Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Greetings family and friends! All is well here in Zambia, just trying to hang in there for my last 6 months. It's tough but I will do it. My emotions have just been up and down lately, and that has made it difficult for me to really enjoy the experience. But, recently I went on a safari at South Luanga National Park and it was absolutely amazing. I saw elephants, zebras, kudu, impala, lions, leopards, buffalo, wildebeest, baboons, hippopotamus, antelope, crocodiles, puku, monkeys, giraffe, and various types of birds such as bee-eaters, storks, swallows, ground hornbills, and fish eagles. Here are a few pictures from my trip.

I love you mucho.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

It's around 4a.m. here in Zambia and I'm still awake. I guess my insomnia is back for a night. I'm staying at the house in Choma for a few days because I have bed bug bites on the side of my face, lower back, and legs. It's been an extremly itchy past few days...and gross too. I really can't blame the bed bugs though. I'd bite something as sweet as me too. That's why I can't go outside in the rain...sugar melts.

Anyway, the Southern Province volunteers will be gathering for another gardening workshop next week. Then, our new Country Director will be stopping by to visit us at our huts. It's a great opportunity to finally get to meet him and chat. I'm definitely excited about it.

Well, that's all for now. I'll definitely update if something exciting happens. Luv ya and ttyl!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to the future!

Hey Family and Friends, I'm back in Zambia after being in the U.S. for a month, and it was absolutely lovely. I love that place! I truly loved being back home in the midst of my family and friends. I really wanted to get back to Zambia though because I was becoming too comfortable and I could've easily stayed there. But...I didn't! And now I'm back to work.

So, right now I'm working with a Women's group in my village who want to rear chickens. I'm really excited about the prospect of helping them get their small business started.

Well, that's my life right now and I'm loving it. TTYL.


Monday, May 11, 2009

A New Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!!!! Especially my own loving Mother.

I'm back from Midterm Conference and heading back to my village today. I'm glad that's over with and now I can offically begin my 2nd year as a PCV. It's not that I'm surprised I made it this long, but the time has just gone so fast.

I'm trying to gather some black dolls for my community because I see entirely too many little Zambian girls carrying white dolls around and I don't feel that it's good for their self-esteem. So, if you want to donate an old or used black doll to my community you're more than welcome to do so. I'll be home in July and will be gathering them then.

Love ya and TTYL,


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

1 year down, 1 to go!!!

Hey peeps, how are you? I'm in Lusaka for Midterm Conference which means getting more vaccines and checking in with my supervisor...and of course seeing all the other volunteers. I finally got my last dosage of Hepatitis A and B, plus a flu shot (you know swine flu kills) and a TB test. I can say that all those shots hurt like heck! You know I'm not a fan of innoculations, but it's all in the name of development, so what can I do? But, I'm healthy so it's no big deal.

We took a permaculture workshop and I'm really inspired to try it out in my village. It's a new way of gardening which is very labor intensive in the beginning, but after the initial work it's free sailing!!! I will let you know how it goes.

Love ya,


Friday, March 20, 2009

3 months and counting

Wow, I can't believe it's been over 4 months since I've blogged. I'm really sorry. Funny how time flies when you're having fun!!!! So, for Christmas I went to Cape Town, South Africa to visit Tracy. It was so much fun. Unfortunately I gained 10 lbs eating at McDonalds and KFC most of the time. I just couldn't help myself. I really had no self control. Back home I never even went near McDonalds, but in South Africa I just couldn't get enough. It was the best food in the world. It was legit McDonalds...just like home.

While in South Africa Tracy took me to a township (also referred to as "the Location" because that's where all the South African's were located during Apartheid) of Guguletu where Xhosa is spoken. On the day we arrived 2 local boys were coming out of the bush. This is when 18 year old boys are taken into the bush to be circumcised and taught to become men. I believe they stay in the rural area for 2 full months. See pictures of them emerging below. It was truly amazing to see how excited the community was to see these new men emerge from their solitude. I actually had tears in my eyes, but I don't quite know why. (Feel free to chime in with your own opinions of why I was crying). To show our appreciation each person had to bring a bottle of brandy. There was so much food. It was unbelievable. It was so tasty. Especially the goat....yummy. We also went to a place called Mzoli's where everyone goes to eat and be seen in the Guguletu. I loved it. Tracy really showed us the true Cape Town. It wasn't all tourist spots and white washed fun. It was a true experience.

For most of January and a lot of February I was doing trainings outside of my village, but they were in conjunction with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and other NGO's in Zambia. The MOE has a radio program called "Learning at Taonga Market" which is used to help teachers with lessons. It comes on everyday at a certain time and teachers follow along with the broadcast. It's a great idea, however the problem was that many community school freeplay radio's went missing, or teachers were missing parts of the lesson because it moves to fast, etc. So, QUESTT has a program where they give Ipods to community schools in place of the former freeplay radios. I and other RED (Rural Education Development) volunteers were helping to train MOE officials on how to use the Ipods, then they in turn teach community school teachers how to use them. It seems to be working. I also did a Peer Education workshop with CHANGES2 which helps High School students prepare to implement training with their peers through things like AIDS Action Clubs, and Mentoring. Through this program we want to address behavioral change, gender issues, traditional beliefs, and to raise awareness of the ways that HIV/AIDS is spread amongst the population, and promoting life skills. Working with the teens was a great experience. They were not afraid of asking any and everything! They wanted clarification on certain things, and if one of the facilitators didn't know something they called them out on it. It was very refreshing. I loved it. It's definitely different than working with adults here, because they never say anything. They take lots of notes, but rarely ask questions or interact with the facilitators.

I also went to Zanzibar which is an island off the country of Tanzania for a music festival. There were local artists from all over Africa and beyond. It was really an amazing festival and not commercial at all. For the last night of the festival they had a bonfire on the coast. It was absolutely beautiful! It is the Indian Ocean so the water is pure blue and warm. And all I ate was fresh seafood for every meal, drank fresh juice and ate fresh pineapple and fresh coconut juice. Everything was fresh! It was awesome.

Those have been the highlights so far. I wish some of the family could come visit but I know times are tough right now.

I think that covers everything. Talk to yall later. Love ya,


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Change Made!!!!

For the first time in America's short yet sometimes troubled history, we have elected a Black man as President. It feels very surreal. Sometimes I get down about being out of the country during such a historic time in my life and the history of the U.S., but then I realize in life one has to make sacrifices to reach certain goals. I had no doubt that Mr. Obama would win the elections but I'm still very proud of the voters of the U.S.A. just because it was a landslide victory. Maybe the country has really matured after all. Now, this is not to say that things have changed all that much, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

Anyway, as for the happenings here in Zambia....

The community school teachers in my village still have not been paid in 4 months, so the teacher that lives next door to me has decided she will only teach 1/2 days now in the morning, then tend to her garden in the afternoon. This way she will not starve and will have food to eat. So, I will talk to my APCD and some of the community members to see how they will feel about me taking over for her afternoon classes. I'm still thinking about it though, because I really don't want to have a mandatory schedule. We shall see.....