Monday, June 08, 2009

Back Home in Zambia

We had an uneventful trip back to Zambia. The long leg of our trip is the flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg. It was shortened to only 15 hours this time because we didn’t have to stop and refuel in Senegal. We landed in Johannesburg Saturday evening and spent the night at a lodge before flying to Livingstone on Sunday. We managed to sail through the immigration checkpoint—not a minor feat since we do not have physical possession of our work permits which are lost somewhere in the Zambian bureaucracy.

Here are just some random thoughts and descriptions about returning to Zambia after six weeks in the US.

1. My neighbor Mrs. Moono came to greet us as soon as we got home. She grabbed me and swung me around in the air a few times. Now that’s a welcome!

2. We went to church last night and sat down in the middle section of the auditorium. A few minutes later, Jason crawled up on my lap in his fleece pajamas. We had a joyous reunion. He quietly informed me that he is now four years old. In a few minutes he fell asleep in my lap. Does it get any better than that?

3. I couldn’t remember which of the faucets in our bathroom is the hot water faucet. They’re both labeled cold, and they’re the old fashioned setup where each faucet is separate. The water does not mix—you either get hot water or cold water, so to wash your face you do a little catch water/splash/catch some more water routine. I’d forgotten what fun that is.

4. The sunset filled the sky with flames of red and orange. You just don’t see sunsets like that in Austin.

5. I spent five minutes trying to lock the back door today. We finally unscrewed the plate on the side of the door—and then David realized I was using the wrong key! Can I blame jet lag?

6. I miss long, hot showers. I felt guilty every morning in the US as I stood under that incredible water pressure, but I enjoyed every minute. This morning’s bucket bath was a reality check.

7. Being back in my own bed makes up for the bucket baths!

8. Ants invaded while we were gone. The counter by the kitchen sink was brown with dead ants when we got home. Once those were cleaned up, live ones swarmed in to take their places. I declared war today. Since I didn’t have any ant spray, I went after them with antiseptic liquid (think Lysol). I figured the smell would repel the ones it didn’t kill. That worked marginally well, but Obrien had a better method: hot ashes! We dumped hot ashes all over the veranda under the window where the ants were crawling in. Sure enough, the ant population reduced from the millions to a few straggling survivors who soon fell victim to my antiseptic-laden paper towels. Unfortunately, a remnant came back for dessert tonight. I’ll get them tomorrow.

9. The chicken population is down. Five of the chicks and three of the older hens died. The gardener says it was a snake—but that would be a big job even for our local cobras. The good news is that three chicks survived and are all grown up, and the remaining hens and the rooster are doing well. More good news: Petronella—the one who started my chicken business in 2007 and who literally rules the roost—survived and is now hanging out in the guinea fowl side of the pen.

It’s good to be home.

1 comment:

Mary Ann Melton said...

The story of a blessed happy homecoming! I'm so glad!