Monday, September 12, 2005

new update

Hi Again,
Roughly a month here and as far as I can tell, I am doing well. Zambians are telling me I have become fat (means I look healthy as my weight has not changed so much, still ~150 lb).

I live in Hakainda village, founded by the father of the headman in whose compound I currently live (headman is traditional village leader). I have a two room grass-thatched hut, a cooking shelter, and a ventilated improved pit latrine in progress (here in town today buying cement for those things).

Hakainda is in Keemba Zone, about 34 km from the main road that leads to either Lusaka or Livingstone. Monze town is at that junction as well, and is where I do business (pop ~160,000, about 3 hours from Lusaka). Monze has internet and I have access to computer services at the District Health Office where I can look at Health Statistics to my little hearts delight. Internet is fast though expensive (not available at the Health Office, ~400 K per minute, 1000 K can buy my meals for the day if I cook).

Hakainda is about 3 km from Keemba. Keemba is a reasonably large rural town that has electricity and a basic school (grades 1-9, Keemba pop. ~2,000). It also has a rural health center where I do some work.

I am supposedly in charge of the HIV/AIDS activities in Keemba Zone (pop. ~12,000, >12 main villages). I am currently in the process of learning about the place and determining where I will concentrate my efforts. My community is quite motivated and has been teaching me a lot about their home and how I might help with HIV/AIDS in the area.

I live on the same land as Ba-Chilumbi, his children, and wives (4 total and many children, he said 87 and it might be close). One wife is the headmistress of Keemba Basic School and is quite well versed in community based organization goings on and HIV/AIDS. All are very welcoming and good friends that help me quite a bit with anything I need to do.

Anyhoo, I will endeavor to update monthly as I get to town about 2 times a month. There is a bird/wildlife sanctuary about 14 km from where I stay, supposedly quite cool for any that would like to visit. I plan on visiting soon and regularly as there is some wildlife (flora and fauna) that makes me dumbfounded at its’ beauty.

I hope everyone is well and life is good.

Take care all.

Love, niko.

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