Saturday, January 30, 2010

Life or Something Like It

We interrupt our regular programming to bring you a peek into an ‘average’ day in
 Amy’s Adventurous Life.

Woke up late this morning because I’m fighting off the cold that is circulating through our house. I just might beat this!

Realized upon waking that we were supposed to be at the Chief’s palace at that very moment. Woke Tom up and we rushed into the vehicle without eating breakfast. We are trying to renew our work permit and need a letter from the Chief confirming that he still wants to ‘employ’ us. We were at the palace twice yesterday but didn’t get a chance to see him despite having an appointment of sorts.

Arrived at the palace 30 minutes past when we said we would be there and were told that the Chief had “waited for us for 10 minutes and then left”. This didn’t have the ring of truth to it because this is Africa where the name of the game is waiting. Anyway, the end result was the same: We 'bounced' as they say here.

Good thing too since we were expecting an important visitor some time that morning and needed to be at home. As soon as we got home I rushed into the kitchen to prepare our breakfast. I scrambled some eggs and heated water for tea and coffee. No sooner had our eggs finished cooking and exactly as I was pouring water into our mugs than we heard cars entering our driveway. Our visitors had arrived—exactly on time! Drat! What was with this day and the odd punctuality?

We had been told that the Commanding Officer for the Police in this province wanted to stop by and see us. Who actually came were the heads of a bunch of government departments: the Army, Immigrations, National Service, Police and a few other people. It was around 12-15 people. We took them on a tour and showed them the progress we’ve made in building and shared the story of Peter with them. It was fun to tell them about Peter and then take them into the nursery and show them his rolly polly body.

After the tour which included the farm, animals and snake pen, we sat down for cold drinks and a quick chat. They asked for our story of how we came to be here and also what challenges we face. We tactfully shared some of the things we are up against.

As soon as they left we jumped back in the car and drove back to the palace. Nope, still no Chief. I was a bit thankful because by now I was starving. When we got home I heated up our long neglected hot drinks by adding hot milk and heated our eggs and made them ‘new’ by adding some cheese on top. We can’t use our microwave because our power is almost never strong enough.

After brunch I got online and read a few blogs. Reading one, I found a solution for my bookmarks. I’m really excited. I’ll share more about this at another time. This kept me busy for a while.

Tom rested for a bit and then taught the Bible Course that we hold in our dining room twice a week. After he’d been teaching for awhile I went in to remind him that we still needed to meet with the chief and he asked me to weigh in on a hot topic the class was debating. It was about forgiveness. This is a big subject for discussion here--how forgiveness and justice go together. I will write more about this soon because I’d love for you to offer your opinions.

When class was over a couple students stayed behind. One of them missed 33% of the first semester and now seven classes into the second semester he had only attended the last two. We had to break the news to him that he was being expelled from the course. We have a policy that students have to attend 75% of classes. There is a problem with lack of commitment here with other activities coming up and distracting students. We have to be hard sometimes in order to find the real students as opposed to those who attend only for bragging rights.

The other student that remained was asking for a loan for his carpentry course and business. He had asked on Monday already but we explained then that we had already used our discretionary fund for other needy causes and didn’t have anything to help him with. When I turned him down a few days ago he had a really hard time understanding this. His English isn’t very good but it was more than that. In his mind he had already used the money and was hard at work so when I turned him down he just couldn’t get his mind around it. I felt really sorry for him but we can only do so much.

  Today he was trying again. Again we told him that we are not made of money nor do we have a Kwacha tree in the backyard (oh how I wish we did!). This gentleman is one of our best students, has a really sweet spirit, and is a talented carpenter. When we do have funds available he is at the top of our list.

With this work done I grabbed a half can of tuna and an avocado—called it lunch—and jumped back in the car to head to the palace. This time I was told to enter. I’ll have to tell you later about what it’s like to meet with a chief. For now let me just say that I did the regular protocols and was nicely asked to come back in the morning. Oh well!

Back at home I took Peter from the nannies for some play time and started writing this. We also had dinner (T.J cooked) and watched America’s Got Talent (season three—don’t tell me who won). We are not a passive viewing family but get really involved with keeping score (on paper no less) and loud cheering for our favorites. At one point our cheering startled baby Peter and his little lips quivered as he began to cry. It was adorable! So, of course, we did it again. We’re terrible!

Right now as I wrap this up the power has been on all day and since our batteries are fully charged I’m taking the risk of typing that. Good night and may all your adventures be good ones.


  1. Hope you're successful in battling that cold...I've had 2 flu shots this season, and-fingers crossed-haven't even had an itchy nose all year!

  2. That is one busy day! I am exhausted just reading it. Hope you fight that cold. I can't wait to hear about meeting with a chief!!

    Thanks for sharing all this with me.

  3. Good Lord, Amy! May your power stay on!

  4. I just love reading about your life there, Amy. So glad to have read this interview!


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