oyyyyyyeeeeeee Hot Season has OFFICALLLLLLLY begun….

5 Oct

So October marks the beginning of hot season and man does it get hot. I wish that I could actually have a real temperature to give you but I guess you could just look up weather.com to see what im talking about. I have been hanging out with my sweat for like 5 days now and its kinda gross haha. There has only been one night so far though that I could absolutely not sleep because of the heat. I mean I was completely naked in my bed and still sweating my butt off. I didnt fall asleep until around 3 and had to wake up for school the next day at 615. awfullll! But the plus side of hot season is that I dont have to warm my bath water. I take nice cold bucket baths at like 14 and feel great.

Last night there were horrific thunderstorms all night which was super weird and loud because I live in a grass hut with no sound proofing. I woke up around 1030 to small water drops dripping on my bed. I decided to do the smart thing and just turn up my ipod and deal with the damage in the morning. Thank goodness there was no major damage anywhere just a few small links that were easily cleaned up. The rain definitely helped with the heat though and I was happy to get some restful sleep!

I have the best halloween costume ever and I cant wait to show pictures! I wont give anything away but its extremely me and ahhh im sooo excited! it shall be hilarious! ill post pictures as soon as i can!! :)

The Real World: Zambia

26 Sep

Soooo since my last update we have a new president here in Zambia. Mr. Michael Sata of the PF political party became the first non-member of MMD the ruling party for the past 20 years to be president. Elections took place on Tuesday and results were known at like 3 am Friday morning. I found out the election results by having a large party of 20 or so people coming onto my compound to see the headman singing and dancing the praises of Sata. Needless to say I had no idea WTF was going on and opened my front door with my hair on the top of my head and flannel pajama bottoms (because they were the first thing I grabbed) and a black cardigan on. I smiled at everyone and then shut the door and went back to sleep until noon. It was not the best way to wake up lol

But since it was election week were not supposed to leave our sites for safety and security reasons. Chadiza was absolutely calm but there were reports of violence in Lusaka and the Copperbelt. Riots even took place in Chipata on Thursday because of the slow process of announcing the winners.

I was able to come into the house on Saturday to work on my Peace Corps Q4 Report and spend time with my intake friends. I even got to have some retail therapy and bought some fabric to get dresses made. I managed to be productive and made a word bank for my classroom and bought vinyl material to make portable chalk boards for the class.

But the most important part of this post is that I wanted to share one of my recent success stories…

So for those of you that dont know I have been co-teaching for the past two school terms in a grade 5 class. My main focus has been Math, Reading and English. During term2 I realized that the majority of the pupils did not know their multiplication facts or how to use the multiplication table to find the products. I made this a goal for term 3 to help the pupils become more familiar with the table and the facts. As a class we made our own personal multiplication tables and then played multiplication knockout. And we continued to do this every day for two weeks. During the 2nd week we were learning about Prime and Composite numbers and as the pupils were completing the independent assignment I walked around to help pupils that seemed to be struggling. I stopped by a Brian a pupil that does not speak a lot of English and is particularly shy when talking with me. Brian and I were able to have a conversation in Nyanja in which he used the multiplication table to find out if a number was prime or composite. Not only could he correctly decide how to classify the number but he felt comfortable discussing it with me! I felt like a proud parent and I almost cried right there in the middle of class. It really is the little things that count! ahh i loved my life at that moment and that memory will definitely stay with me when I am having a bad day in the village.

My lifeeeeeeee

12 Sep

So its been forever since I have updated the blog post so I decided it was high time to get started…

August was a crazy month of constant traveling. For two weeks I was in Lusaka for Peace Corps training and then straight afterwards I went on vaca to Malawi with the girls and then ended the month in Luapula for Rosa’s birthday and officially made it back to Eastern Province September 5th.

Some highlights of the month:

1. I got a new tattoo on my wrist- its a simple heart with Diza connecting the heart (for Chadiza) and its easily hid by watch.

2.Inkata Bay was AMAZING! It was so nice to be able to see water and have comlete relaxation.

3. I have become and expert hitcher. I basically spent countless hours in the back of pcik up trucks getting around Zambia.

4. I was able to trade a chicken for a super cute new Chitenge bag. Backstory: I went to visit my host mom Amai Judith while I was in Lusaka and as a parting gift she gave me a chicken. Now I had to take a 50 minute bus ride from Chongwe to Lusaka with a chicken in a plastic bag. The funniest moment ever. Ed, Alex and I then preceded to the Sunday Market to trade our chickens for something that wer wanted. I would have kept the chicken that I named Mwapikanya but I was traveling for the whole month and I did not want to travel from Lusaka to Chipata with a chicken.

5. I got my first haircut in Zambia and even treated myself toa blow dry. My hair is slightly above my shoulders and having my hair straight reminded me of Americaland.

6. A funny moment in Lusaka was when I legit fell into a ditch while walking to dinner. And yes I was completely sober. I was walking with a group of friends and talking to my friend Joe, and I was not really paying attention to where I was walking and all of a sudden my left foot fell into the ditch. This led to my whole body being in the ditch. Thank goodness there was nothing like water or bugs or a lot of dirt in the ditch or I would have been more sad and not laughed so much about it. I did not get hurt but my poor kindle was smashed by the fall. I have decided that I am not meant to have a Kindle in Zambia.

7. Everyone should read the The Hunger Games books! They are amazing. I am 90% through the 2nd one and now just waiting for my nearest neighbor Willie to get them in a package so I can finish the series. Thats the major bummer about my Kindle – ALL of my books were on it :( But im finding ways to survive thanks to the PC House Library.

8. I got my wallet stolen. Which was not as horrible as I thought it would be. Yeah it sucked at the moment and was a pain but Allan and Safety and Security were amazing helping me get my bank card back and money out of my account so I was not stranded in Lusaka for more time than I needed to be.

9. OHHH and im not the baby of Eastern Province anymore. The new CHIP and RAP volunteers are getting posted to their sites this upcoming month. Zambia is getting so big in terms of PCVs being everywhere. It makes me realize now how much time has passed since I came to country.

Well I love and miss everyone oodles! Keep writing I love hearing everyones updates from home. It helps keep me grounded and gives me some good laughes on days needed. Term 3 has just started so I know that it will be super busy with co-teaching and planning.

xooxoxox

23

11 Jul

Hiiiii all! So I get to update again because I had an icky stomach issue and medical sent me to the provincial house for medication. Thank goodness though because being in a village without a proper bathroom is not the place you want to be when you are having severe stomach issues. But luckily I have amazing volunteers with me in Chadiza so they took care of me and I hitched into Chipata yesterday and have been having a nice two days eating bananas and rice and reading books while i recover. But I will be heading back to Kumadzi tomorrow because I have so much to do before community entry ends!

But when people have asked me what the hardest part of being in a developing country is I had the hardest time finding something to say but now I can definitely say finding definite transport from C

But on another noteeee im 23! My 1st birthday in Zambia was amazing and I love all of my friends here! We even managed to have some fire crackers and it was kind of like being in America! :)

I really do feel settled into my life here! Everything has become a part of my everyday routine. Who would have thunk that I would include eating a mouse (never again), running every morning and biking 35 k as a part of my everyday life. But it feels right.

Im getting super excited for August because I will be taking a trip with my fabulous ladies to Malawi for a week and then ill be traveling to Luapula so I can celebrate Rosa’s birthday with her! Exciting times ahead!

I will be posting pictures of community entry and hut pictures at the beginning of August so stay tuned!

 

Mac and Cheese

wheat thins

gold fish

foot scrub

baby wipes

plain m&ms

trail mix

school supplies

Community Entry

28 Jun

Helloooooo everyone!!

So I have been officially in the village  for 2 months now! Its crazy how fast time has been flying since my arrival here in country. But this weekend were the Peace Corps Provincial meetings so I have been in Chipata at the Peace Corps house. I wanted to do a lot more skpying and updating but with all of the volunteers being at the house the internet has been sketchy and hard to get on.

But life updates, I have been teaching grade 5 at Mwala Basic. Primarily Math and Reading. There are only 27 pupils in the class  but its quite crazy because there is a 19 year old in the class. But at least he is still coming and putting effort into class. I have started running everyday that Im not riding my bike because Mwala is so close to my house that I dont have to ride my bike when I go into school so running helps me keep the nsima belly at bay. Who would have thought that me coming to Zambia would force me to get into shape.

Im still eating with my family everyday. I have even had the great opportunity to eat a mouse. Probably the grossest thing that I have ever done but at least it was dark and I could not see it. And i covered it with Nsima.

Its crazy to think that my brithday is less than a week away. Life can change so much in a year…. CRAZZZZYYY

But my huts are coming together and I will post pictures after community entry when everything is the way that I want it to look.

But wishlist time:

Simple school supplies (pencils, pens, crayons, colored pencils, pencil sharpners)

Leveled reading books (the paperback thin kind)

funfetti cake mix

pretzels

pretzel m&ms

I will update later on tonight we care gettting kicked out of the office because of buisness hours!!

 

Butttttttttt I love and miss you all

Im offically a PCV!!!!!!!!

23 Apr

Hiiiiii everyone!

I feel like so much has happened since I last updated but hereee it goes…

The end of homestay and training was really bittersweet, I am so ready to be in the village but I will definitely miss seeing the people that have kept me sane through pst esp the wifey <3  We had our Language Proficiancy Interview last Friday and I got Intermediate Mid which was on target for what Peace Corps wanted so I was happy. We also had cultural day on Tuesday and this was my last day in Chongwe, it was special though because the whole intake got together and made food for our families and the headmen from our respected villages.

On Thursday I swore in and officially became a Peace Corps Volunteer, its so crazy how fast time has gone since I have been here in Zambia. I actually had a small speech during the ceromony and was really happy with how it went… One of the main things that I have learned since being in Zambia is “Walira Invola Walira Matope” it literally translates to “cry for rain and cry for mud” but its a Nyanja proverb that basically states  that there is always good and bad with anything that comes in life….After swear-in the whole intake went out to celebrate and had a lot of fun dancing!!

As of now I am at the Peace Corps House in Chipata which is the Provinical Capital in Eastern Province. I was able to watch The Lion Kind this morning and take a real shower (which was amazing)… I will be here in Chipata until next Friday when I get posted to my village. While here I am going to be shopping and getting things like my quilt and couch coushins made. It will be a nice change of pace this week getting to relax and just read and get ready for being in a village for 3 months.

Im really excited to finally be in Kumadzi, its a little strange to think that I wont be seeing most of my support system for the next 3 months but at least we have cell phone coverage.

So as always I have a mini wish list! And these are especially crucial because I will be on my own for the next 3 months and I can only go to the Chadiza boma which does not have a real supermarket

- mayo packets- (because I cant refridgerate after opening haha)

- american candy

- nail polish and remover

- sharpees

- apples to apples travel edition (this doesnt have to be until like towards the end of community entry)

-tuna fish

-Pink and Purple Pens

- Coloring books

-crayons

- bubbles

- beach balls

-jump rope

-triple a batteries

- sea shells

- map of florida or post cards of florida

-again things to make me smile :)

Also I was reminded of this when I was skyping with Laura, the funniest thing that has happened to me by far since being here has been the Chules in my hut. Chules are frogs and at normalily in America I am not afraid of frogs but when you are sleeping in your own hut at night and you just hear something moving around your hut in the dark it can be quite scary. The first time I literally was standing up in my bed trying to find out what the noise was without me getting out of my misquito net which led me to be standing up with my head light on and freaking out until I found the frog. And then the next day there was a giant one in my chimbuzi… my amai had to help me get it out and we definitely laughed for over a half an hour.

I will try to post again soon before I leave Chipata!!! Love you and miss you all!!

Anddddd HAPPPPPPPPPPY EASTER!!!!

Also Friday was Earth Day and Disney Nature’s African Wild Cats came out!!! Goooo and see it because I totally would if I could!! :)

Chadizaaaaaa Bound

19 Mar

Heyyyyy everyone!!!!

This week we found out our site locations and I will be living in the Kumadzi village within the Chadiza boma. I will be a 13 k bike ride from the boma so I will be able to go every weekend. I will be the 3rd and final PCV to be living at my site. I will be spending the week in Kumadzi next week and am so excited to make my hut my home. I am definitely planning on having a pink wall in my room. And I definitely want to add a vegetable garden and a small flower garden so that I can add some brightness to my day.

But back to training…. We have had 2 language simulation tests so far and I improved from a 4 to a 4.8 within the two weeks. The tests are out of a 5 out of 5 scale. Language class is definitely like entering the 1st year of college all over again. Getting used to studying and having to prepare for tests is a whole new ball game when you are in classes all day and then do not have electricity to light up your room. There are countless nights that I would intend to study but would end up having my notes study me as I fell asleep on my bed.

This past Tuesday and Wednesday we had our supervisor’s workshop and I got to meet my supervisor Mr. Joembe from Mwala Basic School. He has only been at Mwala Basic for two weeks because he was promoted after the old head teacher retired, but he was nevertheless excited to meet with me and I definitely think that we will work well together throughout these next two years.

My goal within community entry (my first 3 months of service) is to definitely learn how to sew. I want to make curtains and cushions for my hut. This should definitely be interesting. And I will keep everyone updated on my progress.

As a project I want to have a library at my hut so I can read with the kids at night and when I am not in school. If everyone can look at garage sales for second hand books this will be such a great help to me! Also once I am more set up with my school I am going to try and work with an NGO to get a library started at my school. This is going to be a process that I will keep everyone involved with because I have to make sure that it will be sustainable before I begin the project!!

Oh btw my new address for AFTER swear in will be

Kelli Malone

PO Box 520103

Chadiza Zambia

Knock on wood I still haven’t had any super scary bug stories. I have seen a cockroach in my room but I was safe under my mosquito net.  The past couple of nights though I have heard some critters on my roof but turning on an ipod does wonders to tune out the sound of them.

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and I do have to say that I missed being able to have green beer. A bunch of us did meet up and have a couple Castles (Zambian Beer) to celebrate and be American haha.

I was lucky this week to get a postcard from Kristal in the Bahamas and a package and card from my parents. I have never enjoyed crystal light so much in my whole life. Water does definitely get boring after a while. A little flavor does wonders.

I am excited for site visit this next week because it will be the first time that I will see my new home but I will also be able to cook for myself and really be on my own. As much as I love my host family I definitely miss the independence of choosing what I want to eat and when I want to eat. Im sure though after being on my own for 10 days I am going to be crying for my amai…

But on another note, the mlenga lenga (sky) in Zambia is amazing! I don’t know to describe it but it is definitely almost heaven. The day sky is so bright and the clouds are fluffy and large and the sunsets are breathtaking every night. At night the stars are endless and the moon is so bright. There is a different view of the sky everyday and I am always captivated by it.

This past weekend I attended a village funeral and it was definitely an experience. So many people were in attendance and within the mourning process there is a lot of wailing from relatives and people from the village. The wailing is very different from the public display of mourning that one would see at a funeral in the US. The burial site was also in the middle of the brush and everyone just sat where they could on the grass while songs were sung and prayers were read and the body buried.

Something great about African culture that I have learned so far being here is that loosing a family member, having an illness and any other sort of loss are all things that the villages feel together. When one loses something they all do. It is a very compassionate nature that really hits you to the core. Many of these people have nothing to give in the terms of money or at even certain times of the year food. But when tragedy strikes they are all there for each other. No one asks for assistance or for people to come but they are always there ready to be supportive of the family.

Check out the new pictures on facebook and I am sure I will have more of an update after site visit! I am still having issues logging into my email so facebook messaging me is definitely the easiest way to get in touch in with me go figure!

LOOOOOVE YOU ALLLLLLL

PS: I would love some fun hair accessories like bows and flowers and scarves. And candles would be amazing too… the Zambian candles just don’t last at all!

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