Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Everyone hates us

You know that don't you? I cannot tell you how many conversations I have had in the last two days that have reminded me that the world currently HATES the United States of America. We are called bullies, imperialists, narcissists, and a whole host of other nasty, little criticisms. All for good reason I suppose. Today at work I was greeted by a co-worker whose first words to me were, "I hate President Bush" (pronounced Boosh). He reminded me of the latest U.S. endeavor in Africa (seeking a country in which to build a military base). The African Union was in an uproar and the continent, almost unanimously, voted against this presumptuous demand. I admit I am a little tired of being hated.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Food a la Zambia

What's in Carmen's cupboards at home you ask? Well, ask and ye shall receive friends. Here is a normal day: get up around 7 a.m. and put a pot of water on the stove to boil (a must for clean drinking water). I then meander to the tub for a soak (no shower mind you), and then eat some granola (a recent discovery at the local grocery store). And then it is off to work. As you can see from the pic, I've got loads of food that looks pretty American. I roast my own peanuts (cheap little snack), drink boxed milk and instant coffee, and I indulge in "Coke Light." It is expensive, but I love it. The picture below is standard Zambian fare (for special occasions). This was the meal I ate on Sunday after church (the elders prepared it for the special visitors). The meal included enshima (on the left), potatoes, rice, hard boiled eggs, cabbage, "soup" (or "relish"), and chicken. Delish!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Preacher

Here I am outside of a little church in rural Kamphinsa. I preached here on Sunday and was delighted to join this small congregation (about 25 adults and an equal number of children) for worship. My Swedish neighbor (the self-proclaimed heathen Mike) and Jenny (the pentecostal Brit) joined as well, which was lots of fun. The thatched roof kept the space nice and cool while the hot sun poured through the make-shift windows. While I was preaching this little brown dog came in and laid down in the entry way to the church. He was surprisingly intent on the sermon. Funny. First time a dog has ever listened to me preach.
These women pictured here were so excited to see a camera. They danced for me and insisted on having lots of pictures taken. Aren't they beautiful?

Baby ChiChi

I learned how to hold a baby "Zambian style." My co-worker Charles and his wife just had their first little one and everyone calls him "Chi Chi." He is the sweetest little thing and I was proud to be the first white person he has ever seen. They live in a compound called "Chimwewe" where the government is busy putting in new water meters to make sure residents are paying enough for their water. Most folks living here survive off of less than $200 a month. Ridiculous.