Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Minor Setback...

Wow the last 2 days have been insane! Our 40 foot container arrived in Lusaka, so we got the call on Monday and the trucker said he would drive it out to Mapanza for us! He got about an hour away when Blu called him and asked if he had a way to get the container off the truck. He responded, "This isn't your container. You didn't buy this container. My instructions are to take everything out of the container and take the container back to Tanzania."

We spent the next 2 hours emailing back and forth our shipping company in the USA, the customs in Tanzania, and the clearing agency in Zambia. As it turned out, there was a MAJOR miscommunication and the container was in fact, not ours.

Hmm....a 40 foot container an hour away that we have 24 hours to unload...things were not looking good! To make a long story and very stressful evening short, we unloaded the container into our front yard in Choma. We had 24 hours to do it but we did it in 5 because the drivers wanted to return to Tanzania as soon as possible. So we started at 7:30pm and finished at 1:30am...we were exhausted!

We have now put our personal items into the house and still have the orphanage items in the front yard! We are in the process of purchasing a container from Lusaka that will hopefully be here in the next few days so we can get these things out to Mapanza. Please pray that it doesn't rain!!

Situations like this are very stressful, and it's easy to get angry. However, strangely enough, I had the most overwhelming sense of peace yesterday. I realize that God has a reason that our container had to be unloaded in my front yard. :) And, in reality, it's hard to look around at a container full of donated items that safely made it to Zambia and be frustrated. God is still good!
The mower was one of the harder items to get off!

Paw was tired!

This is what my front yard looks like..

Almost done!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trip to Victoria Falls

Probably the most beautiful thing in Africa (in my opinion!) is the baobab tree. I love them-so majestic looking!

Headed to the bridge that links Zambia and Zimbabwe

Completely soaked after seeing Victoria Falls!

The many faces of malaria ;)

Swinging at the Zig Zag Cafe in Livingstone, Zambia

Blu did the "Flying Fox" which is a zipline where you fly across the gorge--he was terrified and screamed the whole time!! He didn't move his arms or legs even an inch from the time he got out there to the time he was back on the ground!!

The Gorge Swing!! As seen on The Amazing Race and Adrenaline Junkies. It's a 3 1/2 second free fall and then you swing across the gorge. I did it tied to Paw!
Getting strapped in

Here we go!


Can you find us down there??

Yeah, it was nothing... ;)

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Here are some things that happened this week in Mapanza!
The workers house

The tops of the septic

A septic ditch


Electrical poles are going up! They got 12 up.

Paw taking a much-deserved rest!

They have cleared the land for our house and are starting to dig for the foundation!

This is where our 40 foot container will sit on the land

Now for a 2 day break in Livingstone to take the guys to see Victoria Falls!

The Guys

Here's the guys after the camping trip--They are currently having a "goatee challenge" :)

John Cena

Have you ever heard of John Cena? (don't worry--me either!) He is an American wrestler I guess. Well, Zambians LOVE wrestling and keep up with all of that.

Ever since we moved to Zambia, people have been stopping Blu (in the market, etc.) to tell him that he looks like John Cena. We were on a road trip the other day and Blu was getting gas and all of a sudden a Zambian man yells "JOHN CENA!!!" Suddenly our car was surrounded by Zambians all yelling and sticking their hands in the truck to shake their hands.

Blu's awful--he just nodded his head and said "yes...yes..." They were asking, "John Cena!! From America?!" And Blu responded with "Yes...yes I am from America." They then told him, "John Cena...we are hungry..." LOL Only in Zambia...

Friday, April 16, 2010


Well, Cambree has been sick for 5-6 days. It started with a cough, then fever, then overall tiredness, then complaining of stomach pain and diarrhea. I kept waiting for the rest of us to get her cold but we never did, even though she coughs all over us!! After the 6th day of her not being herself, I decided to take her to the doctor, pretty sure it was just a bad cold or flu that was hanging on.

So we head to the Indian doctor in town, Dr. Jain, and they prick her thumb to do a test, and yep...Cambree has malaria. Oops!

Don't freak out though--she's outside playing in the dirt right now. The worst part is trying to get her to take the medicine--a big tablet that I'm dissolving in all sorts of things to try to get her to take it!

Thanks for praying for our sweet and mischievous little girl!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

There's a reason God made me a girl...

So yesterday, the kids and I decided to take a spur of the moment trip to Mapanza and camp out with the guys. Camping out is my favorite thing ever to do!! I slept so great, there were hardly any flies, I didn't get ANY dirt on me, and it was just an overall amazing experience!!

Ok, not really. But for the sake of our teams coming in June and July who will be camping on the land.....I'll leave it at that. Luckily, Cambree enjoys camping about as much as I do..so from now on, the girls will stay home :)

The guys supervising the digging of holes

Steve trying some Zambian sugarcane

This is Paw talking to the building chairman. This is Paw's "I have no idea what you are saying" face!

Quality time with grandkids

Wasn't I just doing this a few years ago??

A table, seat, and macaroni and cheese--what more could they need?

Josh hanging out with some kids playing soccer

Blu hired some guys to use their team of cows to pull the electric poles across the land.

Cason LOVED camping

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Setting up Camp

Things never go as planned in Africa...

That being established, let me tell you about my day. You know we have 3 houseguests right now--Paw, Steve, and Josh. Last night was their first night here and the power was off for 2 1/2 hours!

This morning, we got them all packed up with camping gear and they headed off to church in the bush. The plan was for them to worship at Nsanti Baptist Church, eat a traditional meal cooked by the pastor's wife, and then call me when they left (around 1pm) so that I could meet them at the campsite with the ice chest holding the food they would need for their trip.

So 1pm gets here..and still no call. But my patience with my children was gone, so I figured we would just head that way and get there a little early and let the kids run around. I was almost there when Blu finally calls at 2pm. He was calling to tell me that church ran long, and the food still wasn't ready yet. Hmm..that complicated my plans, but I figured I would stop by my friend Priscilla's house for a visit with her and her children. Alas, Priscilla was nowhere to be found. I decided to just head out to the land when I ran into another friend, Masckel. Masckel informs me that because of the VERY heavy rains we've had the last 2 days (the rainy season should be about over...but go back and read the first sentence of this blog...) the river is impassable. Crossing the river is the only way to get to the land, so I start to panic. I call Blu and he tells me to go and see what it looks like.

I drive to the river and it is moving SO fast. (It's a low-water crossing). I watched a man cross and the water touched the bottom of his calf. All I can hear at this point is my Dad in my brain saying "This is not safe. You have 3 kids with you. Do NOT cross this river!" (I promise..it was like he was in the vehicle with me!) I call Mulenga, who had crossed the river that morning on a truck, and he assures me I can make it. Sorry, Mulenga. Dad wins.

So it's now 2:45pm and Blu is still about an hour away. There's really nowhere to stop for the kids to play, so I decide to just drive towards Blu's direction. So we drive..and drive..and drive on the dirt roads filled with potholes. As SOON as we reach pavement, we see Blu coming towards us.

He tells me about lunch, and I can't help but laugh. We wanted our guests to have a traditional Zambian meal, and they sure got it! We figured they would feed them nshima with some chicken and some type of vegetable. Instead, they had nshima and kapenta. Kapenta are small fish with a STRONG smell and HUGE eyeballs. They were troopers and tried some (or maybe one..) :) Poor guys!

Anyway, I tell Blu that I think they're all going to have to come back home, because even his truck can't make it across that. He decides we should all drive BACK to the low-water crossing to check it out. Sigh.

We get there and this time there are Zambians all around. Blu hops out of the truck, puts on his four-wheel drive, looks back at me, crosses his fingers, and proceeds to drive easily across the crossing. He then gets out and motions for me to cross. He said I could make it fine, but I totally panicked. The Zambians are all around me yelling at me to go. I roll down my window and tell them I am scared, and they proceed to tell me, "Just go straight. Keep the wheels straight." First of all, DUH. Secondly, have you ever driven a car?? Didn't think so.

I take a deep breath and slowly cross the river (keeping my wheels VERY straight..) Ok, so it wasn't all that dramatic, but I made it!

By now it is 4pm, the time I had planned on returning home to get the kids fed and bathed. I hang around and help set up tents until 4:30pm when we notice a big storm coming in. Blu begs me to stay and camp with them but I tell him NO WAY!! Get the kids in the car--we're out of here before it pours again and I can't get back across!!

I made it back home safe and sound and looking forward to not getting in the car again for a few days. Have fun camping guys!

The walls are going up on the workers' house!


Putting up the tent

Due to the rains, they put the tents under a shelter.

Poor Caedmon wanted to stay and camp out so bad! Maybe next time.