Lusaka, Zambia. Month One.

So, what are we doing here??

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Fortunately this feeling that dominated our first month is fading.  We have hot water now, a car, a phone, and the Internet.  We like it here!  We really do!

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Eli can collect buried treasure,

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And wear his cowboy boots to collect bugs,

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While Jake is always ready for the pool,

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And Mike can live his dream of breakfast on the patio.

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Mommy can have croissants with salted butter again,

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And there is coffee!!  Real Espresso!!

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The colors of Africa are vibrant, with blue sky and red dirt and green trees with purple flowers, all saturated by the glow of the sun.  Some call the glow “pollution,” but I prefer to think of it as the African Sunset.

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Right now the Jacarondas are in bloom, a tree of the most beautiful lavender color ever.  They are all over the place down here, including our front yard.  When we walk on the streets we can actually talk to each other, unlike Baku where the noise of the traffic was so loud it was hardly even worth talking.  The boys can run alongside us picking up sticks and chasing lizards.  I guess you could say it’s peaceful.  We are even baking our own bread.

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But wow, what a mental shift it has been.  Mike and I didn’t realize until we got here how much we are City People, and it was bewildering to find ourselves living in the country in a place with no noise at night except the crickets.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  All the houses in our neighborhood are gated compounds with guards, and at night we hear all sorts of music coming from their radios to keep them awake.  Sometimes it’s a bit like a nightclub out there.  There is also an occasional dog chorus, which Jake and Eli find extremely funny!

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I guess we knew we were signing up for an adventure, but we were surprised at how “country” it is!  Where are the cafes?  Where are the city parks full of people playing with their kids on the weekends?  Where is that city energy that we are so familiar with?  Where is the Internet??  Why didn’t anyone tell us that this country has no Internet?!  We see advertisements for “New!  Landlines!”  everywhere.  Seriously?  And why weren’t we warned that we were going to have a Brady Bunch living room?  Fake bricks, sunken… yeah baby….

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The good news is that my job and everyone we’ve met so far is great.  People are friendly, everyone is happy, and it’s nice to be in a place where everyone loves it.  Maybe it is Zambia or maybe it is that African Foreign Service people are different, but whatever, there is a strong positive vibe running through the community that is refreshing!  We go out on the weekends to have lunch under the trees and drink Pimm’s cups.  It feels oddly Colonial to drive around in our cars and drink gin, which is a deeper topic than I feel like addressing today, but it is really fun!  That is Alicia, and those are strawberries floating in my Pimm’s.

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The boys get to have milkshakes.  They are sitting with Alicia’s two boys, Tristan and Killian.  Africa has milkshakes!

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And donuts!  Real donuts fried in oil, with frosting and even sprinkles!

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Mike and I are still City People, but we have three years here in Lusaka, and we are warming up to this one day at a time.

We are living in Zambia and pinching ourselves.

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