Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Becca CommissiarisBecca CommissiarisHello PCMB!

I am writing from a swanky internet cafe in Mansa, the provincial capital of Luapula, the province of Zambia which will be my home for the next 2 years. It is beautiful... so incredibly beautiful. Training is winding down and last week we left for our second site visit, where we visit currently serving PCV (Peace Corps Volunteers) to get a slice of everyday life as a volunteer. I spent the week learning about the work I will be doing with Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), teachers, community based organizations and all types of other individuals working with HIV/AIDS as well. Then, FINALLY, on this past Sunday I saw my hut in my community; I met my rural health staff, my school teachers and my neighbors. I cannot express to you the joy, peace and excitement I felt to finally have a mental picture to put with the stories and dreams about what could be my home for the next 2 years. I am in a village called Kafutuma, in the Nchelenge district of Luapula Province of Zambia. It is on Lake Mwansa, in the north/northwest most part of Zambia, right next to the Congo. My best friend here, Mindy, is a mere 10 kilometers from me, which is a 40 minute bike ride even on a slow day. She is such a blessing and continues to be one of the awesome provisions God has sent before me on this incredible journey. I have a feeling we will spend a lot of time venting, crying, laughing and learning about life in Zambia together.

I know I promised to keep this blog interesting, and trust me - some really funny things have happened, but of course I forgot to bring my little sheet of paper that had them all written down. It's amazing how quickly I've gotten used to not having internet, TV, fast food, etc. Soon I will be getting a new address in Luapula -- one for letters that is about 10 km from my hut, and another for packages that is in Mansa (where I am writing from now) where the Peace Corps provincial house is. As soon as I find out those address I will post them.

Keep fightin the good fight and I miss you all!
I'll update again in a few weeks before I get officially moved into my site (posted in PC terms).

 

ZambiaMap of ZambiaMonday, August 17, 2009

Normalcy

My definition has changed so much in a year, what is normalcy? Almost every letter I've written lately has begun with the sentence "Things are good, life here is starting to feel normal", and I didn't realize how true that statement is. I've been in country over a year now and it's almost unfathomable for me to think about coming home. It seems so far away, and so awkward on top of that. I'm used to dreaming in Bemba, getting 10+ hours of sleep a night, cooking over an open fire and cutting tomatoes and onions multiple times a day. My idea of what is fun has changed from movies, hanging out, bowling and baseball games to working in the garden and going for completely unnecessary (4 hour) bike rides. Never in my life have I been so excited to eat chicken breast or have cold water. Joy is simple.

Life is simple if we choose to make it that way. Treat people the way you wish to be treated, be patient, and listen more than you speak. I think if you want to make a difference in the world in any way, shape or form, you need to be willing to make a sacrifice.