Well I have fallen into a bit of a routine—get up early (far too early for summer), head to school and teach for the morning to mid afternoon, head back to Fawlty Towers, lay in the sun (which I totally don’t mind), have dinner with Louise, and journal/wander around town town/explore the rest of the night. Well, if any of you know me, you know I’d get myself into something new and interesting. So yesterday I contacted a local orphanage called Lubasi Home here in Livingstone and met with them today expressing my interest in helping out during the second and last week that I am here. They were more than welcoming and excited to hear of my interest so next week I will be teaching at Libala Basic school until mid-afternoon then head over to the Lubasi Home where I will spend a few more hours just interacting and spending time with the children, most of which have lost parents to HIV or such related diseases. It should be quite a moving experience, but one that I will greatly appreciate and learn a lot from. And even though I absolutely love laying by the pool, listening to music, relaxing, catching up on some sleep still from school, and such, I just felt like there was much more to do here—I can do all of that when I get home and I don’t want to waste the opportunities I have here, so I’m really, really beyond excited to start helping on Monday… and not going to lie, a bit proud of myself for taking the initiative to find an organization and such, contact them, and follow though! I have loved teaching at the school (and it is going well—we’re working on division still but the students are getting better… and the forests are still forests, but we’re learning all about how to conserve them and such) but what I enjoy even more is just the simple interaction with the children. They have so much to share and they see it as an exciting experience to interact with a “white American”—so it’s definitely a mutual enjoyment for all of us. I have even really valued getting to talk to the other teachers at the school, learning a lot more about their education system and just their life in general. Sister Mary (the teacher I am working with) even invited me over for dinner, so hopefully that will all workout for next week sometime! Other than that, life is still absolutely wonderful over here! I’ve enjoyed spending a bit of time relaxing and reading by the pool (something that certainly doesn’t happen during school) and have been spending time at night preparing lesson plans for the next day. My students are only in class for three hours a day (7:30-10:30) so then I am able to observe other classes, interact with the students, help with grading or whatever else the teachers need, and just learn more about the school/area in general.
Louise and I have been quite adventurous in the cooking—for example, we’ve made stuffed peppers, Indian food (delicious), and chili for dinner. Now that I’ve been here a week, Fawlty Towers is starting to feel like home a bit—I feel like I know a lot of the travelers, many of which have become somewhat like friends, or close to friends as you can get during the few days you live in the same hostel as someone. But hearing some of the stories of the travelers have been crazy—most of these people are backpacking across Africa or have done something similar in their life so everyone has a story to share.
Anyways, I have been here a full week now which is crazy! The time has gone so fast but it’s incredible how much you can see and experience in just a short time not to mention how much you can be impacted in just a week. So far, I have met countless people, taught math and science for the first time in my life, have heard ridiculous stories, seen mind-blowing places, filled up about half a journal already, went on a safari, seen a legit African village, explored Livingstone, and that is just to mention some of the big things. Who knows what else will come my way in the last week I’m here in Zambia or rather the 20 some odd weeks I have left over here. If there’s one piece of advice I’d give anyone in America, it is don’t take anything for granted because let me tell you, you have a hell of a lot! Sometimes it may be hard to believe it until you see such an impoverished place firsthand, but just know that you are very lucky (well, that is anyone reading this because you have internet access—something almost all of Zambia doesn’t have… in fact most have never even used a computer).
Well, I’m off to get some dinner for the night and find something to do! This weekend should be a lot of fun… Louise and I are headed to Marimba Market (the biggest here in Livingstone) and then to Victoria Falls on Sunday—the plan is to bungee jump so just keep me in your thoughts and hope the bungee doesn’t snap… just kidding!
Also, I was finally able to get some of my own pictures to upload so I will post them on occasion!