weekend we're heading into a new town, Chomo, to go to a Zambian craft museum (jealous, Minchey?) and check out the market there. Sunday will be our first experience with church and I am so excited about it! Worshipping in other countries is always so uplifting and makes me feel even closer to the people because I know that they are my brothers and sisters in Christ!

Hopefully the internet will start working better and our blogging can be more up to date!

posted under | 3 Comments

Oh, internet.....

This is my room in the house!

*This is about Thursday:

So I totally felt like I was all good with the whole jet lag thing but then.... this “morning” I woke up and felt completely rested and wide awake. Kaylee was going to wake me up after her shower but light was streaming through the windows so I just went ahead and got up. I got all my shower stuff and headed to the bathroom. I put my contacts in, checked the spider situation (one as big as a silver dollar right next to the cold water knob and one as big as my palm up close to the ceiling)... then I noticed there was no light streaming in through the bathroom window. I thought that was odd since I knew it just had to be morning. I went to get my computer to see what time it was and guess what? It was only 3 am! Unbelievable.

Turns out, just about all of us woke up around 3. Weird.

For breakfast, Leonard made us french toast with homemade syrup and peanut butter. Then we got to go to chapel at the college. It was awesome. I loved singing and praising God with all of them. After it was over, all of the girls wanted to meet us and each one of them shook our hands. They were so sweet. It’s kind of crazy because it’s technically their winter right now so a lot of the girls had on heavy sweaters and big coats. The weather is like in the 70’s so we’re all in t-shirts and they think it’s freezing! Crazy.
This is one of the college girls. They were all so happy and fun to talk with!

Later we headed into town, Kalomo, to change money, check out the market, and get some drinks and snacks. It was such a tiny town and the market was very primitive. But the people were sooo nice! Everyone said “Good morning” to us and they weren’t too obnoxious trying to get us to buy things. I think all of us bought our first chitenges. Chitenges are the pretty pieces of fabric that the women here use for EVERYTHING. Skirts, tying their babies to their backs, wrapping their groceries to put them on their head, and on and on.

When we came back to Namwianga, we all wanted to go to Mrs. Mono. She is a lady that lives two houses down and works on the mission. We knocked on her door and she was so excited to see us. She makes purses, coin pouches, aprons, laptop cases, bags, dresses, basically anything you ask for out of the chitenges. She pulled out all of her pre-made stuff and we went to town! All of us bought numerous things for gifts and for ourselves. Later we changed out purses to use the ones we got from her. We ran into her on the road when we were walking to dinner and she loved that we were already carrying her work. She is a precious woman!

During chapel, they made an announcement that there would be a soccer game at 3 o’ clock. A few of us (mainly Ian, Dr. Tullos’ 12-year-old son) decided to go. We were trying to get connected to the internet for a while so we were a little late going over there. When we showed up at 3:45, there were 2 guys on the field! We thought we might have missed it, but no one else had shown up yet. We waited around and at about 4:45 they started the game. The even asked Ian to play. He was so excited. He ran off the field to give his dad his watch before the game started and said, “This is awesome! I’m about to die!” They were pretty good, but it wasn’t very structured so it wasn’t that exciting to watch. We all ended up taking pictures and talking. Then all of a sudden, Lacey jumped up and ran away screaming. It scared all of us, but it was because a truck drove up that had their missing luggage in it! Lacey basically jumped on the guy driving the truck to give him a big hug because she was so happy. They were all so happy to have their luggage back.

This is a picture I took while we were at the soccer game...
the sky is so fantastic, I can't get over it!

Tonight we did Zumba again! Caroline lead Catherine, Kaylee, Jaime, Sarah, and me for about an hour. We were so hot in our little house that we decided to go outside on the porch to cool off. It just seemed like the perfect place to do an ab workout, so Catherine lead us in 5 minute abs. We all decided that we probably burned more calories by laughing than we did by the actual work out.

The internet has been out all night so this probably won’t be posted until tomorrow :(


posted under | 1 Comments

Zumba in Zambia

*Ok, so the internet is not the best here! Right now I'm just hoping this will post. I started writing this on Thursday afternoon, but the internet is sneaky! I keep missing my opportunity to post.

Yesterday (Wednesday) we had a killer breakfast at our hotel and then headed out to Namwianga from Lusaka. It was a 6 hour drive, but it really didn't seem that bad. It was a lot of fun to just look out the window at the landscape. About half way there, we stopped at a little fast food place called Tooter's. We got there just as two large buses did so the line to get food was out the door. It was crazy, but the workers were super efficient and we had our food (samoosas and chips... aka triangular eggrolls and fries) in no time. After we ate, we drove the rest of the way to Namwianga.

The Namwianga Mission is pretty big and it includes a clinic, George S. Benson College, the Haven, and a few other nifty places like our house where we're living! When we got to our house (the Estes/Binkey house) we dropped our luggage off and headed straight for the Haven. The Haven has 3 different houses for all the babies. When we got to the first one, we were met by Meagan, a girl who has been living and working here for the past four years, and she showed us around each house. The first house is where the babies that are HIV positive and TB positive live. They were all so sweet and one little boy waddled up to me and wanted me to hold him. His name was Kurt and he was such a happy, precious baby! Meagan showed us around the other two houses that were full of sweet, sweet babies. They all remembered the lessons that last year's group taught them and when asked, "Who made you?" They smile and reply, "God did!" in their little accent. So precious! It was hard to say goodbye to the babies and it was only the first day! I feel like it's going to be like Mexico times 10. After coming back to our house and unpacking, we walked over to the Hamby house for dinner. The infamous Leonard cooked us an amazing dinner of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans (which we all know I did not eat), rolls, and chocolate cake. Delicious... We eat our meals on the back porch and the weather is so perfect. It's fantastic! After devouring our food, we headed back to the house since it would be dark soon. When we got back we realized that it was............ 6:30. Seriously. We had no internet and all night to do nothing. At first we were kind of negative about it and all sitting in the living room bumming about having nothing to do. Then we found Caroline (an SLP from Nashville who volunteered to come with us) in the closet with her iPod doing Zumba. We got her to come out to the living room and teach Jaime, Catherine, Meghann, Kaylee, and me. We did it for about an hour and it was so much fun. It was hilarious and I kept making up my own moves if I wasn't getting it. It was quite the workout. The rest of the night we just talked and read and handled a few situations (the "wall" spiders, no electricity or bug nets in Jaime and Sarah's room). We finally went to bed around 11:30. And now we have internet again so I'm going to post this while it's going strong!!

posted under , | 1 Comments

Are we there yet?

Well, it has definitely been an adventure. And we’ve only been gone a few days! Sunday, I said a rushed goodbye to my family as they headed to Kev’s graduation. Wooo, yay Kev!
Jordan drove me to the airport where I met the rest of my group. Our first flight was from Memphis to Atlanta. One of the girls in our group, Lacey, had never flown before. Her seat was actually by one of the flight attendants. He was (Kevin voice) “so sweet” and talked to Lacey the whole time. He even announced to the whole plane that we had a special group on board and explained what we were doing. Everyone clapped for us. When we were about to land, the flight attendant told us all the places to eat. When he said On The Border, we all got excited and decided to eat there. Little did we know, the time change would mess with us already. We thought we had two hours before our next flight, but we really only had one. Half our group went to eat, not thinking anything of it. We had a lot of fun people watching, laughing at the people running to their connecting flights. As we were finishing our meal, I got a text from Dr. Weaver asking where we were and that our flight was boarding. After texting her back, she replied with, “Run to E31. RUN.” And we did. We threw enough money down to more than cover our ticket and sprinted out of there. OTB was in concourse T. Our flight was in E, the farthest one away! We ran up stairs and escalators, road the tram all the way around to E, ran up more stairs and escalators, and sprinted 31 gates to make our flight. When we got there, only the people flying stand by were waiting. We made it, and we decided we’d never laugh at another running person again!

Our next flight was from Atlanta to D.C. Nothing exciting happened on the flight, but when we went to pick up our bags, we had our first casualty. One of Dr. Weaver’s bags was completely destroyed. It looked like it had been ripped, chewed, and melted. So after getting that cleared up, we were ready to head to the hotel. We were finally settled in around 2am. Woke up around 6 and headed back to the airport.

We made a few friends while we were waiting for our flight to leave including Elijah (“Captain Cute”, age 2) and Leah (“Mommy, those girls are all so pretty!” age 3), a group of 5 other college students headed to an orphanage in Malawi, and a youth and campus minister from Georgia and his group. Our flight was about 15 hours long. I moved to sit by myself to have more room so it wasn’t a very exciting trip. I watched the in flight movies (The Box- terrible. Percy Jackson- enjoyable. Leap Year- already seen it.) and tried to sleep a little. The light above me was not working so I couldn’t read! Sad day. When we were about 2 hours out of our first stop, I enjoyed watching the flight tracker and I pulled out some old tunes (Camminando, anyone?). That stop was in ROMA. It made my heart ache! Only about 3 hours away from Gallo’s and I couldn’t go!! We couldn’t even get of the plane. Luckily, they opened one of the back doors so I went and stood by it a second to breathe in some good ole Italian air. After refueling and changing the flight crew, we left Rome and headed to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I moved seats so I could read some, but I ended up spending most of my time looking out the window. At one point, I looked out and it really hit me where I was going. I saw the Nile River! We followed it for a long time and I had fun pretending all the tiniest dots I saw were really herds of elephants. Addis Ababa is huge. It was a fun place to look at from the plane. It had flat farmlands, countryside, mountains, and city. When we landed we literally had about 5 minutes until our next plane was supposed to leave. Luckily, a few other people from our flight were also on our next one so they held the plane for us. This flight was our last one! It took about 6 hours to get to Lusaka, because we also made a pit stop in Zimbabwe, which I have absolutely no memory of.... I was OUT! When we finally made it to Lusaka, we found that because of our delayed flight to Addis Ababa and only having about 5 minutes to change planes, 7 of our bags (none of mine, though) did not make it. Hopefully they will arrive tomorrow, but you never can tell. Here is a picture of what our group shirts look like:

We were met by Roy Merritt and Robbie who drove us to our hotel. They work on the Namwianga Mission and were so nice! Robbie told us he is in charge of making sure we have internet there. He says some days we will love him and other days we’ll not like him too much. Now we’re in our very nice hotel (yes, I took the picture below of our room!) and about to go eat dinner! Thanks for all the prayers and support! Love!

posted under , | 2 Comments
Newer Posts Older Posts Home

About Me

My photo
I'm a graduate student working to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. I'm in love with my best friend, Jordan. I love cheese. I love elephants. I love reading.

    My Tweets

    Currently Reading

    Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Recent Comments