Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Welcome to the 21st Century!

Greetings friends.... Well, I have officially done it. I have finally entered the 21st century and created a blog. One simple request: all of you web-savvy friends shall not critique my lack of creativity....

This little monkey captured my attention while I was in Livingstone enjoying the "Tourist Capital of the Nation." Too bad I hadn't noticed its mama lurking nearby. I guess I got a little too close because she came after me, chattering, pointy teeth bared, and I have no shame admitting the fact that I screamed at the top of my lungs. A nice Zambian man (a nice, BIG, Zambian man) came to my rescue laughing all the way. Welcome to Zambian wildlife Carmen!

I have been travelling in the Southern Province for the last two weeks, teaching in local congregations, and enjoying what used to be the "bread basket of Zambia" before the draught hit in 1993. Tonga villages dot the rural countryside and I amazed by the creativity of those that live in these small communities. No eletricity, no running water, and complete dependence on the land. Foot-and-mouth devastated the livestock supply this year, but thanks to an EU re-stocking program people are receiving cows and goats.

These pictures are from Mazabuka the “Sweetest City in Zambia” (home of a massive sugar plantation)

I overheard someone say recently, “Yes, we laugh here a lot. If we don’t laugh we won’t survive.” I know that poverty and systemic injustice can be found anywhere, but the poverty is different here. Sometimes I feel like I am going to choke. Not just on the awful pollution (it is horrendous—the smoke from charcoal fires, dirty diesel trucks, and the copper mines form a permanent thick haze on the horizon), but on the pain of it all.

I continue to be grateful to be here, although, I admit that there are moments that I would give my right arm for good espresso or Italian antipasto. Go figure. Strange what you miss...


J.C. Austin said...

Hey, Carmen! Just reading these postings now. Funny story about the monkey; Livingstone is where I was charged by a very angry baboon, so there must be something about recent Princeton grads that simians just don't like!

Bert said...


We were wondering how things were going and I just asked Cori about if she's heard anything.

Looked over the Blog and it's tops.

Love the picture with the alligators.

You're the best and I'm jealous... thankful... and very much praying for you.

Preach with passion and knowing that God has handpicked you for each person in your path.

We'll send you pics. and look forward to more blogs and emails.


Marty Scotzin said...

Dear Carmen,

I just read your blog (my first ever, honest!) and am so impressed! I am an MAPC member and met you briefly at the SI Yankees game, etc. before you left for Zambia. That game must seem very far away now! I am friends with Anne Stewart and her parents and went to high school with her father. I'll forward the link to your blog to Anne.

Your writings and photos are wonderful. I laughed and cried...... over the marriage proposal and extreme poverty you are facing. I think, though, that we should see a few more photos of you!

Take good care of yourself and know that you are not alone. We are keeping you in our prayers. I'm looking forward to reading more about the important work you are doing.

Marty Scotzin