Saturday, October 15, 2011

hello world

So a lot has happened since I last posted but I will try to give a brief overview of some of the major events that have taken place. 
I attended a kitchen party with a few of my teachers.  a kitchen party is like a bachelor party but not.  it is for women only and the people who attend bring gifts.  the bride wears a nice chitenge dress and her bridesmaids wear matching ones.  the bridesmaids line up and do a dance/march into the area with the bride following.  the bride is covered with a chitenge so no one can see her face.  she is escorted by an elder person.  her head is down the entire ceremony and never smiles.  she sits on the floor, the groom gets to uncover her but before doing so has to pay money to the family.  then he unveils her.  the bride then gives cakes to each side of the family.  and rolls around on the floor as a sign of respect.  they leave together.  she comes back in seats on the floor, head down still while everyone shows off the gifts they bought.  a lot of dancing, singing and eating.  i am attending another one at the end of the month.  i also have been to two weddings now.  they are very similar to the kitchen party.  the bridesmaids and groomsmen come out first dancing in a line followed by the bride in white with her head down.  they sit in a certain area with people all around them.  one by one people bring forth plates, dishes, cups, chickens and money.  so the night before the kitchen party is another party.  not sure what they call it.  it is where the bride learns how to please his man in bed by learning traditional dances.  i have yet to attend a real one but the teachers wives at my school showed me some of the dances at their house and it was pretty....interesting.  i didn't know hips could move in so many directions. 
i went to this thing they have every month at our local 'clinic' called Under 5.  all the children under 5 get weighed and vitamins and shots.  this is also a chance for women to get birth control aka family planning here in Zambia and they have VCT, volunteer counseling testing.  the one i went to also had a make shift ultra sound area. which means they lied on the floor and a 'nurse' listened to the heart beat and felt around on the moms belly. so the women who want shots as family planning have to go to town (this is what i saw in my village could be different elsewhere), buy a needle and at the under 5 they exchange the needle for a shot.  i tried asking more but they just kept saying thats how it works.
so after i finished my community entry, the 3 month period of observing and understanding the workings of my village we had IST. In service training. this was held in lusaka and was for two weeks.  we covered so many topics like adult literacy, starting a library, how to report to peace corps the work we do in the village, gardening, etc.  it was a really nice time for all of my intake (red group) to get together again and share how our community entry was going.  after that some of my friends traveled to livingstone for 5 days.  it was such an amazing restful vacation.  we did a safaris, sunset cruise aka booze cruise, and river rafting.  i almost died rafting and will most likely never do it again, but it was fun while i did it.  i have video and pictures can't wait to share with you guys.  this was my second time to see the falls. first time i saw it at the end of rainy season and this time i saw it during cold/dry season.  it was def. a big difference.  i got to see my friend bunji, that was neat.  i would rather bunji every day of my life than raft again.  (ok so that is a little dramatic but until you see the video, you can't judge my near death experience.)  while at the falls we were at the top of the falls and saw a camera crew and some people gathered around.  apparently a local had gone out with an illegal tour guide to try to swim in the devils pool area.  he drown in the process.  they found his body the day we were at the falls. very sad.  while at jolly boys, the backpacking lodge we stayed at, we met two peace corps volunteers from south africa.  they were older around 55ish and had running water and electricity.  they found it very interesting how we lived in the bush. 
this is a very hodgepodge (sarah o.) entry but its been a while and this is what i could think of off the top of my head. 
so for this term i am co teaching three days a week, monday, tuesday and wed 7:30-11 and planning those days after class.  on thursdays i will travel about 15 km each way for a hiv/aids life skills group at a training college.  the pupils range from 18-25 and speak english.  i am also trying to start an adult literacy group.  that is hard since it is going into rainy season. 
next weekend i am going to lusaka for the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps.  my friend emily from eastern and i are also going to stay an extra night and celebrate our birthdays.  hers is in november but close enough. 

Be free.

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