I have been living in the village about 4 months now. It has been going well and I think I am both becoming used to village life and my community is becoming used to my idiosyncrasies such as being very independent. People are also feeling comfortable asking me for a thing, which also has its ups and downs.
The holidays in the village were largely uneventful with regard to celebration of any sort. Since it is planting season and most are starving from poor harvest last season, everyone was in the fields planting or doing something related to it. I spent Christmas Day and morning building a fence for my garden, cleaning around the house, and collecting firewood (which is a never-ending task). The fact that almost all of community is Seventh-Day Adventist may also play a role in how little celebration there was as I heard that there were celebrations in other rural communities in Zambia.
My crops are doing well (maize, soybeans, as well as small things in the garden) and rainfall is better than last year as reported by folks in my area. I will harvest much more than I can feasibly consume so I am thinking of ways that the food can benefit those affected by HIV in my community.
Other than that I am in the process of applying to graduate school in international food science that I hope to start at the completion of my service. I work on applying every time that I am in town and near Internet, which is about every two weeks.
I am still fit and have been getting quite a bit of exercise as I build and work in the fields and in my garden. Working out is useless here as I can help others do manual labor that keeps me in good shape. Field greens are now available which are quite tasty and growing randomly all over the place.
Anyway, we are well and I hope everyone had wonderful holidays.
Best to all and enjoy the below photos.
This is a photo taken at a World AIDS Day walk in my community. About 200 folks showed up and did drama and such.
This is s photo of a singing group at World AIDS Day.
This photo was taken from my doorstep in late November, 2006. Pretty dry huh?