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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recapping a Weekend

The dust has settled (mostly) and the guests have all gone home. We have just 3 volunteers remaining (including Brent and Sarah) so life is much quieter. This is good. I didn't quite make it to the end of the 7 posts blogging challenge, but I posted more last week than I had in many previous weeks so I'm going to call it a win.

The kids watching Mwata Kazembe pass by on his litter

Mutomboko was a success this year. For those of you who aren't familiar with the annual tribal ceremony, here are some recaps from some of my very first blog posts: 

Mutomboko 
Mutomboko part 2
Mutomboko part 3

This year the six oldest kids went to the main arena to see the ceremony. They didn't make it to the very end since it ran late and they needed to come home for dinner, but they enjoyed what they saw and it was a good experience for them. It's so interesting to watch them grow up. The same kids who cried the first year and were frightened by the musket fire are now old enough to enjoy the festival fully.

We had a total of 25 people with us for dinner Friday and Saturday nights. I stuck with our traditional menu of Chili and Cornbread for Friday and then of course Saturday we had the Pit-Roasted Pork served with Spanish Rice and Coleslaw. For dessert was Addictive Youngstown Chips (or as I like to call them: Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies) and Texas Brownies. It was all excellent! (or so I've been told. Heh)

Our sun ovens came in handy this year. We cooked the 8 pounds of beans in the sun ovens before finishing the Chili on the stove. The next day we slow-cooked the barbecue sauce all day in the sun ovens which meant I didn't have to worry about stirring it at all, and the flavors developed beautifully. For Saturday lunch we 'boiled' 30 eggs for lunch sandwiches. It only took 2 hours and they were cooked perfectly. No gas or electricity required at all. Wonderful!

We did our pig just as we have for the past several years. This was our seventh year in a row! I have nearly gotten over the anxiety that something might go wrong and that it won't get done properly or on time.
For a step by step post you can read it here. This was the largest pig ever! Forty-seven kilos! That's over 100 pounds of pig. Of course by the time it was roasted, and the fat had cooked off, and it was then deboned, there were only 12 kilos (26 pounds) remaining. That was one fat mama pig.


A funny thing to note is that I cannot stand pork. True story. I also don't care much for BBQ sauce. And yet year after year I prepare massive pots of BBQ pork. I have to wait for others to tell me if it's OK because I honestly think it tastes awful. Yet year after year I'm told it's some of the best barbecue sauce and/or pork people have ever tasted. Strange but true! 

For breakfast on Sunday morning I served Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls which are a wonderful way to end a weekend with friends. They all leave devoted to you and swearing eternal love--which is just as it should be. 

Moriah--yep, she's got swag!




Thursday, July 25, 2013

Oh, Internet.....

It has failed me tonight. I can't load anything. Can't open pages. This is my post. I wanted to give you more. Today was a BIG day. Not only was it Tom's birthday, but it was also the birthday for Henry and Janet AND Lizzy (one of our nannies).

We did a kids' party in the afternoon, and then a grown-up party after dinner.

Photos will follow when I'm not struggling to keep my head above water--and when the internet cooperates.

P.S. In yesterday's post I typed a sentence (commenting on the 12 people for dinner) that sounded as if we are cannibals here at the orphanage. I assure you we are not. We were simply too rushed to do a thorough proofread. My apologies.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Day's End

Once again I find myself completely zapped at the end of the day. Today was a FULL day. Since we have a doctor here for a week we took on the challenge of giving all the children a Well Child exam as well as taking an extra look at three of the kids who have had special health concerns. 

I'll be writing up a full post about it next week.

We managed to process 19 children in the morning session, and the remaining 9 in the afternoon. We wrapped up just in time for me to head to the kitchen and help with dinner preparations. Thanks to our sun ovens the chicken was cooked, and I had a team of sous chefs peeling, chopping and cutting up potatoes and veggies. I mainly came in to put it all together. We were cooking twelve people for dinner so that was a ton of food!

After we finished eating dinner (I'll have to write about our dinners sometime) and moved into fellowship (some grabbing cards for a quick name) I decided to do a little cross-stitching. It's one of the things that helps me relax the most. 

Here is what I'm working on right now. 


Elephants in the Moonlight. I'm really happy with how this is turning out.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Popping In

I signed up with Jen at Conversion Diary to do Seven Posts in Seven Days.

Of course, what should happen two days in?

I woke up this morning with very angry lungs. It's dry season and every one and his brother has been burning his fields and the dust is flying, and the mango trees are blooming, and it all adds up to me not being able to breathe.

If I take antihistamines before bed my breathing is better, but I feel like I have a head full of cotton for most of the day. Last night I decided to forgo the medicine and therefore I paid for it by wheezing and hacking this morning until I finally had to take the medicine anyway. 

Although I had my topic for a blog post all chosen out today, I kept nodding off and then the power went out this evening, which is not unusual but always annoying.

This week is our big build up to the annual, traditional ceremony: Mutomboko. Guests are arriving, volunteers are hard at work, and we have a doctor visiting who will be helping us to do Well Child exams for all the kids and also taking a closer look at a few of them. 

All this to say, I have plenty to keep me busy and no time to be sick. Please pray that I can find a solution for these allergies or ailments so I can do what I need to do.

See you tomorrow (and every day this week) if all goes well. It's nearly my blogiversary (4 years of blogging) and nearly 500 published posts. Whoo Hoo! 


Monday, July 22, 2013

Big Strides Forward

Johnny and Elias are the first of our children to commit their lives to Jesus. They sat with us individually one Saturday afternoon and answered our questions about what Jesus had done for them, why He gave His life for them, and what steps they now needed to take.

The thing that impressed me, was how sincere their answers were and how different from each other. They were speaking from the heart, and not from a script of memorized Sunday School or catechism answers.

After we were sure that they knew what they were doing, and why, we had Johnny and Elias pray a prayer inviting Christ to live in their lives.

We explained what a big step this was, and how important it was to now live a life worthy of the One who gave His for them. They took it all very seriously.



The next day, during Children's Church, Johnny and Elias told everyone what they had done and Who Jesus was to them. We explained to all the children that baptism was a way of showing what had happened on the inside and how they were new creatures in Christ.

We used a bucket as our baptismal which required a bit of contortionism to get the boys all the way dunked, but we managed.



Afterward we presented both boys with a Certificate to commemorate the event. We want this time in their lives to stand out. We want them to know how important it was and live their lives accordingly.




We're so happy for this big step in the boys lives and are excited for all the rest of the kids as they also grow up and step up to be men and women of God. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Josephine

It seems like nearly every time I go away for a while, children come to the orphanage. A few years in a row now I've been introduced to new children upon my arrival home.

Samuel arrived at Kazembe Orphanage just after Jasmine and I left for the U.S this year. We were actually still traveling in Europe when we heard the news. Thankfully Brent and Sarah stepped up and took over his care and he has thrived.

About a month before my return to Zambia, Tom called me to say that he had taken in a 14 month old girl. Her mother had passed away 3 months before. The family decided that they had no one in the family able to care for her, and so they made the decision to bring her to us.



Tom told me on the phone that he was impressed with how well Josephine had settled in. He said she didn't even cry when a staff member took her from her father's arms and carried her into the dining room. Once there, she sat in a high chair (probably for the first time ever) and proceeded to eat with all the other children.

"It's like she's always been here", Tom commented.

And that's when my heart broke.

It's simply not normal for a child of that age to move so seamlessly to a new situation. It shows that she has been most likely passed around from relative to relative since her mother's death (and perhaps even before if the mother was very ill) and so has been unable to form any attachments.

I longed to get home and meet Josephine and see for myself how she was doing.



When I did return, I was introduced to the sweetest and most beautiful little girl. She is positively adorable!

However, I noticed that she held back from activities. She seemed to be keeping herself in reserve, choosing to watch the events unfold rather than partaking in them.

I was told also that the staff members weren't going out of their way to care for her and play with her. Since she was quiet and undemanding, they were happy to let her do her own thing.

I started to try to reach out to her. I began to play a little nursery rhyme/hand game each time I saw her. It has a 'teddy bear' going around her hand and then climbing up to tickle her under her arm. My goal was to have her learn to anticipate the ending so she could see that some things stay the same, and by anticipating the tickle at the end, she might engage a bit. And slowly it started to work. 



Best of all though, has been having Kathrin, a grandmother from Switzerland, come out to volunteer for the summer. 

She has been working specifically with the baby group--paying personal attention to each one during the day. Kathrin has reported that Josephine is coming out of her shell much more. She is beginning to play and interact. 

I'm so very happy!

One of my goals while traveling around the U.S was finding partners to team up with us to sponsor children. So far we have no sponsorship for Josephine. Would you like to be part of her team? If so, please click on the donate button up on the right sidebar. Thanks!

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