Thursday, April 17, 2008

Preacher Girl!

Last night I had 3 friends for dinner: Teddy Sakupapa (SUCH A GREAT SURNAME!!!!), his fiance Cathy and Trust. I made Italian food. My neighbor is growing fresh basil, so I was able to create something semi-authentic. They liked the meat sauce, but weren't a fan of the noodles. This is a mystery to me. Many of my Zam friends eat loads of carbs-- rice, nshima, potatoes--- all in the same meal, but noodles? No way.

I love that any and every event can become an excuse to listen to Rhumba and dance.

North Americans, we should pick up on this. We should dance far more often than we normally do. Notice the chetenge around our wastes? This is also nice. I think it is somehow supposed to make dancing less seductive (for propriety or some such notion), but I think it's just plain festive.

At the last moment I was asked to offer a short devotional to a women's gathering yesterday morning. Now, I was told that this was an informal event, but was encouraged to wear my clerical collar. mmmm, does this look informal to you?!?! This was a 6 hour Bible study. 800 women showed up! Amazing. Most of the service was in Bemba, but there was plenty of dancing and singing, so I was happy as a lark.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kuomboka Ceremony

The floodplanes of the western province are gorgeous and filled with Lozi fisherman and once a year a whole bunch of tourists from all over the world.

After a 15 hour bus ride (yes, please insert "cramped" and "uncomfortable" here) we finally made it to Mongu, a small community in the rural Western Province where the Lozi people reside. I joined a bunch of friends (1 Candadian, 1 Namibian, and 5 Norwegians) for a wild weekend. Thousands of Zambians gather, all donning red caps (traditional Lozi color) to celebrate the annual migration of the king.
Yes, king I say. I thought he was a chief, but I guess there is a complex hierarchy of chiefs with one top chief who is referred to as king of the Lozi. A few of us were intereviewed on ZNBC, so yes, I am now a national TV star. Okay, perhaps not a star, but I was still on national TV.

Once a year the Lozi King migrates across the floodplane from the lowlands to his palace (mmmm, I use the term "palace" loosely here). We knelt for every imaginable official. We even knelt for the king's baggage as it was loaded onto the boat.

The king is rowed by about 100 men that use home-made paddles.

Norwegians are wild. Seriously. What's with Scandanavians? Love them. Every Norwegian I have met (and Swede for that matter) has unending energy and a serious dedication to savoring every second of life. Needless to say, I am tired. We did not sleep a lot.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

YouTube Video!!!!

Hi friends. After on of the largest debacles in my life, I found a way to upload a short video about my life for Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church (they were doing a fundraiser on Sunday and wanted to see their “global fellow” in action in Zam). If you want to check it out (about 8 minutes in length), please copy and paste this url (or just search "Carmen in Zambia" on YouTube:

Scotty is leaving me (pictured left). Not before the Komboka Ceremony (stay tuned for very cool pics and stories), which will be held in the Western Province this weekend. On Saturday we went to Race Course together for the last time (a big dance competition and Peer Education Seminar was held for a bunch of teens). We went with my new friend Sevelen who is from Namibia, but has been working in Zimbabwe for the last year. His NGO sent him to Zambia because of the potential civil unrest that is feared due to the delayed election results.

I love Sevelen (pictured below-- the one on his knees). He uses adjectives in this crazy high-pitched voice that has people in stitches. We were walking to Race Course and stopped by “MEF falls” (which has been an ongoing joke) where we enjoyed the cascading, polluted waters that feed the resovoir where we collect our drinking water.