Monday, March 30, 2009

Zambia, Day Two

So we headed out from Wes and Laurie's house on Day Two (no water=no shower!) Something funny was that Wes and Laurie fill their bathtubs about 1/3 full each night so they will have some water if the water goes out. Well, that morning, Blu went into the bathroom to take a bath and thought "why is there water in here?!" So, yep, he drained it, only to find there was no water!

We left Gwembe for our drive out into the bush, into the area where we used to live. It was strange because it was just pouring the whole time when we were there. When we lived there, however, there was a big drought, so everything looked different to us...really green and tall grass everywhere. In fact, as we drove out into the bush, we saw tons of people fishing with their homemade nets. They were more than willing to have their pictures taken!

The rainy season in Zambia is November to April. The rains are a funny thing--too little, and the crop is ruined and the people starve. Too much, and the crop is ruined and the people starve. This year, the Southern part of Zambia is getting way too much. The maize that they have left on the stalk to dry is getting too wet and will soon ruin if the rains do not stop.

You can see in this picture how the ground is flooded!

The cows think they own the road!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Zambia Trip, Day One

Here goes...

It took us 2 days to get to Zambia, 20 hours in the air. We flew from Austin to Atlanta to Washington, D.C. to Johannesburg, South Africa to Lusaka, Zambia. Blu was so worried that we weren't allowing ourselves enough time to check in for our first flight so we left our house at 1:15am. We got to the airport at 2:40am only to find out that they don't even open the check-in counters until 4am :)

Cason did fantastic on every flight. I could see people cringe as they saw that they had to sit by us on the airplane, only to praise him at the end of the flight for being the "best and quietest baby they have ever seen!" South African Airways gives us a "bassinet seat". This means that we get to sit in an exit row with tons of leg room, and they attach a mini-playpen to the wall in front of you for your baby to sleep in. Cason slept for most of the flight while we watched movies, did crossword puzzles, and slept.

We arrived in Zambia at 9pm. It was raining and humid. I looked at Blu and said, "I forgot how hot it was here..." Our missionary friends who picked us up, Wes and Laurie, laughed as they told us that this was a "cool day."

The next morning, we visited Rafiki Village about an hour away from the capitol city. This "village" is run by Americans and is currently housing around 20 orphans. Their setup is almost exactly what we want to do. We were amazed by the facilities and spent over an hour there picking their brains for information. The orphans have all been signed over by a judge so that they have legal guardianship. They warned us that if this is not done, child trafficking laws come into play and are broken. The kids stay in homes by gender with a Zambian "mommy" who takes care of them. She does morning devotionals with them, teaches them how to do chores, and basically is their "mom." The kids then go to school, where they have Zambian teachers. (We will most likely use American teachers whenever possible). It was so wonderful to get to see these facilities--we took notes such as what brand of commercial washing machines/dryers they have--things we never would have thought of!

We then headed to our first hometown in Zambia, the big city of Mazabuka. Our goal here was to see our two closest friends in Zambia, Hildah and Mulenga.

We told Mulenga we would be there sometime that day, so he arrived in town at 8am and sat at a school waiting for us until we got there at 4pm because he didn't want to miss us.

Mulenga worked for us in Zambia and moved out into the bush with us. He lived in a hut right beside ours and was definitely our best friend in Zambia. We have missed him so much. We both thought he looked older and that there wasn't as much spark in his eyes as there used to be. When we asked him what he was doing these days, his answer was the same as it was 5 years ago: "Just trying to finish my education and looking for some piecework." The life of every Zambian...

Hildah was my closest friend in Zambia. Since we left, her boyfriend/husband (in Zambia you never know) and her had a baby - a little girl they named Laurie who is now 3 years old.

Hildah shared with me that she is planning to leave her husband because he is an alcoholic and he beats her. She seemed sad but her eyes lit up at the thought of us coming back to start an orphanage and told me she would love to teach. She is teaching preschool right now at a Christian school in Mazabuka.

We were only able to spend about 25 minutes with our friends, and it was a sad time. A joyful reunion but a sad reminder that so many Zambians are just going nowhere. Trying to get out of situations they are in but lacking the skills to do so. Thankfully, these 2 friends have placed their faith in Jesus Christ so they can find hope in Him regardless of their circumstances. These are two friends who we definitely hope to help when we return to Zambia.

Jet lag started to set in for Blu and Cason, so they enjoyed some naps at Wes and Laurie's house.

We stayed up and learned a new card game, Hand and Foot. Laurie asked me if I wanted to take a shower in case the water went out. "No, I'll just wait until morning." Morning came - no begins Day Two in Zambia.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


What a trip. We are in the capitol city tonight and will fly back to America tomorrow morning, arriving in Austin around noon on Saturday. I have so much to blog about I'm sure it will take days to get everything in, along with pics!! For now, here's a pic of me and my sis after being reunited after 2 1/2 years!! I'm going to go beat her at Nerts one last time before we leave!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Twins?? :)

Every Monday night while us girls are at dance class, the boys make a tent in the living room. Cambree loves to come in and crawl under the tent to see what the boys are doing!

Our kids get a little carried away when they yell "cheese" to take a picture! Every time we want to take a picture of them, they insist on standing in front of the globe. Weird....

Hmm...this looks too sweet to be true. Oh yeah, Cambree was trying to see if Cason's hand would come off.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

5 Days!!

Oh my goodness, 5 days until we leave!!! I am headed to Walmart today to pick up last minute things for missionary wishlists (macaroni and cheese, honey, blueberries, trail mix, all the good stuff you can't get in Africa!) I'm SO excited but very overwhelmed too! It will be so hard to leave my 2 big kids! I asked Blu if he thought it would be hard to tell them bye and he said " depends on how they're acting..." :) So true!! Anyway, 2 bags are packed and my mom is coming tommorrow to help me get things in order. 5 days!!!